Grumble

September 7th, 2006

Once there was a mean man named Grumble…. However, I might be infringing a copyright if I went on with that excellent story.

As it is, I wish to grumble about something. Specifically, I wish to complain about Christians (as, for instance, C. Horn III in the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology article on “Sexual Ethics”) using an inane and meaningless construction about the “Judeo-Christian” this or that. I object to it primarily because Judaism and Christianity are not on the same plane. I will go so far as to assert that Judaism is a Christian heresy. They are not the independent but equally valid successors of some indeterminate tradition. Contemporary Judaism is not the heir of Abraham, Moses or the Prophets. The Christian church is. To speak of a Judeo-Christian tradition is misleading, because it isn’t a Jewish tradition at all. Of course, it came through the Jews; of course, contemporary Judaism shares some points of contact. Unfortunately, none of that is the point. The point is that that tradition led up to Christ, and the Church is Christ’s body. We are the seed of Abraham and heirs according to the promise.

I object to it also of course, on the grounds that there seems to be no point in talking in that way except for the sake of political correctness. Inaccuracy in the name of policital correctness has been tolerated too long. The emasculation of theology in the interest of having Christ sit down to a meal with a Belial is a long-standing tradition. But it is contrary to the traditions we have received.

Yes, yes, Judaism has ethical similarities to Christianity; so does Confucianism. Sure, Judaism derives them from part of the same source that Christianity does. But Christ is Lord of ethics; the fact that all men have been given some idea of right and wrong does not change the exclusive claims of Christ, or that it is the Trinitarian God who legislates morality. You know, the house on the sand and the house on the rock may have looked like they were designed by the same architect –and perhaps they were; but one was actually built by a fool.