Posts Tagged ‘Radical Christology’

HEBREWS 1:1-4; 2:5-12

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son,whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

2Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. But someone has testified somewhere,

“What are human beings that you are mindful of them,
    or mortals, that you care for them?
You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;
    you have crowned them with glory and honor,
    subjecting all things under their feet.”

Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

10 It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 12 saying,

“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,
    in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”

The author of Hebrews acknowledges yet another discrepancy, this time between a statement made in scripture (see Psalm 8:4-6) about the dignity and glory of the human being on the one hand, and his own observations of human beings as “not all that,” on the other.

The mythic vision of how things are is not intended to match up to the way things appear; in fact, this discrepancy is what gives the myths of religion their inspirational power. If everything were now as it ought to be, then there would be no impetus for change, no forward movement, no progress towards salvation. God created the human to have glory and honor, and the fact that we are lacking these to whatever degree only serves to empower us in the direction of our true potential and intended destiny.

After the so-called Restoration period in Christology (the view or theory of Christ), after the earliest Christians had tried largely in vain to place Jesus within the inherited templates of traditional Jewish messianic expectation, new and highly creative Radical Christologies emerged. Paul’s New Adam was one of these breakthrough views, as were Mark’s Son of Man and John’s Word Incarnate. A fourth Radical Christology, often sprinkled among these others, was what can be called the view of Christ as the exemplar of a Fulfilled Humanity.

Whether the present generation sees itself as fallen from an original perfection or as evolving towards a future realization, Jesus represents what we are essentially and what we are even now in the process of becoming, as we enter into our full salvation (making whole) as human beings. Having stepped through the veil of death Jesus showed us that what we are, most deeply, needs not be disturbed by mortal anxiety, but can find true life on the “other side” of our greatest of fears.