Sunday, March 23, 2008

Indeed, from others.

Followup to my picture post from early this morning. Here are some other thoughts that were shared on this Easter day.

Pastor David Kerr had a better picture.

America Needs Fatima talked about the resurrection, and Thomas' reaction to it.

However, the resurrection is embarassing to some, including some churches. Red Stick Rant links to the Midwest Conversative Journal, which links to a Toronto Globe and Mail article:

That triumphal barnburner of an Easter hymn, Jesus Christ Has Risen Today – Hallelujah, this morning will rock the walls of Toronto's West Hill United Church as it will in most Christian churches across the country.

But at West Hill on the faith's holiest day, it will be done with a huge difference. The words “Jesus Christ” will be excised from what the congregation sings and replaced with “Glorious hope.”

Thus, it will be hope that is declared to be resurrected – an expression of renewal of optimism and the human spirit – but not Jesus, contrary to Christianity's central tenet about the return to life on Easter morning of the crucified divine son of God.

And the reason for this?

[Rev. Gretta] Vosper has written a book, published this week – With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe – in which she argues that the Christian church, in the form in which it exists today, has outlived its viability and either it sheds its no-longer credible myths, doctrines and dogmas, or it's toast....

Ms. Vosper does not want to dress up the theological detritus – her words – of the past two millennia with new language in the hope of making it more palatable. She wants to get rid of it, and build on its ashes a new spiritual movement that will have relevance in a tight-knit global world under threat of human destruction.

She says there's been virtually a consensus among scholars for the past 30 years that the Bible is not some divine emanation – or in Ms. Vosper acronym, TAWOGFAT, The Authoritative Word of God For All Time – but a human project filled with contradictions and the conflicting worldviews and political perspectives of its authors.

And yet, she says, the liberal Christian churches, including her own, won't acknowledge that it is a human project, that it's wrong in parts and that, in the 21st century, it's no more useful as a spiritual and religious guide than a number of other books.

But if this is your attitude, why celebrate Easter at all? Are you not simply perpetuating your so-called myth and causing people to fall away from the works-righteousness that you espouse?

So for a dose of orthodoxy I fled to...Tony Pierce. Yes, Tony Pierce, who has assembled an interesting post based upon the top five images for "Jesus" in a Google image search. Google searchers view Jesus as transcendent, or black, or meek. It's obvious that our human comprehension of Jesus Christ is very limited. (Regarding the whole black Jesus/white Jesus thing, I'm convinced that Jesus looked like Yasser Arafat. End of story.)

Gawker noted that John McLaughlin turned the McLaughlin Group toward reflections on Jesus Himself. For McLaughlin, Pat Buchanan, and the others, ISSUE ONE (or two, or three - dunno) was the question "Would Jesus support the death penalty?"

And KCHBlog discusses doubt, including the doubt of the disciples themselves.

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