I used to spend down time during first year Greek at Harding making up alternative meanings for the WWJD acronym. Wild Women Joke Dirty was one. Wet Willies Jiggle Dangerously. Willie Wonka Jives Deliciously. I think MTR was implicated in this as well but now that it's nearly a whole screaming decade ago, my memory's a little fuzzy. Or maybe it's just that my little gray cells are already multitasking to capacity these days and have no spare energy for frivolity.
Anyhow, my mom's been blogging lately on the shortcomings of the WWJD impulse. This week as I was reviewing Tillich in preparation for Friday morning's precept I came across a lovely passage which speaks directly to the concerns my mom is expressing. Full of joy that reading old dead German guys can still be relevant to the task of theologizing today, I include the passage below:
"Imitatio Christi is often understood as the attempt to transform one's life into a copy of the life of Jesus, including the concrete traits of the biblical picture. But this contradicts the meaning of those traits as parts of his being within the picture of Jesus the Christ. These traits are supposed to make translucent the New Being, which is his being. As such, they point beyond their contingent character and are not instances to imitate. If they are used this way, they lose their transparency and become ritualistic or ascetic prescriptions. If the word "imitation" is used at all in this context, it should indicate that we, in our concreteness, are asked to participate in the New Being and to be transformed by it, not beyond, but within, the contingencies of our life." Systematic Theology II, 122-3.