I recently read John (Jack) D. Caputo’s, Philosophy and Theology. It lead me to order his new book, What Would Jesus Deconstruct? Too many fail to grasp the benefit of deconstruction. The fear of reduction to the absurd leading to a nihilism is an adventure in missing the point according to Jack.
If James challenges us to look into a mirror where we find challenge to live into the way of Jesus, this is really a call to deconstruct ourselves. We need to experience the challenge of what Tim Keller refers to as our religiosity, irreligiosity and our righteousness. In this way every time we face Jesus we enter into a narrative that informs, decontructs and orders a new creation in us.
James K.A. Smith, author of Whose Afraid of Postmodernism? and editor of the series “The Church and Postmodern Culture, caught my attention in his introduction to Caputo’s book. He wrote,
His (Caputo’s) vocation is to be first and foremost a conduit and witness: he wants nothing less than to confront us with a Jesus who resists all our domestications. In and through humor that will have you laughing out loud, Caputo is dead serious. Here is a book in the tradition of John the Baptist, out to make a way for a Messiah who, when he shows up, will ruin all our parties. And so Caputo invites us to ask: What would happen if Jesus showed up in Colorado Spring? Or slowly made his way down the aisle on “Justice Sunday” in Kansas? What would Jesus deconstruct if he was sitting across from Al Mohler on Larry King Live? What would Jesus deconstruct if he made an appearance at the denominational offices of the Southern Baptist Convention, or on the other end, the Episcopal Church in the USA? And for that matter, what would Jesus deconstruct if he showed up in our comfy coffee-house “congregations” while we listen to jazz vespers? It is a sign of the vitality of a book that Caputo leaves us with a question that’s still alive when we finish: it is a haunting, prophetic question. And he convinces us that we will best serve Jesus’ coming kingdom by never ceasing to ask the question. (p.17, bold emphasis is mine)