Friday, February 06, 2015

A higher allegiance

Where the narrative of Acts clearly rejects any hint of the notion that Jesus is a rival for Caesar’s throne—that he competes with the emperor for the title κύριος πἀντων [Lord of all]—it does so on the basis of a more startling claim: Jesus, the bringer of peace, simply is the Lord of all, the mode of being that is Caesar’s represents a violent refusal of this universal Lordship. Differently said, Caesar is the challenger, not of course because Jesus wants to rule the empire, but in the sense that the self-exaltation necessary to sustain Caesar’s political project is inevitably idolatrous. Dominus et deus noster [our lord and god] pays the imperial bill, but for the Christians it claims an allegiance—a form of devotion—that belongs only to another: the true Lord of all.—World Upside Down, page 152

<idle musing>
Nothing like turning things on their head, is there? That's probably why the apostles were accused of "turning the world upside down!" Would that Christians today were accused of that! Even so, Lord Jesus, may it come to be!
</idle musing>

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