Christology is and remains a riddle in Mark's Gospel, just as the parables are and remain a riddle, and the Gospel tout court is and remains a riddle. The riddles play with and emerge from the crisis of representation. The narrative performs the riddle of Christology and representation that involves the reader/listener, that forces the reader/listener to be alert and watchful. It is a watchfulness and alertness that has to move towards the edge of madness and paranoia, crisis, the cross and death in order that faith may arise. But the effect upon the reader/listener who participates in the riddling, in the economy of the mystery and a response to it, is the operation of a divine soteriology as it moves towards the final eschatological moment when the reader/listener who is now 'on the way' and following, meets up with the one who is returning to encounter her. Soteriology is inseparable from Christology, narratology (one's own narrative as a rereading ofJesus's narra tive) and the 'rhetoric of temporality'. Mimesis is therefore the measure of our understanding of the Christ.
The effectiveness of Christ (his Heilbedeutsamkeit, which is a central concern of Christology) can only de jure, not de facto, be distinguished from the effectiveness of the narrative of Christ. Jesus Christ and the Gospel (they are both the Word) participate in a divine creativity, in a Holy Spirit who 'drives'. But the original and generative act lies concealed and unrepresentable. In the beginning, as we saw, there is no beginning, there is only representation; and that representation expresses the eschatological and narrative desire to reveal the author who gave rise to it. Representation is promoted and produced by the absent and unrepresentable. History (of Jesus) and narrative (ofJesus) are inseparable. Their inseparability promotes discipleship, promotes training and being disciplined in the continuing representation of that which is unrepresentable. All discipleship is readership — the participation in the reading and rereading of this one man's representative life and work and teaching as it is narrated. All serious reading engages in an economy of response, and as such it is a liturgy, a prayer, sacramental.
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