Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Category

The Liberal Jesus

September 2, 2009


I see the Nazarene as intensely and overwhelmingly conscious of the reality of God. His spirit was open to God and his life a continuous response to divine love, both gracious and utterly demanding…Thus in Jesus’ presence, we should have felt that we are in the presence of God. – not in the sense that the man Jesus literally is God, but in the sense that he was so totally conscious of God that we could catch something of that consciousness by spiritual contagion.

John Hick, Myth of God Incarnate, 1977, p.172

A view that refuses to take Jesus’ own words seriously (or at least presupposes that he ‘couldn’t’ have made claims to deity for himself)


The Man of Sorrows in Plato

September 2, 2009

…the just man, the man of true simplicity of character who, as Aeschylus says, wants ‘to be and not to seem good.’ We must, indeed, not allow him to seem good, for if he does he will have all the rewards and honours paid to the man who has a reputation for justice, and and we shall not be able to tell whether his motive is love of justice or love of the rewards and honours. No, we must strip him of everything except his justice, and our picture of him must be drawn in a way diametrically opposite to that of the unjust man (i.e. who is reckoned to be just when he is really on the make). Our just man must have the worst reputations for wrongdoing even though he has done no wrong, so that we can test his justice and see if it weakens in the face of unpopularity and all that goes with it; we shall give him an undeserved and life-long reputation for wickedness, and make him stick to his chosen course until death…the just man as we have pictured him, will be scourged, tortured, and imprisoned, his eyes will be put out, and after enduring every humiliation he will be crucified.

Plato (Glaucon), The Republic, 361c-362a

Nietzsche on Jesus

September 2, 2009

Truly, too early died that Hebrew whom the preachers of slow death honour: and that he died too early has since been a fatality for many. As yet he knew only tears and the melancholy of the Hebrews, together with the hatred of the good and just – the Hebrew Jesus: then he was seized by the longing for death.

Had he but remained in the wilderness, and far from the good and just! Then, perhaps, would he have learned to live, and love the earth and laughter also!

Believe it, my brethren! He died too early; he himself would have disavowed his doctrine had he attained to my age! Noble enough was he to disavow!

But he was still immature. Immaturely loveth the youth, and immaturely also hateth he man and earth. Confined and awkward are still his soul and the wings of his spirit.

Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, XXI

Who Do you say that I am?

September 2, 2009

‘Ultimately the historians’ answer to the question about the miracles of Jesus will depend upon his answer to the prior question, what he thinks of Christ.’ (Alan Richardson)

If Jesus were a mere man, it is incredible that he should have stilled a storm or fed a multitude with a boy’s snack lunch. But if he were the incarnation of the Supreme Being…

Raymond Abba, The Nature and Authority of the Bible, p.159

Jesus and Muhammed compared

September 2, 2009

Jesus Christ was foretold, Mohammed was not. Mohammed slew, Jesus caused his followers to be slain. Mohammed forbade reading, but the apostles commanded it. In short, the difference between them is so great that if Mohammed followed the path of success, humanly speaking, Jesus followed that of death.


The Attraction of Jesus

September 2, 2009

Why is the charge of megalomania so difficult to stick on Jesus? Simply because the lifestyle of Jesus and the values he embodied strike even the most hardened sceptic as eminently sane, indeed deeply attractive…Jesus’ lifestyle of lowly, compassionate service toward the sick, vulnerable and oppressed continues to attract many people to him from diverse cultural backgrounds. This combination of an other-oriented lifestyle with self-directed claims makes Jesus utterly unique.

Vinoth Ramachandra, Recovery of Mission, p.203

Jesus – figure of controversy

September 1, 2009

Jesus of Nazareth is a controversial as well as an attractive figure. But the controversy that surrounds him is not like the controversy that surrounds other famous men and women. In the latter case, the controversy rages over the content and relevence of their teaching. So today, the debate over darwin in modern biology concerns whether or not the neo-Darwinian paradigm…is sufficient to explain the origin and behaviour of all living organisms. Gandhi is still a figure of controversy in India today: Brahmins and Dalits argue over whether Gandhi himself sanctioned the caste system, and political activists disagree as to how far his principles of non-violent resistance are applicable under regimes more brutal and repressive than the British Raj…

Not so with Jesus. The controversy that he attracts has relatively little to do with his moral teaching…

The controversy over Jesus concerns who he is. For the historic Christian claim regarding Jesus of Nazareth is that no human category…can do adequate justice to the evidence of his words and actions. No category short of deity itself is sufficient.

Vinoth Ramachandra, Revovery of Mission, p.181

Jesus our mediator

September 1, 2009

Jesus Christ is a God we can approach without pride, and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair.


What a word is to an idea, Christ is to God

September 1, 2009

What a word is to an idea, Christ is to God, that is, a revealer.

Loraine Boettner, Studies in Theology, p.145

More web pages than Madonna, more movies than James Bond

September 1, 2009

More web pages than Madonna, more movies than James Bond. The hero of the biggest selling book ever. And over a billion people say he can save the world. Not a bad record for a bloke born in a shed

blurb on A Hell of a Life, John Dickson