Dr. Harry Kraus on How the Church Has Domesticated Jesus
- Thursday, October 21, 2010
CW: Great perspective, considering the fact you are writing about Jesus who pretty much did the same thing. HK: Exactly!
CW: Is that the point in parables and story-teaching? To allow people to "put off on 'Bob'" rather than preaching directly at them; to let them get it for themselves? HK: Right. And you notice that Jesus resisted the tendency to over-explain. Now sometimes His disciples pulled Him aside and went, "I don't get it! What did you mean?" But most of the time, He told the story, and He let the Holy Spirit nudge them. And I find out in my fiction that often the Holy Spirit has an agenda way beyond what I understood.
Some people believe that fiction is different for every reader, because they bring something to the equation, and they experience the story just a little bit differently. And they will write me, and I might think, "Gee, that is pretty cool. I did not really mean it that way, but it is kind of true."
CW: Who needs to undomesticate Jesus? Is it me? Is it you? This American culture? The worldwide Church? And how do we do it? HK: Well, yeah, it is you, Shawn! [Laughs.] I'd love to say it is only you. No, it is me. It is the Church. It is the world. It is every believer struggling with understanding Jesus in His splendor, understanding the majesty. I mean this Guy is not gettable. He is beyond it.
So we understand we are on a journey of discovery, and we are going to be on that journey from now until forever. And I think that will be the beauty of heaven: this picture of angels who do nothing but say, "Holy, Holy, Holy"... and it does not get old! They just keep repeating it because there is no end to what we can discover about Him.
But this is a problem for everyone. Now, what do we do about it? Well, we become aware. We start looking honestly at our own lives, and when you find yourself as anxious, use it as something to prod you to say, "Wait a minute. If somebody was looking at me, how big would they say my God is right now?" And then go to the Scripture. This book is written very practically with scriptural prescriptions at the end of many of the chapters, just to say, "Look, if you are struggling with a fear of the future, if you are struggling with an understanding of forgiveness of your sins, if you are struggling with anxiety, look at these scriptures. Look at who Jesus really is." Yes, he cares for you deeply. He loves you deeply. He holds your future.
So, all of these things have a scriptural solution. It is just a matter of bathing our minds and aligning our thinking with His and getting just a little bit bigger glimpse. I mean, I am not going to tell somebody if they pick up and read this book, they will know God in all of His splendor, because it is only a book. They are only written words. Our language cannot contain Him, cannot describe Him. We can only say words that are just little tools. But, you know, that should prompt us to say, "How big is my God? How big am I acting that He is? And do the two jive?"
Dr. Harry Kraus describes himself as "a ragamuffin, just a fallen man who struggles with all the same problems you do. But I've discovered the wonder of a relationship with God, who reached out to me in the most spectacular way." Visit his website at www.harrykraus.com.
Publication date: October 21, 2010
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