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Re: [XTalk] Re: passion about passion

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  • Jim West
    ... I reject your notion that what NT scholars think about it is the ultimate issue. You have merely replaced the Pope with a council of folk who, in essence,
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 5, 2004
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      At 05:17 AM 3/5/04 +0000, you wrote:

      > Mel's film is an intense stimulus
      >at the moment, but what may be more important in the long run is how
      >NT scholars respond to it.

      I reject your notion that what NT scholars think about it is the ultimate
      issue. You have merely replaced the Pope with a council of folk who, in
      essence, have no more authority to decide the value or truthfulness of
      something than the Pope does. Further, NT scholars never agree on anything-
      so in the end it will come down to what value the movie has for individuals
      (and believe it or not NT scholars simply don't speak for the majority).
      Whether or not one is a christian or a jew will go a long way in
      determining, for them, how they view the film. As Bultmann suggested so
      many years ago now, there is no such thing as presuppositionless exegesis
      (of texts or movies). Your presupposition is agnosticism- but it deserves no
      more of a privileged status than you attribute to Christian faith. In
      short, I think that where we begin is where we will end up in spite of all
      our claimed gymnastics between the two points. Liz didn't like the movie
      before she saw it and she never will. Others disliked it before they saw it
      as well and nothing will sway their opinon because at heart even agnosticism
      is a belief system.

      Best

      Jim

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Dr Jim West
      Pastor, Petros Baptist Church
      http://biblical-studies.org -- Biblical Studies Resources
      http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com -- Biblical Studies Resources Weblog


      "Critics are like eunuchs. They know what is supposed to happen, but they
      can't do it themselves". Soren Kierkegaard
    • Lisbeth S. Fried
      Liz didn t like the movie before she saw it and she never will. Best Jim [LF] I never said I didn t like it. I haven t seen it. The only reason I m not
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 5, 2004
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        Liz didn't like the movie
        before she saw it and she never will. Best Jim

        [LF] I never said I didn't like it. I haven't seen it. The only reason
        I'm not going to see it because my husband doesn't want
        to, and I am not liberated enough to go to a movie by
        myself (unless he were out of town or something). Anyway,
        I have heard from Jews that it is very anti-semitic, and
        from Christians that it is not at all. I have heard from
        both that it includes 45 minutes of grautitous violence
        and that if you don't know the story, then you are clueless
        about why this person is being killed, and why this particular
        death is any different from millions of others. The movie seems
        to me to be a Rorschac ink blob, with people seeing what they
        came to see. I would go just to hear the Aramaic and to see if I can
        understand it, but my husband doesn't go to violent films.
        The temple in town shares a building with an Episcopal church
        and they are going to have a discussion moderated by Ralph WIlliams,
        so that should be interesting.
        Best,
        Liz



        +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
        Dr Jim West
        Pastor, Petros Baptist Church
        http://biblical-studies.org -- Biblical Studies Resources
        http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com -- Biblical Studies Resources Weblog


        "Critics are like eunuchs. They know what is supposed to happen, but they
        can't do it themselves". Soren Kierkegaard



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      • Mike Grondin
        ... The question is not authority, but influence. ... They don t have to, to influence public opinion. In fact, it s only because they largely DON T speak for
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 5, 2004
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          --- Jim West wrote:
          > I reject your notion that what NT scholars think about it is the
          > ultimate issue. You have merely replaced the Pope with a council
          > of folk who, in essence, have no more authority to decide the value
          > or truthfulness of something than the Pope does.

          The question is not authority, but influence.

          > Further, NT scholars never agree on anything- so in the end it
          > will come down to what value the movie has for individuals
          > (and believe it or not NT scholars simply don't speak for the
          > majority).

          They don't have to, to influence public opinion. In fact, it's only
          because they largely DON'T "speak for the majority", that they count
          as "opinion-makers". NT scholars get asked to be "talking heads" on
          TV and radio, write books, give lectures, teach classes, etc.
          Unfortunately, so do a number of popular "religious leaders" like
          Pat Robertson, who have no serious scholarly interest in the
          historical Jesus at all. All of this impacts on public opinion,
          sometimes immediate, sometimes long range. Even you - from your
          pulpit in what I imagine to be a small Baptist church - are an
          opinion-maker (or at least molder and shaper) because you are looked
          at by your congregation as an authority-figure - which means someone
          who's assumed to know what s/he's talking about.

          > Your presupposition is agnosticism-

          Actually, no. It's atheism.

          >... but it deserves no more of a privileged status than you
          > attribute to Christian faith.

          Don't you mean "no more of a privileged status than Christian faith"
          (without the 'you attribute to')? What difference does it make what
          status *I* attribute to it?

          > In short, I think that where we begin is where we will end up in
          > spite of all our claimed gymnastics between the two points. Liz
          > didn't like the movie before she saw it and she never will. Others
          > disliked it before they saw it as well and nothing will sway their
          > opinon because at heart even agnosticism is a belief system.

          "Like/not like the movie" doesn't tell us much, and what it does tell
          us may be irrelevant to our concerns, which is how one reacts to the
          message of the movie, not how one likes it *as a movie*. And it's
          not "Do I like the message or not", but "what's wrong/right about the
          message"? True, our immediate response to the film is probably pretty
          much ordained by our belief systems. But then when one reads the
          comments of others, one might get a different slant on things - not a
          basic change of beliefs, but maybe something we didn't see, or didn't
          appreciate the significance of, until we "compared notes" with other
          viewers - particularly those not of our own "faith". Too bad we don't
          have a broader representation of non-Christians here.

          Mike Grondin
          Mt. Clemens, MI
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