George wrote: "& the death of Jesus on the cross?
I am NOT playing the "If we don't believe in the floating ax
our children won't believe in the resurrection" card. But some
claims are important for Christian faith, & I believe that this one is
Hmm. My first impulse was to heartily agree. But having listened to
several lectures by Marcus Borg last week, and having read two of his
books (so far), I am hesitant to agree so readily. BTW, as far as I
understand Borg, he also believes the above, but, of course,
differentiates more than some, including me, of the "historical Jesus,"
and the "risen Christ." I would not do his thought justice to go into it
here; I do recommend his books for heady reading as he explains more of
his panentheistic viewpoints.
We speak of the historical events of scripture as "history in metaphor,"
particularly when we speak of early Genesis. As we come closer to the
events of 28-32 AD, however, we are less ready to do so. Suppose the
cross story is also "history in metaphor?" After all, it was not written
down, as far as we know, until at least two decades (or more) had passed.
That Jesus the man lived, and taught, and was a person of great
significance, is not in question. That Jesus, the risen and present
Christ, is alive and with us today may also be agreed upon. Does what
happened in between make a difference as far as one understanding and
"believing in it" literally make a difference?
I think of Bultmann, whom I wrestled with last year. He did not even
believe in the resurrection, yet I could find no reason to consider him
"not a Christian."
Once again, the difference is between "believing in the truth of a
historical statement" and "belief-in-the-sense-of-trust" (which was the
meaning of "belief" before 1600) on or in the person of God as revealed
in Jesus. The second is what is important; the first usually follows, at
least to some degree, but does not seem, to me, to have the attribute of
John Burgeson (Burgy)
(science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
humor, cars, God's intervention into natural causation, etc.)
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