Jesus was a Dirty, Dirty God

Johnnie Moore is the author of Dirty God (#DirtyGod). He is a professor of religion and vice president at Liberty University. Keep track of him @johnnieM .

Johnnie thinks that Jesus was a lot more like you than you think, and a lot less clean cut than this iconic image of him that floats around culture.

He thinks that despite the Christian belief that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, Jesus was a rather dirty God.

Matt Steen and I discuss the book and the concept in this short video.

dirty dirty god

Watch Jesus was a Dirty, Dirty God now…

From the CNN article:

Jesus was a lot more like you than you think, and a lot less clean cut than this iconic image of him that floats around culture.

You know the image. It’s the one where Jesus is walking like he’s floating in robes of pristine white followed by birds singing some holy little ditty. He’s polished, manicured, and clearly – God.

But despite the Christian belief that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, Jesus was a rather dirty God.

He was the “earthly” son of a carpenter, and life in the first-century was both more lurid and unfinished than our collective religious memory seems to recall.

To that end, I suggested recently to several astounded colleagues of mine that Jesus actually had to go to the bathroom, perhaps even on the side of the road between Capernaum and Jerusalem.

What tipped them over the edge was when I insinuated that Jesus, like almost every other human being living in the rural world in that time, might have even had dysentery on an occasion or two.

Someone said, “You mean that Jesus might have had severe diarrhea?”

“Yep,” I replied, “That’s exactly what I mean.”

It seems like an obvious statement if you believe that Jesus was “fully God” and “fully man” (as most evangelicals believe and call the Incarnation), but to some of us it seems in the least, inappropriate, and at the most, sacrilege, to imagine Jesus in this way. We might believe that God was also man, but we picture him with an ever-present halo over his head.

But, actually, the Jesus of the Bible was more human than most people are conditioned to think.

I call this the dirty side of Jesus. He was grittier, and a lot more like us than maybe we believe, and that’s one of the reasons why so many thousands of people followed him so quickly.

They could relate to him.

 

4 Comments

  • joshgaudreau January 16, 2013 Reply

    That used to be one of my favourite things to say to my friends: “Jesus pooped.” They never seemed shocked by it, but reacted more like “oh yeah, that’s true.” But then again, they’re not biblical academics like Moore’s colleague.

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  • Sam Shultz January 22, 2014 Reply

    I think it was Alan Hirsch who said once at Exponential, something to the effect of… “Our image of Jesus is distorted. He wasn’t passive, glowing, and well-manicured. He didn’t avoid conflict and try to please everyone. He wasn’t blonde, blue-eyed, bearded-lady Jesus. If he was, nobody would have been bothered enough by him to crucify him. No, Jesus irritated people, he pushed against the norm, and was enough of a thorn in people’s lives, namely the religious people, that they were angered enough by him to wrongfully accuse him, put him through a bogus trial, and kill him. Would anybody kill your Jesus?” I thought Alan’s take on Jesus was refreshing. I’m sure others got a little squirmy!

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