Archive for May, 2010

The Center

I hope it’s not a fad. A wave of new books about Jesus seems to be hitting the shore of Christendom.  Here are three of the many titles:  Jesus Manifesto by Sweet and Viola, Jesus the Fool by Michael Frost, and ReJesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church by Hirsch and Frost. Let’s hope that authors are not riding out the economy by cashing in on the popularity of Jesus.  It’s true:  The Pope and even Deepak Chopra have published books recently about Jesus.  Of course, Jesus is a compelling figure.  Even his critics have to admit his extraordinary influence.  From Jesus Christ Superstar to The Passion of he Christ, people remain fascinated by Jesus.  Arguably, there is no one who has had a greater impact on human history. H.G. Wells remarked,

I am a historian, I am not a believer,but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history.  Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.

For this reason we need to know about and talk about Jesus. This isn’t the only reason.  What Christianity teaches is that Christ is the center of all things. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer titled his book correctly:  Christ the Center.) It teaches that all things have their meaning in and through Jesus.  The goal of the discussion of Jesus is not simply information.  It is transformation.   As Sweet and Viola explain:

Our plea is that you will bring the Lord Jesus Christ back into view, making Him the lighthouse of your life and giving Him His rightful place of centrality, supremacy,and sovereignty.  We implore you: Make Christ the center.  Make Him the circumference.  And fill in the difference with Him as well.

All I can say is, “It’s about time.”