We don’t need another ‘not’

James E. Brenneman’s argument for ­being Jesus-centered rather than Christ-centered (“There’s just something about that name,” Feb. 11) makes several misstatements. For instance, there was nothing at all “natural” about Jesus’ earliest followers declaring him divine. There were scores of teachers, philosophers, rabbis and prophets in that culture, and few, if any, were believed to be the embodiment of ultimate reality as Jesus was.

Brenneman writes that “to separate the Jesus of history from the cosmic Christ has negative implications.” Yet he proceeds to do just that. If he thinks the cosmic Christ, as distinct from the human Jesus, can’t appeal to spiritual-but-not-­religious young people, then why does Catholic writer Richard Rohr attract so many with his appeal to the cosmic Christ?

The last thing the church needs is another mode of saying “not”: “not your Christ, my Jesus”; “not your wrongness, my rightness”; “not you, me.”

David Rensberger, Decatur, Ga.

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