Compelling

A story without the power to compel us against our will is a story not worth telling.

If the story of Jesus as God’s agent to rescue the world cannot compel us to think differently than we would on our own, to act differently than we would if left to our own devices, then it is not a story worth telling, much less claiming as our own.

This is a story that is not told to be claimed as our own so much as it is written to claim us as its own.

For all my concern that this story make sense in our context, for all my concern that we allow change over time, for all my concern that we allow the praxis of the church to develop in ways that are culturally sensitive, for all of these enculturating dynamics that I think are essential, if I do not find myself repeatedly confronted by a Jesus story that is still, at essence, profoundly Other, summoning me to a way of life that I would not have on my own, then I am not telling the Jesus story.

If I “like” everything in this story as I’m telling it, I’m not telling the Jesus story. I’m telling my story as though it were his.

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