The Common Good
March-April 2002

Christianity's Gift

by Walter Wink | March-April 2002

All Christianity has to give, and all it needs to give, is the myth of
the human Jesus.

All Christianity has to give, and all it needs to give, is the myth of the human Jesus. It is the story of Jesus the Jew, a human being, the incarnate son of the man: imperfect but still exemplary, a victim of the Powers yet still victorious, crushed only to rise again, in solidarity with all who are ground to dust under the jackboots of the mighty, healer of those under the power of death, lover of all who are rejected and marginalized, forgiver, liberator, exposer of the regnant cancer called "civilization"—that Jesus, the one the Powers killed and whom death could not vanquish. Jesus' is the simple story of a person who gambled his last drop of devotion on the reality of God and the coming of God's new world. In the process, he lived out, in his flesh and blood, the archetype of the son of the man, the Child of the Human One, Sophia's Child, the New Being, the Sisterchild—call it what you will—as the intimation of what that new humanity might entail. In doing so, he not only incarnated God, he changed the way people experienced God. In short, the gift of Christianity to the world, as the Hindu Gandhi saw with such lucidity, is not Christianity, but Jesus, revealer and catalyst of our true humanity.

From The Human Being: Jesus and the Enigma of the Son of Man, by Walter Wink, copyright © 2002 Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. (

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