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.