The nominal Christian, then, will see Jesus as a name, a
representative, a symbol, a personification, a prototype, a
figure, a model, an exemplar for something else. The nominal
Christian pays homage to something about Jesus, rather than
worshipping the man himself. For this reason, nominal
Christians will extol the moral teachings of Jesus, the faith
of Jesus, the personality of Jesus, the compassion of Jesus,
the world view of Jesus, the self-understanding of Jesus, etc.
None of these worships Jesus as the Christ, but only something
about him, something peripheral to the actual flesh-and-blood
This is why when the almighty God came into the world in
Jesus, he came as the lowest of the low, as weakness itself,
as a complete and utter nothing, in order that men would be
forced into the crucial decision about him alone and would not
be able to worship anything about him.
... Robert L. Short (b.1932), The Parables of Peanuts, pp. 172-173