Sunday, 8 May 2011

Pleasing God by describing him

James McGrath has a post up in which he tries to briefly explain what Christianity means to him. I doubt it'll get him a rapture-pass on the 21st, when the Campingites are due to blast off (or perhaps drift up) into the stratosphere, but I'd be prepared to mumble a quiet 'amen' - especially to the two "I suspect" statements below.
...I suspect that one reason why, as human beings, we have historically focused so much attention on trying to please God by describing him accurately is that, however difficult that may be to do, it is still less demanding of us than loving our enemies, feeding the hungry, and setting the captives free... I suspect that it may be more Christian to actually follow in practice a Jesus we do not completely understand, than to get as close as possible to understanding a Jesus we don't really follow. 
James is currently going through mythicist Earl Doherty's Jesus: Neither God nor Man and subjecting it to a scholarly once-over. I'm not aware that this has been done before (excluding, of course, the ravings of knee-jerk apologists), so it's worth keeping tabs on.


  1. Yes, the mythicists vs. the historicists. Seems to go on forever, doesn't it?

    To me, it's real simple, Jesus is a scriptural construct. Instead of "fulfilling" scripture, Jesus is those same scriptures he supposedly fulfilled, personified.

    How Jesus got from a personification of scripture to a real person is anyone's guess but my guess is Paul.

  2. Paul is just the personification of the Walrus.

    Goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob.