Tomorrow Scot McKnight moves his blog, The Jesus Creed, over to BeliefNet. It’s interesting to think that I started blogging just before Scot did and I now have my faithful five or six readers and he has, oh, only many thousands more! The truth is I am nothing but happy for Scot; his is a great blog period, and probably the best religious blog I’ve read so far.
I’ve also been thinking lately that one of the downsides to so much of modern Christianity is that it is impersonal. In megachurches, for instance, most attendees do not know the person speaking at any given service. In a celebrity driven Christianity (like a celebrity driven culture), we certainly don’t know the people we are “following”. I think that is true of a media based Christianity as well.
In each of these cases, the end of communication (actual conversation is not able to occur) is simply the transfer of information. It is propositional, and often proud of it. The problem is, I no longer think that is the message the Jesus came to give. His message was that truth needs to be lived, not just believed, and that God’s love needs to be incarnated, given flesh and blood and shared person to person tearing down the walls that all too often stand between us. Jesus was looking for people who would emulate him in doing this, not just listen to what he was saying.
And if we don’t know the people we are listening too, we don’t know if they are emulating Jesus or not. We don’t know if they are really mean and nasty and domineering, what they really do with their money, or if they are engaged in any kind of meaningful service that does not somehow profit themselves. Information is transferred, perhaps, but lives are not changed, because actually living it isn’t an essential part of the deal.
All of which brings me back to Scot. I think the biggest reason I and some any others enjoy reading his books and his blog is that we know he and Kris are the real deal. They are simple folks (I mean that in the best sense of the word) who are committed to nothing so much as loving God and the people God brings into their lives, and they do a darn good job of it.
Congratulations, Scot. May God bless you and Kris richly as you enter into this next chapter of faithfully following him.