Redneck Jesus II: Offended?

Ben wrote this in the comment section of my previous post on Mark Driscoll’s Jesus:

“Jesus’ masculinity has been washed away in our oh so sensitive culture. This is a culture of appeasement which renders everything rather grey. It has as its goal maximal inoffensiveness. From Christ’s own lips we know that he is cause for offense — and must be — if the truth is actually being proclaimed.”

In late February it’s hard not to see everything as gray in Toronto ;). Seriously though, let’s consider what Driscoll is saying. It’s clear that Driscoll loves the idea of manly men and masculine culture as he defines it. Driscoll’s whole bent appears to be to deliberately target men to join his church. He isn’t offending them with this childish caricature of Jesus as some sort of Larry the Cable Guy character. The point with the offensiveness of Christ is not that it’s only offensive to premium coffee-drinking, Toyota-driving, city-dwelling, literate lefties like me. The Jesus conjured up by Driscoll isn’t offensive to Driscoll or to the lads he aims at – on the contrary, this Jesus is their yes man.

The offense of Christ isn’t something that is targeted by demographic, it’s universal. The modern writer who appears to best grasp it is probably Christopher Hitchens, yes the prominent atheist, Christopher Hitchens – he’s mentioned this as what he doesn’t like about Christianity more than once:

“In any case, I find something repulsive in the idea of vicarious redemption. I would not throw my numberless sins onto a scapegoat and expect them to pass from me; we rightly sneer at the barbaric societies that practice this unpleasantness in its literal form.”
-from Letters to a Young Contrarian

A bit more substantial than chewing tobacco and pickup trucks.