A “personal relationship with Jesus” – what’s that all about? If it’s equivalent to “faith in Jesus Christ”, fine. But it’s not, is it? It’s a shibboleth that inflates to an unmediated experience of walking and talking with an invisible person, of spending quality time together, and if it doesn’t work out, well, “Down, dooby do, down down”. In fact, with Luther and Barth, having a “personal relationship with Jesus” could be said to be the opposite of faith, a theologia gloriae, faith being unanchorable in psychology, not a feeling but a self-negation, sub specie crucis. The phrase itself is hardly biblical; indeed it is quite zeitgeisty, religious coinage in our being-in-a-relationship economy. Indeed, talking with people about their “personal relationship with Jesus”, I invariably conclude that they are in the realm of projection and fantasy. There. I guess that makes me a sad, if not bad, Christian.