The Problem with Christ

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An excerpt from The Problem with Christ…

First of all, let me clearly state that I am convinced of the authenticity of Jesus of Nazareth, as recorded in the New Testament. I also believe that He is, in fact, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, that He was raised physically from the dead, and that He will return to judge the living and the dead.

Nonetheless, I have come to believe there is a significant problem with Christ—not the Person, but the title itself. In fact, I believe that the problem is so serious that I have personally concluded that those who claim to truly follow Him should no longer use the term, other than in special and limited circumstances. So, if you have the patience, read on to discover what has brought me to that conclusion.

Meanwhile, an example may help clarify my point. There are many Christians today who take strong exception to the use of the term Xmas when referring in writing—or even worse, in speaking—of Christmas. On the other hand, those who use the term often maintain that they are only using a long, time-honored church tradition—abbreviating the Greek word for Christ (Χριστός), only using the first letter to represent the whole word. Those who oppose the use of Xmas, however, maintain that, whatever X might have stood for in the past, today it is universally used in its algebraic sense to stand for an unknown. All the arguments in its favor, they maintain, are simply an excuse to remove one more vestige of Christian influence from an increasingly secularized society.

Personally, I have come to see this controversy as something of a “tempest in a teapot,” designed to distract us from more pressing issues, such as the problem with the word Christ. If someone opposes the use of Xmas, I can only point out that, in some sense, even Christ has become an X in its own right—a title that has been stripped of its original meaning and made so nondescript and impotent as to lose its usefulness.

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