Monday, 16 November 2015
Canon and Biblical Interpretation (Scripture and Hermeneutics Series - Volume 7),
Ed. Craig Bartholomew, Scott Hahn, Robin Parry, Christopher Seitz, Al Wolters, Paternoster, 2006,
Chapter 4 "The Gospels Within the New Testament Canon" (pp. 123-145), page 130-131
Having started by asserting that the Synoptic Gospels don't call Jesus-follows 'believers' or call them to believe 'in him', Eugene Lemico goes on to explain that:
This connection with Jesus is costly, requiring the crucifixion of self-aggradisement, a rejection of the world's values regarding gain and loss as well as reversing its standards regarding status and role. It will mean coming into contact with the sick and unclean, associating with the downtrodden, challenging religious authorities and institutions and foregoing a regular resting place and family life.
Well of course, you may say, that's taken as read. What's the big deal?
Likewise the Gospels' emphasis provides a caution to those whose relation to Jesus is cast exclusively in Pauline terms. Being 'in Christ' could be construed existentially and emotionally rather than relationally: united in his death and resurrection.
Even the idea of relationship has a risk associated with it; of being a matter of state - being. Lemico quotes a well-meaning prayer to G-d: We do not love You for what You do for us, but for who You are.
Perhaps behind this preference for 'is-ness' lies a philosophical dualism that divorces being from behaving. Any normal understanding of relationships involves an entire range of responses: speaking, feeling, thinking and acting. It is the latter which following Jesus supports.
I might go a tad further; not 'supports' but 'requires'.