All-Purpose Saviour?

I had some fun earlier this week with this post about the silliness of using Jesus as a model for corporate leadership. It got me thinking though about the various, uh, uses that people have for Jesus. George W. Bush once called Jesus his favourite political philosopher. This is silly as Jesus did not teach on political philosophy (at least as far as anyone knows). Now you might want to leap up and say that Jesus’ moral teachings and/or parables could have applications in the realm of political philosophy. If you want to expand your definitions that way, the term “political philosopher” becomes useless – everyone from the authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul books to Mr. Rogers is a political philosopher. Hooray, everyone is the best at everything! Saying Jesus is your favourite political philosopher is about as sensible as saying he’s your favourite classical composer.

But wait, it gets more banal than that – now Jesus has to compete with Gordon Ramsay for space on your cookbook shelf! Stop eating all that sinful secular food – salvation from your gut can be had by eating a first-century near-east diet! I can’t wait for Jesus’ Guide to Small Engine Repair or Improve Your Golf Game with Jesus! Why is it so important for so many to try to stretch Jesus into everything that he was not? Does making Jesus into an all-purpose advice-giver and teacher constitute some weird form of idolatry?