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6680Re: [XTalk] Re: Honorable debate in agonistic cultures

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  • Loren Rosson
    Jun 1, 2001
      > >After all, he left the primitive church
      > >behind him.

      > I doubt very much he could have done that
      > if his debate style was as you
      > have characterized it.

      On the contrary, how else could he have won fame in
      the eyes of people and left a movement to continue
      where he left off?

      > I'm simply distinguishing between the
      > particulars of
      > history and the generals of social science.
      > Painting a
      > broad brush, we might say that historians address
      > the uniqueness of Jesus, while social
      > scientists look for the commonalities
      > shared in all ancient Mediterranean
      > societies. Both questions are equally
      > legitimate.

      > So it sounds to me like your approach to the
      > historical Jesus is to project
      > the normative tendencies of his time, place and
      > culture onto him, and
      > reject anything that doesn't fit that picture. This
      > is actually very close
      > to the modus operandi of the Jesus Seminar.

      No, the Jesus Seminar does the opposite. They -- and
      please regard "they" as a lazy convenience here,
      meaning the collective "they" as represented by the
      "Five Gospels" and "Acts of Jesus" -- certainly have
      no use for seeing Jesus as fitting into the normative
      tendencies of his time, far less with the agonistic
      style of debate. For them, anything cutting AGAINST
      the norm is what comes out "red".

      > You did offer a set
      > of 10 pericopes that you
      > carefully chose to make your point,
      > but even in those, as Hudson Barton
      > pointed out, don't support your
      > point very well,

      I think they support them quite well.

      > and was in fact more
      > counter-cultural than you are willing to admit.

      Bob, if you have understood me to be saying that Jesus
      was not radical or countercultural you haven't been
      paying attention. Those 10 case studies show Jesus to
      be very subversive: he attacks purity; he forbids
      divorce; he thinks taxation is immoral but doesn't
      even condone sedition in the process (doubly
      revolutionary, on this point); he believes that
      forgiveness can be effected outside appropriate temple
      channels. Hello!! That's not a John Doe we're looking
      at. All I'm saying is that he confronted his foes like
      anyone else in his place would have had to, in order
      to be taken seriously. (Is this really so hard to

      If you really believe that I've looked down into that
      Schweitzerian well to see myself in Jesus, I can only
      scratch my head. The agonistic style of debate is as
      foreign to my own upbringing as it is to many people
      in the West.

      That's all for now -- I have to leave town for the
      day, but I will get back with some more comments,
      particularly with respect to the "love your enemies"
      saying. It might be worth opening a thread on that one


      Loren Rosson III
      Nashua NH

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