Everyone knows that images of Jesus have changed over the years, centuries and millennia. Much like Doctor Who has featured different regenerations of its main character, and the show itself has been many different things over the years, one could perhaps usefully ask whether the “character” of Jesus in Christianity does not seem like it is that of a very old time lord who regenerates into someone slightly different in each (re)generation.
This thought was sparked not so much by IO9’s recent article on Doctor Who, but also by something a colleague forwarded to me. Advertising from a new church not far from Indianapolis ended up in his hands, and it started with the following questions:
MEN – DO YOU NOT FOLLOW JESUS BECAUSE YOU FEEL LIKE HE’S A GUY YOU COULD TAKE IN A CAGE FIGHT?
Women – Do you not follow Jesus because most of the men in your life have let you down, so why wouldn’t he?
The questions themselves are telling, but so too is the choice of fonts. The question addressed to men is written
So there are two obvious questions: First, do you think that most men in the Indianapolis area think that they could take the Doctor in a cage fight, and if so, do you agree that they are wrong?
But second, who do you think Jesus is turning into for the latest generation? There are probably multiple answers to that question, all correct for a certain constituency, and they would all be worth discussing.
To jump start the discussion, here’s an image that the colleague forwarded to me together with the advertising flyer from the church: