Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
July 21st, 2014 by Joel Watts

Cardinal Ratzinger on Discipleship of Jesus v. Discipleship of Christ.

Jesus will return!

)Photo credit: Bazstyle | Photography)

I am going to help lead a new class in the fall (if it all works out) on covenant discipleship, from the Wesleyan perspective. I am looking for various quotes and thoughts at the moment. This one…

Well, he was pope for a reason:

This linguistic change reveals a spiritual process with wide implications, namely, the attempt to get behind the Church’s confession of faith and reach the purely historical figure of Jesus. He is no longer to be understood through this confession, but, as it were, in and through himself alone; and thus his achievement and his challenge are to be reinterpreted from scratch. Consequently people no longer speak of following Christ but of following Jesus: for “discipleship of Christ” implies the Church’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, and hence it involves a basic acknowledgment of the Church as the primary form of discipleship. “Discipleship of Jesus”, however, concentrates on the man Jesus who opposes all forms of authority; one of its features is a basically critical attitude to the Church, seen as a sign of its faithfulness to Jesus. This in turn goes beyond Christology and affects soteriology, which must necessarily undergo a similar transformation. Instead of “salvation” we find “liberation” taking pride of place, and the question, “How is the liberating act of Jesus to be mediated?” automatically adopts a critical stance over against the classical doctrine of how man becomes a partaker of grace.

Joseph Ratzinger, Behold The Pierced One: An Approach to a Spiritual Christology (trans. Graham Harrison; San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986), 14.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Comments

3 Responses to “Cardinal Ratzinger on Discipleship of Jesus v. Discipleship of Christ.”
  1. I really like the man! Too bad the fact that he had not a whole lot of charisma, if any, hurt his popularity, but I read from a few scholars that he was a real scholar, an avid student of church history and theology and, as per a few, a reader of John Calvin. Now we have a charismatic guy who, whenever he says something the Vatican has to explain and qualify what he said…

    • see, i don’t the new guy is saying anything really all that different – it’s just the media gets a lot wrong and doesn’t realize catholic doctrine/dogma/theology. I mean, who would think the media as a whole doesn’t get religion?

  2. “whenever he says something the Vatican has to explain and qualify what he said”…
    “The Vatican” is an inanimate entity, it does not explain and qualify. You mean there is a group of a anonymous men standing behind the “Vatican”, explaining and qualifying.

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