“The Jesus question,” put simply, is this: Who is he? And why does it matter?
Go out into the world, and you see Jesus everywhere. Well, at least some sort of cultural expropriation of Jesus. He’s on T-shirts and bumper stickers, toast and toys, jewelry and wall art. But beneath all the kitsch, who is he, really?
Since I first made the commitment to become a Christian in 2000, that’s the question I’ve been asking myself. I have a veritable trove of Sunday school answers on the ready (“Son of God,” “personal Savior,” “sacrificial Lamb”), but what do they all mean, and how do they explain why Jesus is so popular among non-Christians? People of all places, ages, races, and even religions have made Jesus their own, but what is it about him that attracts so many followers, or at least admirers? How did he come to exist apart from the religion that bears his title? And if he’s supposed to be the same yesterday, today, and forever, then why has he been so malleable throughout history, in terms of what he looked like, lived like, and stood for?
This blog is an exploration of who Jesus is, primarily through the vehicles of art, literature, and popular culture. I hope that you will consider the question alongside me and share your thoughts in response to each post.
(If you want to read more about my purpose for this blog, check out my first post.)