Jesus Christ: the source, center, and goal of all truth, freedom, love, and vitality
Each and every person: 100% Tufluvian personality (image of God)
First circle (closest to center): radiant witness
First ring: outstanding: Christian (1)
Second ring: excellent: Non-Christian (2)
Second circle: satisfactory witness
First ring: helpful: Christian (3)
Second ring: tolerable: Non-Christian (4)
Third circle: unsatisfactory witness
First ring: mediocre: Non-Christian (5)
Second ring: disappointing: Christian (6)
Fourth circle: dreary witness
First ring: disastrous: Non-Christian (7)
Second ring: catastrophic: Christian (8)
0% Tufluvian/100% Olympian
Six false gods, defeated and doomed to destruction, shadowy parodies of Jesus Christ
The theology behind the spectrum
Jesus as center
We begin (as well we should) with Jesus Christ as the source, center, and goal of all life. Imagine the chart we are going to construct (in our minds) as being formed by concentric circles around a center. Jesus is this center.
False gods as margin
If there is a center to our chart and Jesus Christ is that center, there is also a margin to our chart and we find there the six false Olympian gods still absurdly worshiped in our world: (1) Jupiter, god of politics; (2) Mars, god of war; (3) Vulcan, god of technology; (4) Venus, goddess of sex; (5) Pluto, god of money, and (6) Bacchus, god of consumption. Jesus Christ is the source, center, and goal of life. These six dreary gods are nothing at all of the sort. They are only annoying parodies of Jesus who continue to persist in their own peculiar insubstantial way as spiritual parasites by sucking energy from us.
The tufluvian personality of each and every person
With his resurrection, Jesus restored within each and every one of us the image of God we all had lost with the sin of Adam and Eve. There are four qualities to God’s core identity: truth, freedom, love, and vitality. Our new word, tufluv, is derived from the first letters of each of these words. We may say that God’s core identity, as he has chosen to reveal it to us especially in Jesus Christ, is tufluvian. The restored image of God in each and every person is our own tufluvian personality; that is, a core identity structured in tufluvian terms. With his resurrection, Jesus Christ has enabled each and every person to participate in a tufluvian relationship with God, one another, and God’s good creation.
The Olympian personality of each and every person
With his crucifixion, Jesus doomed to destruction the old rebellious image of the gods we had all suffered since the sin of Adam and Eve. There are four characteristics to the core identity of these gods: falsehood, slavery, indifference, and death. We refer to these gods and the human personality formed in their image as Olympian because the ancient Romans, who also worshiped them, believed them to live on Mount Olympus. With his crucifixion, Jesus Christ has freed us from our enslavement to the Olympian gods and our false human personality formed in their image.
One person, two personalities
We could also say one person, two souls struggling for expression. With the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, each and every human has two personalities or souls. One is 100% tufluvian; that is, made in the image of God. The other is 100% Olympian; that is, made in the false image of false gods. This is objectively true of all persons whether they know it or believe it.
Tufluvian or Olympian witness: a question of proportion
In good Chalcedonian fashion, we rightly affirm that each and every person is both 100% tufluvian and 100% Olympian; or again, both fully righteous and fully sinful. But each day, at any given moment, we express either our 100% tufluvian personality and witness to Jesus or our 100% Olympian personality and witness to the gods. To use weather as an analogy, each day might be light and warm as we share Christ’s truth and love with others. Or it might be dark and cold as we witness to the falsehood and indifference of the gods. To use climate as an analogy, we might average our daily words and acts over a season or year. While on some days we might have lived as radiant witnesses to Jesus Christ, perhaps on most days we lived as dreary witnesses to the Olympian gods. It’s a question of proportion. Our goal as Christians is to decrease our Olympian witness to the gods as we increase our tufluvian witness to Jesus.
Concentric circles around the center
The center: Jesus Christ
First circle If our witness has been 75-100% tufluvian, then we have been shining in the first circle, the circle closest to Jesus, as radiant witnesses to him. If we identify as Christians, then our intentional witness to Jesus has been outstanding. If we identify as non-Christians, as Jews for instance, then our witness to Jesus has nonetheless been excellent and only less bright than that of radiant Christians because our witness to Jesus Christ has been unintentional.
Second circle We find ourselves in this circle, whether Christian or not, if we witness to Christ 50-75% of the time. Again, Christians would find themselves in the first ring of this circle, shining a bit more helpfully, only because their witness refers explicitly to Jesus Christ at the center.
Third circle This is the first circle where our witness to Christ, on any given day or for any given season, is less than our witness to the gods. Here our witness varies from 50-25% to Jesus and increases from 50-75% in favor of the gods. In the first two circles, Christians shine more brightly than non-Christians because they explicitly point toward Jesus. In the third and fourth circles, Christians make poorer witnesses to Christ than non-Christians. This is because, while claiming to be Christians, they are witnessing more clearly to the Olympian gods. This discredits Jesus Christ in the eyes of others and serves only to strengthen their Olympian personalities.
Fourth circle This circle is the farthest from the center where Jesus is and closest to the margin where the false gods are. If we are here, where no more than 25% of our witness is to Jesus, than we are dreary witnesses: dark, cold, and drizzling. Non-Christian witness to Christ here is disastrous enough. Christian witness in the second ring of this circle, the eighth overall, is right on the boundary with the gods. Its inglorious reflection on the name of Jesus Christ has catastrophic effects.
The margin: the six false gods
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