Archive for the ‘Jesusanity’ Category

Darrell Bock on Paul’s Christianity

Jesus was a revolutionary leader of a Jewish reform movement against religious legalism and political oppression. Years later, Paul came around and elevated him to a god-like status. The latter is the Christianity we’ve inherited.

This is the argumentation of the day when it comes to refuting Christianity. And I believe it’s fueled by man’s hatred of the Church. This is why I detest the Emergent ideas of repainting the entire faith as if we’ve got it wrong for 2,000 years. Oh believe me, we’ve gotten many things wrong. Christians have done terrible things. And I stick by the motto “Reformed and Always Reforming.” But this doesn’t suggest we’ve been duped all along. The fundamentals have stayed the same. Jesus claimed he was Lord and exalted Himself. Paul wasn’t giving anything new, just elaborating on established truth given to him by Jesus Himself.

Continuing in the stream of a previous post, here’s what Darrell Bock recently said about the Jesus-Paul connection in a recent interview with John Dickson:

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Doubting the Gospel of Thomas

Based upon the comments from a previous post about the Gnostic gospels, and Judas in particular, I’d like to consider the validity of the Gospel of Thomas.

One thing that I find fascinating about the product of Jesusanity studies is how quick people are to discount scores and years of evidence in support of traditional Christian views in order to accept new theories based on flaky and minute evidence. This is something that is addressed in Gary Habermas’ debate with Kenneth Humphreys on the resurrection, as in other debates.

I have found the same in conversing with friends. One such friend of mine actually teaches Sunday School at his Catholic parish, yet doesn’t believe the Bible at all. In fact, he denies the traditional Christian view of Jesus. When we talked about this, I could sense an influence of Ehrman, Crosson, Borg, and other Jesusanity scholars. Now, it’s not that their information is to be completely discounted either. But the sad fact is that even those within the realm of Christendom seem more energetic to believe one side of the story and take for granted that what the Church has told them for centuries is simply fable. To be fair, we must examine both sides.The side of Jesusanity uses the Gospel of Thomas as a key in understanding an alternative view of Christianity. Is it a credible source on which a new theory could be based? I doubt it.

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Do the Gnostic Gospels Present a Credible Alternative?

Leading Jesusanity scholar Bart Ehrman would like us to believe that the views expressed in the Gnostic gospels expose Christianity’s diverse roots, and that the reason modern mainstream Christianity appears more united in thought is simply because one system prevailed over the rest. Ehrman said, “one of the competing groups in Christianity succeeded in overwhelming all the others.” This is the Jesusanity’s take on Christian history.

Jesusanity is defined in Dethroning Jesus by Darrell Bock and Dan Wallace:

“(Jesusanity is) an ideology advocated in universities and in the media which depicts Jesus of Nazareth as a first-century political radical, and advocate for social justice, and a prophet of mystic wisdom. It explicitly denies any historical basis to the Jesus of faith and the creeds.”

This is the view being promoted, to a greater or lesser extent, by Bishop Spong, John Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg, Elaine Pagels, and the Jesus Seminar. As such, it is not a friend to true Christianity. Christians need to be aware of this mentality, for it underlies much of what is being sold as a scholarly and honest look at Christian origins. Many people are being tricked into believing that the views presented by Jesusanity are more credible than those beliefs to which Christians subscribed for centuries. As more books hit the shelves, and movies such as “Angels and Demons” (based on the novel by Dan Brown, of the Da Vinci Code fame), are in the works, we must confront these challenges. One such challenge is the place of the Gnostic gospels. Do they really give us a look into what could be a credible alternative to traditional Christianity?

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