Richard Rohr on Incarnational Christianity

Years ago, I proposed that those of us looking for an alternative to the labels “evangelical,” “mainline,” and “liberal,” instead rally around the term Incarnational Christian. In today’s email meditation, Richard Rohr writes something along those lines:

Paul, a good Jew, quotes Deuteronomy, “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (Romans 10:8), and begins with a challenge that we still need today: “Do not tell yourself that you have to bring Christ down!” (Romans 10:6). He knew that God had overcome the human-divine gap in the Christ Mystery once and for all. God is henceforth here, and not just there.

This is Christianity’s only completely unique message. Full incarnation is what distinguishes us from all other religions. This is our only real trump card, and for the most part, we have not yet played it. History, the planet—and other religions—have only suffered as a result. Incarnationalism does not put you in competition with any other religions but, in fact, allows you to see God in all things, including them! It mandates that you love and respect all others.

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In Which I Disagree with Richard Rohr

I like Richard Rohr. He’s one of the good guys. And now he’s joined Twitter.

Well, it seems that one of this people has joined Twitter on his behalf and has been tweeting out proverbial aphorisms. He’s only tweeted 109 times (and he only follows 3 people).

Well, someone in my stream retweeted the following:

When I saw this, I tweeted that I disagreed, and @truelyleb asked me to blog about my disagreement. So here goes.

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Young Jesus in the Temple

Jesus Among the Doctors by Éric de Saussure (1968)

I’ve been asked to preach at my home church and former employer, Colonial Church, next Sunday, December 27.  As a good guest preacher (known in the biz as ‘pulpit supply’), I’m using the lectionary text so as to not import everything I want to say to this congregation into my sermon (and Lord knows, there’s a lot I’d like to say!).

In the lectionary, this coming Sunday is known as Christmas 1C, and the Gospel text is Luke 2:41-52, which is the story of Jesus as a 12-year-old hanging out in the Temple for three days.  In the history of art, it’s known as “Jesus Among the Doctors,” and there is a great deal of wonderful art depicting the scene.

I’ll be working the text and prepping my sermon on the 24th (between baking pies), since I don’t have my kids that day, and I’d love to hear what others think about it.

As usual, I’m most interested in the redaction angle on the text — that is, Why is it here? Why only in Luke? Why the only story of Jesus’ youth? Why age 12? What’s its place in the narrative?

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