Saturday, November 17, 2012

It is as if the religion must disown the language of Jesus to be the faith that Jesus taught.

"I noted to my colleagues my surprise [as a convert from Islam] that Christianity seems unique in being a missionary religion that is transmitted without the language of the founder of the religion, and, furthermore, how the religion invests itself in all languages except the language of Jesus. It is as if the religion must disown the language of Jesus to be the faith that Jesus taught."(222)

"The same divine humility which decreed that God should become a baby at a peasant-woman's breast, and later an arrested field-preacher in the hands of the Roman police, decreed also that He should be preached in a vulgar, prosaic and unliterary language. "Isn't that fact significant for the religion and for its worldwide expansion?" (224)


  1. Anonymous6:58 PM

    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

  2. I do not share his analysis. And i question his conviction regarding such.

  3. Of course you can post whatever you want. This is your blog. It's just that it always saddens me to see liberal intellectuals find any excuse to use language that trashes the Holy Bible: "He should be preached in a vulgar, prosaic and unliterary language." I don't see the New Testament words of Jesus as that, but then, I am not very smart.

    Just today, here in my state of Florida, a little girl was shot and killed on a school bus. I truly believe in my heart that the last 40 years of Bible-trashing and denigrating religion have contributed to the culture in which this can take place.

    It is time to change. It is time to find reverence, true reverence. It is time to honor the words of the Scripture instead of trashing them as politically incorrect. What if St Paul or even Luther came into your church and read Romans 1? I am certain he would be called a hater and thrown out.

    What about your sister church -- the Anglicans -- rejecting women bishops? Does this make any sense? A woman is good enough to be a priest, but not a bishop. The glass ceiling. Unbelievable. What a lie.

  4. It shouldn't matter for the discussion, since I thought this point wasn't in the least bit "liberal," but Lamin Sanneh is actually a convert to Roman Catholicism, and comes to this position out of his deeply held commitment to the RC. Far from trashing the bible, I believe he is honoring and upholding it, in a profoundly Christological manner.

  5. Clint -- Be real. What if I said: "The Lutheran Church is full of vulgar, prosaic and unliterary people, but I love it anyway"? C'mon. The words are out there.

    I have spent a lot of time with liberal Catholic university-types. In my humble opinion, they have done tremendous damage to the Church. What the heck does "profoundly Christological" mean, and why the heck don't you capitalize "bible?

  6. I would be honored by such a quote, Kathy, and would recognize myself in it. I'm vulgar, prosaic and in many ways unliterary, and in being such, I believe I have good company among Christians throughout the centuries.

    Profoundly Christological means he is reading Scripture through Christ and not the other way around. I capitalize Scripture but not bible. I don't actually know why, just long habit.

  7. Well, OK, we can leave it at that. I understand your point of view. I tried to say that what bothers me is the undercutting of Scripture by scholars -- I think it damages the faith of ordinary people.

    Re. Christology -- that is problematic. To read Scripture "through Christ", we first have to agree on the Mind of Christ. That means interpretation.

  8. Of course he's Catholic.

  9. I would ask those commenting, before making assumptions about the man, to actually read him. This is his memoir, a story of his journey from the the Gambia as a child, where he was raised Muslim, to his conversion to Methodism/Protestant faith, and then finally his late in life acceptance into the Roman Catholic church. It is an incredible story, and worth your time. It certainly is not worthy of your distaste or dismissal.

  10. I very much agree with you, Clint. I understand what you are saying -- now that I have been following your blog for about a year, ever since that flap about the Immaculate Conception last Christmas.

    I was not making any assumptions about the man -- just your use of a particular quote from him. It sounds like his life journey is one that I would wish for everyone. I was born into a Lutheran family and after a "journey," I became Catholic.

    We live in turbulent times -- the Church is changing. It is my hope that people like you, Clint, will continue to read and study and ask questions.

    I will ask you again: What do you mean by Christology in the sense you used it? Are you saying that you want everyone to see Christ the way you and your family and your Lutheran church see Him? That is not catholic.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Its clear in the analysis...or perhaps an 'Emergent'.