Tuesday, October 10, 2006

JESUS AS AN ETHICIST

The Jesus of the Gospels is not a great ethical teacher like Socrates, our leading humanitarian. He is an apocalyptic figure who steps outside the boundaries of normal morality to signal that the Father's judgment is breaking into history. His miracles were not acts of charity but eschatological signs - accepting the unclean, promising heavenly rewards, making last things first.
The Gospels are scary, dark and demanding. It is not surprising that people want to tame them, dilute them, make them into generic encouragements to be loving and peaceful and fair. If that is all they are, then we may as well make Socrates our Redeemer.

- Gary Wills, "Christ Among the Partisans"
Chicago Tribune, April 9, 2006

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