The Undomesticated Christ

By Jake Ewing

March 10, 2013

I’m in a class right now centered on “Christology,” the study of Christ. Now of course, nearly all Christian religion courses could be considered a course on the study of Christ, but this is a bit narrower in its scope. This class is specifically dedicated to learning about Christ—about his life, his death, his nature, and how all of these things can direct us as Christians.

Mainly what I’m learning is the ways in which I’ve been thinking of Christ wrong. The professor of the class used this phrase in class the other day that I loved. He pointed out how often Christians are attempting to “domesticate Christ,” that is, to cull some of the power associated with him by rigidly defining what exactly he is.

He mentioned how frequently Christians—traditional or new-age, conservative or liberal—are constantly attempting to prove that Christ would be in favor of their opinions, of their movement. The criticism is, of course, that Christ both pre- and post-exists all of our own little causes.

I am absolutely guilty of this. In a church that is so divided, arguments between Christians are often attempts to prove whose side Jesus would like more. But attempting to attach him to our own opinions is a complete misunderstanding of his nature. Christ is too big, too Good for us to attempt to domesticate him into our human passions.


This class has already forced me to recognize my own problematic perceptions of Christ, and I look forward to another three months of instruction on the true nature of Christ—not a nature that I’ve applied to him for my own purposes.

Keywords: christology
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