Across the 30,000 or so varieties of Christianity, believers
universally love Jesus. They have no trouble accepting his humanity
and his divinity. Many express intimations of his close presence in
their lives; a fear of his judgment and wrath as well as a love of
his compassion; a justification for their worldviews and politics
(of all persuasions), and firm convictions about his atonement for
their sins and thus his centrality in their personal salvation.
who is Christ?
Is Christ simply Jesus's last name, denoting his
role as saviour of humanity, as messiah? What is Christ? How is his
function or role different from Jesus's? Are we missing something
fundamental because of our overwhelming emphasis on Jesus to the
exclusion of the Christ, or our misunderstanding of what it means
that Jesus was `the Christ'? Could it be that such limited views
are contributing to the slow and painful erosion of Christianity in
western culture, to its insularity and insistence on purity and
These are questions Fr Richard Rohr has been pondering
for many years. In his ecumenical and scripturally grounded books
on contemplation, mysticism and many more topics, he has emphasized
the importance of a large framework for understanding the nature of
'what is' and what lasts, of unity and the ultimate reality of
God's presence in all of creation-Christian and non-Christian,
human and non-human.
Could it be that Jesus, who is the Christ, is
offering us a model and example on how to live inside `this Big
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