My hope with this label is to open up ways in which Jesus can be restored to being the subject of a narrative rather than being the object of doctrine, or of myth, ancient or modern. To my mind much of the inability of Christianity to commend itself and/or deal with its internal problems comes from allowing Jesus to be detached from the narrative. So too, I would claim, is the inability of secular humanism to find its meta-narrative. Most of what will follow under this label will be offering and discussing my own attempt to use a lyric poetic to reestablish the narrative Jesus, as well as inviting you to share your own. What follows immediately in this post is a theoretic ground work for my claim and which can serve as a guide to how the effort might proceed.
Among the succession of crises which attempt to terminate or marginalize Christianity’s narrative foundation, one that always interests me is the crisis of the high medieval church of the West in which the western church was transforming itself into a monarchy found on a newly defined body of canonical law. How else could it compete with the rising medieval monarchies? What halts its triumph is the “little poor one” Francis of Assisi, who builds outdoor creches to point to the narrative and in general acts out the life of Jesus. It is an example of the reassertion of narrative, a reassertion that rescued the Western Church for a fatal transformation of itself into a monarchy, competing with other monarchies.
There are many other example of this dynamic before and after Francis: for example Arianism, Catholic and Protestant Dogmatic, Evangelical Fundamentalism. My argument is that the present crisis of the church is caused by the transformation of the church into ideas which internally divide it and externally make it irrelevant, and what is required is a concerted effort to repossess its narrative core. A Franciscan style movement to re-evangelize the church is called for. By this the church would not only find unity within its self, but relevance to the world whose on dysfunction lies in the absence of a narrative.
Under the Label Jesus and the Meta-Narrative this blog hopefully will explore ways to repossess the Jesus Narrative and to place it in the context of an overarching enabling narrative, or what is generally called a meta-narrative.