Sunday, May 14, 2006

Transfiguration of Mission 1: Messianic Language

In chapter two of The Transfiguration of Mission, David Shank suggests that we have historically drawn our Christology from Greek thought, and have tended to ignore the Hebraic soil on which Jesus walked. He makes a point of using ‘messianic’ language, rather than ‘christological,’ so as to re-center our understanding of Jesus in a fashion more in line with those who first heard these words spoken.

IMO, this is a vital first step towards a re-visioned understanding of Jesus. ‘Christ’ has become a surname for Jesus, rather than a title, and we tend to gloss over the messianic import of his activity when we speak of Jesus Christ, rather than Jesus the Christ. Intentionally speaking of him as ‘the Christ’ might open up a forum for dialogue concerning meaning, which could then lead to participation in the messianic mission of Jesus. The simple use of the article could give pause and lead to the question, ‘why’d you say that?’ and that could allow for more intentional conversation.

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