COME AGAIN? THE FUTURE OF JESUS
Parts I and V of The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions provided us (in just 24 pages and 23 pages respectively) with an eye-opening introduction to just how differently two reputable New Testament scholars can regard the significant person of Jesus of Nazareth. Wright concludes in Part V (Was Jesus God?) that:
If you start with the God of the Exodus, of Isaiah, of creation and covenant, and of the psalms, and ask what God might look like were he to become human, you will find that he might look very much like Jesus of Nazareth, and perhaps never more so than when he dies on a Roman cross.Borg on the other hand says that many of the pronouncements about Jesus in the gospels should be taken as metaphors, 'as exclamations, not doctrines', while nevertheless agreeing that the New Testament contains a usefully 'compact christological crystallization': "Jesus is the image of the invisible God." He goes on:
Jesus as icon and image of God not only shows us what God is like but also mediates the sacred.There is more, much more, to be gleaned from these two authors and in the new year we will return to them. We might, for example, focus on Part VII which tentatively discusses the so-called 'Second Coming' or on the final and substantial Part VIII (47 pages) on 'Jesus and the Christian Life'. Wherever we are coming from - or for that matter heading for - there should be much to chew over in these final chapters. (It is recommended that anyone coming to the book for the first time should at least skim chapters 1 and 2 (Part I) to get an idea of the authors' respective takes on biblical interpretation.)
Dates for early 2015 are not yet set. Depending on the availability of speakers this next discussion may take place in February or March. In January we take a break to gather ourselves.
On April 12th we shall be delighted to welcome Geoffrey Durham, once better known as a magician but now promoting the cause of Quakerism.