Sunday, September 2, 2012

Meet Christ the King, not Christ the Kitten

Peter Kreeft has written the best article of his life, an article that recaps his entire body of work on the Faith, in a way.  It is not only a must read, it is a must quote - though I'm tempted to quote the whole thing.

One part will have to do. 

I've written lately on how the mistaken dichotomy between the "God of the Old Testament" and the "God of the New" results from an emasculated notion of Love.  See Love and War and Love, War and Gonads

Kreeft nails it.

But is not the God of the Bible revealed most fully and finally in the New Testament rather than the Old? In sweet and gentle Jesus rather than wrathful and warlike Jehovah?

The opposition is heretical: the old Gnostic-Manichaean-Marcionite heresy, as immortal as the demons who inspired it. For “I and the Father are one.” The opposition between nice Jesus and nasty Jehovah denies the very essence of Christianity: Christ’s identity as the Son of God. Let’s remember our theology and our biology: like Father, like Son.

But is not God a lover rather than a warrior?

No, God is a lover who is a warrior. The question fails to understand what love is, what the love that God is, is. Love is at war with hate, betrayal, selfishness, and all love’s enemies. Love fights. Ask any parent. Yuppie-love, like puppy-love, may be merely “compassion” (the fashionable word today), but father-love and mother-love are war.

In fact, every page of the Bible bristles with spears, from Genesis 3 through Revelation 20. The road from Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained is soaked in blood. At the very center of the story is a cross, a symbol of conflict if there ever was one. The theme of spiritual warfare is never absent in scripture, and never absent in the life and writings of a single saint. But it is never present in the religious education of any of my “Catholic” students at Boston College. Whenever I speak of it, they are stunned and silent, as if they have suddenly entered another world. They have. They have gone past the warm fuzzies, the fur coats of psychology-disguised-as-religion, into a world where they meet Christ the King, not Christ the Kitten.

Welcome back from the moon, kids.
Read the entire article here. 


Kevin O'Brien said...

This was an article from 1998, I am told, and I even linked to it once a year or so ago in a post here. Well, repeat or no, it is the best thing he's ever written.

Joey Higgins said...

I can attest to the lack of education part: all of my catechism training never mentioned any of "spiritual warfare" or about the Nature of God.

The first time I heard "spiritual warfare" was from a protestant 5 years after my confirmation.

Joey Higgins said...

After reading your blogs this morning and contemplating them, I came back to the thought of "the price" that people fear - that I fear from being "great" - when we define greatness as achieving/seeking holiness.

Then I read the article that you linked to and was blown away that the very topic that I had been contemplating (prompted by your blogs) was in the article:

Absolutely no one and nothing can stop you. It is your free choice. Here is one of the truest and most terrifying sentences I have ever read (from William Law’s Serious Call): "If you will look into your own heart in complete honesty, you must admit that there is one and only one reason why you are not a saint: you do not wholly want to be."
What holds us back? Fear of paying the price.

All I can really say is, thank you for keeping this blog up; I appreciate it.