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Re: Jesus Seminar Bias Revealed

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  • Antonio Jerez
    ... I don t think Tom is that mistaken. Funk and Crossan may not be priests or ministers any more but they are still Christian preachers. Nowadays they prech
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 7, 1998
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      >Tom Simms wrote:
      >> If I am not mistaken, nearly ALL of the JS members are "profess-
      >> ionally religious". There's the bias!

      Mahlon replied:

      >You ARE mistaken, Tom. Both Funk & Crossan were once-upon-a-time. But
      >both handed in their ordinations decades ago. The number of currently
      >ordained Fellows of the JS is actually less than 30%.

      I don't think Tom is that mistaken. Funk and Crossan may not
      be priests or ministers any more but they are still Christian preachers.
      Nowadays they prech their particular brand of Christianity outside
      the Church pulpit, mostly in books and articles. Funk's recent book
      "Honest to Jesus" is a good showcase.

      >I admit that I am one of them, but that fact does not affect my
      >historical reasoning & voting any more than it affects my lecturing for
      >the past 29 years in an officially a-religious American state
      >university, which saw fit to give me tenure through the normal peer &
      >administrative review process. This university, not my bishop, pays my
      >salary & 60% of my pension. My church contributes not a sou to support
      >me & my family. Therefore, professionally speaking, I am as secular as
      >they come.

      But if I have not misunderstood Mahlon he still preaches from
      time to time in Church.


      >Crossan's bias, if any, is towards a totally secular Jesus who had very
      >little to do with the Christ of the the church's creeds or liturgical
      >practice. Crossan's Christ is not literally the son of God. He was
      >neither born of a virgin nor resurrected bodily from the dead. He was
      >not even buried. He was not a rabbi & he was openly critical of the
      >Torah & temple cult. He was a social subversive who deliberately
      >associated with irreligious types & had a greater affinity to the
      >cynics, the Hellenistic hippies who made a career of scorning all social
      >convention including things religious. He did not regard himself as
      >God's messiah or prophet or a religious mediator of any kind but
      >encouraged everybody to regard themselves as directly empowered by God.
      >He sought vainly to counter the adulation of his disciples & most
      >importantly he did not authorize any of them to found the Christian
      >church. Crossan's Jesus is in fact less religious that Reimarus', who is
      >responsible for distinguishing Jesus from church doctrine in the first
      >place. And many of us in the JS share Crossan's perspective to enough
      >degree that many conservative Christians openly accuse us of being
      >anti-religious & agents of Satan.

      The problem with Crossan's "totally secular" Jesus is that
      he most probably doesn't have anything whatsoever to do
      with neither the Christ of faith nor the historical Jesus. By "totally
      secular" you must mean a Jesus that fits hand in glove with what
      Crossan and other likeminded secular Christians want and need.
      Most of Crossan's "Creed" is nonsense from a historical perspective.
      His is the kind of Jesus that may give strength and comfort to him,
      but doesn't explain a thing about how Christianity came about. I
      honestly don't know why people like Crossan have to create their
      own cardboard gurus to hang up their own ideology on. The more
      honest thing would be to stand for your ideas and worldview yourself
      without recoursing to invented "jewish" gurus from 2000 years ago.

      If Crossans "Creed" is anything to go by Jesus must have been
      the first religious founder who didn't have any selfconciousness
      or sense of his importance whatsoever. He must also have had
      a penchant for choosing only idiots as his disciples - people who
      would be sure to never understand a word of what he said and
      never follow his instructions.

      Best wishes

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