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coming soon to a pulpit near you

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 11, 2003

Call to Action listed the following presentation in the brochure for one of its national conferences:

Jesus Christ as Cognitive Behavioral Therapist

Patrick Brennan discusses how Jesus tried and tries to change how we think and feel, as well as how we act. Using scripture and the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, he looks at how Jesus would respond to anxiety, depression, anger, and troubled relationships. Fr. Brennan is pastor of Holy Family Parish in Inverness, Ill., in Chicago's northwest suburbs, and speaks out of the ongoing experience in that parish. He founded the National Center for Evangelization and Renewal, and teaches at Loyola U.'s Institute for Pastoral Studies. Re-Imagining the Parish is one of his many books. Fri., 3:30 PM (2.02)

Fr. Brennan's Soft Toy Messiah puts one in mind of H. Richard Niebuhr's sardonic observation on the nature of liberal Protestantism:

We want a God without wrath who took man without sin into a kingdom without justice through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.

THEN COMETH Jesus to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, and a woman of Samaria cometh to draw water, and he saith unto her, Go, call thy partner, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no partner. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no partner: For thou hast had five partners; and he whom thou now hast is a troubled relationship: in that thou spakest truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a cognitive behavioral therapist. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, and indeed now is, when Blue Cross shall no more pick up outpatient counseling, neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem. The woman saith unto him, I know that universal health care cometh; when it is come, it will pay for all things. Jesus saith unto her, greater faith than this I have not seen. Thirty shekels, please.

And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue; and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, and besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy trip on her, that she may be healed and live. And there came from the ruler's house a certain man which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the master any further? And Jesus spake unto him and said, Why callest thou me master? I've got a doctorate from Georgetown. And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but dysfunctional. And they laughed at him. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her father, Calitha tumi; that is, VISA number and expiration date, please. And they were astonished with a great astonishment, and said to one another, Who is this man, that the rulers of the earth pre-pay him?

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