From: Michael Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Dec 27 2002 - 17:42:27 EST
I have recently re-read ELM's The secularisation of Chritianity written in
response to Honest to God in 1965. It is equally valid for extreme liberal
theollgy today. A wonderful read.
I must read my copy of his Christian Tehology and Natural Science.
I think Bultmann conned us over the 3 decker universe, as I am sure that
Paull and Luke definitely did not accept and were typical greeks accepting a
spherical earth etc. I am not sure about other writers of the NT.
Anyway I think we can dismiss Bultmann's theolgy as he most problably did
not accept Plate Tectonics as thsi came in about the time he died!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert Schneider" <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, December 24, 2002 9:53 PM
Subject: A Bit of Christmas Levity
> Some of you may be familiar with Dr. Eric L. Mascall's Gifford Lectures
> other serious writings on theology. This Anglican Thomist also from time
> time indulged in the writing of theological doggeral, composed, he
> confessed, while in the bath ("let the Freudians do their worst with this
> damaging admission"). One of the contemporary theologians (for him) he
> enjoyed skewering was Rudolf Bultmann. Bultmann, as you probably know, a
> towering figure in European liberal theology, argued that we need to
> the proclamation of the gospel (the "kergyma") from the mythological
> world-view it was clothed in, and speak it in the context of the modern
> scientific outlook, with the aid of a Christian existentialist philosophy.
> Following the publication of Bultmann's _Kergyma and Myth_, Mascall wrote
> duo of pieces called "Christmas with the Demythologizers." Here they are,
> in part (dated in the late fifties):
> Hark, the herald angels sing:
> "Bultmann is the latest thing!"
> (Or they would if he had not
> Demythologized the lot.)
> Joyfull, all ye nations, rise,
> Glad to existentialize!
> Peace on earth and mercy mild,
> God and Science reconciled.
> Lo, the ancient myths disperse,
> Hence, three-storied universe!
> Let three-decker pulpits stay:
> Bultmann has a lot to say,
> Since Kerygma still survives
> When the myths have lost their lives,
> Hark, the herald angels sing:
> "Bultmann shot us on the wing!"...
> Let us with a gladsome mind
> Leave the ancient world behind.
> Modern man, rejoice with us!
> We have read Copernicus.
> While the herald angels sing:
> "Bultman ist ein gutes Ding!"
> We respond in simple trust:
> "Demythologize or bust!"
> (_Kerygma and Myth: A Theological Debate_. By Rudolf Bultmann, Ernst
> Lohmeyer, Julius Schniewind, Friedrich Schumann and Helmut Thielicke, with
> an appreciation by Austin Farrar. SPCK, 1953. See also Bultmann's _Jesus
> Christ and Mythology_.)
> (Air: 'Good King Wenceslas')
> Dr. Bultmann ventured forth
> Boldly from his study,
> When the wind was in the north
> And the roads were muddy.
> All his thoughts were in a maze;
> This was not surprising.
> He had spent some weary days
> "Hither, pupil, strain they sight
> If thou canst, descrying
> Yonder folk who shove and fight--
> What can they be buying?"
> "Sir, 'tis card with scraps of verse,
> Pictured with a fable:
> Shepherds and astrologers
> Kneeling in a stable."
> "Bring my writings, if you please,
> In the last editions.
> Du und ich we'll stifle these
> Outworn superstitions."
> Sage and pupil forth they go,
> Braving every stigma,
> Shedding myths like billy-o*,
> Clinging to kerygma.
> "Sir, my thoughts begin to stray
> And my faith grows bleaker.
> Since I threw my myths away
> My kerygma's weaker."
> "Think on Heidegger, my lad,
> That pellucid Teuton;
> Than you won't feel half so bad
> When they talk of Newton."
> Existentially he thought,
> As his master hinted.
> All the learned works he bought
> Which the sage had printed.
> Therefore, folk, when science sends
> Doubts and fears depressing,
> Demythologize your friends--
> Then you'll win their blessing.
> [*many ancient authorities read "flakes of snow"]
> A joyous Christmas, complete with shepherds and astrologers, be with you
> all. And God bless us, every one!
> Bob Schneider
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