Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Comfort in the man
I was raised on the jargon of Evangelicalism. I have witnessed Cornerstone. I have been to a Petra concert.

And I say that John Sullivan's "Upon This Rock: Rock music used to be a safe haven for degenerates and rebels. Until it found Jesus" feature for GQ contains all of the hilarious and sad biting satire that I found lacking from Saved.

Yet what I found most fascinating was the side-tangent Sullivan takes in the middle of the feature to briefly explain his own experience and struggle with faith:

My problem is not that I dream I'm in hell or that Mole is at the window. It isn't that I feel psychologically harmed. It isn't even that I feel like a sucker for having bought it all. It's that I love Jesus Christ.

"The latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose." I can barely write that. He was the most beautiful dude. Forget the Epistles, forget all the bullying stuff that came later. Look at what He said. Read The Jefferson Bible. Or better yet, read The Logia of Yeshua, by Guy Davenport and Benjamin Urrutia, an unadorned translation of all the sayings ascribed to Jesus that modern scholars deem authentic. There's your man. His breakthrough was the aestheticization of weakness. Not in what conquers, not in glory, but in what's fragile and what suffers—there lies sanity. And salvation. "Let anyone who has power renounce it," he said. "Your father is compassionate to all, as you should be." That's how He talked, to those who knew Him.

Why should He vex me? Why is His ghost not friendlier? Why can't I just be a good Enlightenment child and see in His life a sustaining example of what we can be, as a species?

Because once you've known Him as God, it's hard to find comfort in the man.

Give yourself sometime as it is a 12,000-word article, and be forewarned that it does contain language unsuitable for small children and Southern Baptists.

posted by Peter at 10:39 AM
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