I’ll get to the details later in the post but here’s the challenge:
Read 12 short pages of the introduction to John A.T. Robinson’s book, Redating the New Testament. You can read it on-line or even download the PDF file. As you read it, remember that Bishop Robinson is a liberal who denies the resurrection and teaches that the only God is the one within you.
I received an email from John Dominic Crossan earlier this month. I had told him that as a conservative Christian who lives in his town, I’d like to meet him and possible do an interview. He asked me to contact him again as soon as he was in the United States. I was challenged by a Jesus Seminar fan to actually read a Crossan book cover to cover because he thinks I am misrepresenting the claims of the Jesus Seminar in my video, The Real Jesus.
So I plan to try to meet with Crossan as soon as I read more of his book, The Historical Jesus, or at least the parts in question.
It’s going to be a hard read because Crossan automatically presupposes the validity of the source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism (and all the malarkey of the Higher Critics). He assumes the reader agrees with his liberalism and begins from there never bothering to defend his presuppositions.
He does so with a great air of intellectual authority.
“Listen to me, I am smarter than you.”
And surely he is.
“I am the expert. Listen to me.”
And many people do.
I’ve skim read the outline of the chapters and my first impression is that the first half of the book, which is essentially a historical-cultural thesis on the life and times of Jesus, looks irrelevant because he begins with certain presuppositions that I reject from the outset. “Jesus was a mere man, certainly not fully God and fully man.” Then he goes so far to left field with it that I can’t take anything else he writes seriously.
He is the expert in aerospace technology writing a book trying to convince me, a mere English major, why the Martian army will never be advanced enough to invade the earth. I am out plussed to try and refute him! I am a mere B.A. to his multiple Ph.D.s and fellowships.
I also read the introduction to the J.A.T. Robinson book today. He is a liberal who is actually worth reading. He points out to his fellow liberals that since form criticism and redaction criticism is based on source criticism, all one has to do is remove the shaky foundation from the source critic’s milieu and all the massive tomes of liberal criticism written in the past 150 years will appear to be floating on thin air.
Pair this with the fact that even most liberal critics do not take the Jesus Seminar seriously and you have a good picture of me, the proverbial eunuch at an orgy. I can’t get off on Crossan’s thesis not because I lack the mental capacity. I simply lack his grid. And I am glad of that!
Liberal criticism is an argument based on nothing. It’s conjecture on conjecture. And the Jesus Seminar is worse. And just where does that leave the Jesus-as-Myth position?
Nevertheless, if you are a Jesus Mythist, here is my challenge to you. Read 12 short pages of the introduction to Bishop Robinson’s book. Understand that this is a liberal who does NOT believe in the resurrection of Jesus. He was a mere man in Robinson’s eyes. “The only God is the God within you.” So he’s basically on your page.
He’s coming from a completely objective perspective. Yet he discovers that the liberal view of late dates for New Testament writings — 40 to 100 years after Jesus lived — are just a load of hoo-ha after all.
I find it fascinating that a liberal critic with nothing to prove came to all the same conclusions I’ve come to.
I challenge you. Read just 12 pages. In essence he writes that everything conservatives about the authenticity and reliability of New Testament scripture is completely valid and irrefutable. In fact, he “out-conservatives” us!
Any non-believing objective historian looking at the data would come to the same conclusion.
“One of the oddest facts about the New Testament is that what on any showing would appear to be the single most datable and climactic event of the period – the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, and with it the collapse of institutional Judaism based on the temple – is never once mentioned as a past fact.” – John A.T. Robinson
You can get a free on-line copy here:
P.S. I will still try to meet with Crossan only because I think relationships, not only ideas, are the basis for the kingdom of God.
«- Two Questions for the Jesus Mythists
- Real Jesus
-» Questions from Anne Rice author of Christ the Lord, Out of Egypt
Your comments are welcome!
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
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