We’re in need of great writers, great poets, that help us articulate and re-speak the language of faith, the language of the Jesus Way. At times, our language about Jesus has become stale, academic, and bookish, and we find our scholastic language clashing with the imagery and metaphor that jump at us from Jesus in the Gospels.
Will Willimon’s book Why Jesus? is such a book, such a writing that helps us see Jesus once again in the clarity that Scripture presents him in. We’re once again faced with the enigma of who Jesus is, the mysteries of what he’s about and doing, yet also comforted by the clarity and grace he brings to us from God, as God.
I found Willimon’s writing to be a joy to read. I enjoyed hearing him piece the story of Jesus together using words like “Vagabond” to write a whole chapter about Jesus on the move. I believe his writing is a kind we need today – a writing that re-keys our imaginations to see the depths of the Jesus Way, to see ourselves on this way, and to (as Eugene Peterson says) “scrape the accumulated grime of cliche from the words of Jesus.”
May we meet more who help us articulate the Jesus Way.
In the beginning…
I’d like to read the other Near Eastern accounts of the world’s beginning. I’ve read a few times now in resources like The Zondervan Bible Handbook (1999), The Archaeological Study Bible (NIV), and The New Interpreter’s Study Bible (NRSV), that there is a good following for thinking Genesis borrowed its material from other Near Eastern philosophies and religions.
My thought: Since (if) we believe that we all began as a work of God (or gods in the polytheistic religions), doesn’t it make sense that our story of origin might have a beginning when at one time our story was the story. Then, through time and tradition and interpretation, the story starts changing as people start spreading out. This tribe adds a few things; that tribe takes a few things out. Augments happen. Ideals and human desires creep in…
But, let’s sit back and wonder — what if there is still a link of the right story, you know, the story that hasn’t been changed for some reason? What if there’s a tribe that was faithful to the original and it didn’t go through tribal ideals? What if that group of people is the people who wrote down Genesis. What if, in walking with God, loving God, listening to God, staying connected with God, they were the ones who kept the story and all the other stories were deviations of the authentic?