In response to this thread, I've tried to communicate something that I've been stewing on for several years. I think I am closer to arriving at a thesis. My thanks to Krista Dalton and Larry Behrendt for giving me the necessary fodder:
Christians are (and have been for some time) in the business of self-crucifying. Indeed, we are at our best (and perhaps that's not saying much) when we find our identity in cruciformity. We are at our worst when we attempt to stand above culture and condemn it. We can find both elements of "Christlike-ness" in the NT. To my mind, only one of these is worthwhile.
Given that we (Xns) are in the business of self-crucifying, we have a tendency to identify as the religious establishment. We are analogous (so the story goes) with the Pharisees and Temple establishment and Roman persecutors. Indeed, the caricatures that we've created for these historical figures are projections of our worst selves.
By identifying with these caricatures, we find ourselves in need of healing, condemnation, etc. I think that there might be virtue, for example, for American Christians to realize that we look much more like Rome than the society Jesus hopes for when he preaches the Sermon on the Mount.
The lamentable byproduct of these caricatures is that we Xns have sinned against the historical figures represented by these narratives. Rome becomes an anti-Christ (when we know it was more complicated than this) and "the Jews" become unfeeling elitists who resist grace (when we know that this isn't true).
In short, by writing ourselves into the NT as the "unbelieving" and "hard hearted", we Christians have unwittingly created ancient Judaism in our own images.
This is not to forget that we Xns have historically condemned Judaism on other grounds. I only speak from my experience as character within the narratives of my generation.