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Christological Lenses

January 19, 2011

Recently I blogged on a ‘self-righteous’ psalm that I wanted to read with Christological lenses. A friend challenged me, as to whether such a desire was such a big deal. On the one hand he thought there were other ways of reading the Psalm in our ‘pluralist society’ which were also ‘valid’ and that Christological lenses were in danger of being ‘antisemitic’ or ‘supercessionist’.


It seems to me important to address these challenges, since they express some of the ‘common sense’ of our time.


Firstly, pluralist society aside, ‘valid’ is a slippery term. If the reader is a Christian, wearing christological lenses is not optional, such as when we talk of one valid reading among others. The only valid reading for a Christian is the christological one. Living in a pluralist society does not excuse us from the responsibility to think as a Christian. Moreover to think as a Christian is to think ‘in Christ’ and thus with ‘christological lenses’.


Secondly, one of the issues in the background of my posting is that using christological lenses is not an automatic thing like putting on glasses. It is hard work. Especially if we are dealing with texts which include two strands in tension. The Hebrew Scriptures, common to Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism, include both the pagan perspective from which they, as a people, are being drawn and the new perspective of God’s messiah. Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that the text itself embodies this process of transformation and struggle.


What’s more, the debate between ‘Jews’ and ‘Christians’ is, after all, a debate within Judaism about how to read the scriptures and whether Jesus is the Messiah etc. To think as a Christian Jew rather than a Rabbinic one is not necessarily antisemitic. In fact to be anti-Semitic about following Jesus is precisely not to follow him to his cross. It is to follow Jesus in the way the Corinthian Christians were tempted to follow Paul, Cephas or Apollos.


One Comment leave one →
  1. John permalink
    January 20, 2011 2:22 am

    Are you really living in and seeing the world through Christological Lenses?

    Did you ever meet Jesus up close and personal as a living-breathing-feeling human being, so that he could give you personal detailed instructions as to how to live a Spirit-Breathing Spiritual Way of Life?

    Have you thoroughly understood how ever minute fraction of your body-mind complex is patterned by your own personal life circumstances, primarily and almost indelibly by your childhood emotional-sexual patterning – that is your Oedipal script.

    And by the culture at large in which you grew up and now live. EVERY minute fraction of which is patterned by the anti-Spiritual dominant ideology/paradigm of SCIENTISM.

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