Thursday, February 21, 2013

Paradigm Shift

When I picked up A Life of Jesus, I think I assumed it would be a quick read detailing a life that I am quite familiar with.  The purpose of the book, as outlined by the author in his preface, was to explain the life of Jesus Christ to those in Japan unfamiliar with Him.  How do you describe Christ to those unfamiliar with Christianity or Judaism or even Islam?  Sounds interesting, right?

By the middle of the book, I was shaking my head in confusion.  Who was this Jesus Christ Endo was describing?  He was so different than the Christ figure I had grown up with.  Some ideas were so vastly different that I wanted to reject the depiction entirely.  However, in the middle of the 模糊 descriptions, a line would stick out that struck a chord with my soul.  So, I couldn't put the book down.  I just kept reading, baffled by this view and wondering what was true, what was conjecture and how to fit it into my own version.  In fact, it got me wondering how much of my own version was true and how much was conjecture. Soon enough, the image of Christ in my head was shaken and grew hazy.  I almost couldn't remember what I had believed before and I certainly struggled to know what I currently believed.  

It's not that I stopped believing in Christ as a divine figure or as someone less worthy of my worship.  But I suddenly felt like his disciples who so often simply marveled at His words rather than understanding His intent.  How could I have so blatantly missed the point of His life and mission?  Am I still missing the point?

Well, I finished the book last night.  I'm still trying to sort out my feelings and my thoughts and my beliefs.  All I know is that things are different.  I can't go back to the way things were before.  I'm not even sure that I want to.  

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