Thinking Christian

Thinking Christianity for church, home, and community

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ and Mr. Spock

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

I’m geeky enough to have been a fan of Star Trek most of my life, and I’m seriously saddened by Leonard Nimoy’s death last week. So was the famous Jesus mythicist Robert Price, who wrote a eulogy, The Second Death of Mr. Spock.

“Anyone remotely familiar with the Star Trek episodes and movies,” he says, “knows that Mr. Spock was a Christ figure.” The tenor of his piece is reflected by a comment left there by “BiologicalBert”, which reads in part, “I wonder if …

 

Was Jesus Wrong About the Time of His Return?

Friday, February 27th, 2015

This is just a short snippet out of a larger discussion, but I thought it might be worth including here anyway. In Luke 21:20-28, Jesus speaks of the end times. As I was reading it just now, it almost seemed in the first four of those verses as if Jesus was speaking of the fall of Jerusalem as the end of all things, “to fulfill all that is written.”

If that was what Jesus meant, he was centuries (at least!) wrong about the time of …


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Book Review: How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test for Faith, by David Marshall

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Book Review

How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test: The Inside Story by David Marshall.

(Full disclosure: David Marshall is a friend and a contributor to True Reason, in which he wrote an early, brief form of part of the argument in How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test. This review is based on a draft David sent me before final editing, so I will not be quoting much from it.)

In the earliest days of the church there was a skeptic named Celsus whose …

 

Ehrman Errs on Jesus’ Authority To Forgive

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

I ran across this charming nugget from Bart Ehrman yesterday:

When Jesus forgives sins, he never says “I forgive you,” as God might say, but “your sins are forgiven,” which means that God has forgiven the sins. This prerogative for pronouncing sins forgiven was otherwise reserved for Jewish priests in honor of sacrifices that worshipers made at the temple.

Ehrman, Bart D. (2014-03-25). How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (p. 127). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

That’s right. Jesus merely says …

 

God With Us!

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us).

(Matthew 1:23)

I’ve just blogged again about the New Testament’s treatment of Jesus as God. This is relevant to the day; it is at the heart of the Christmas story: Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. As my favorite Christmas-and-Easter passage, Philippians 2:5-11, puts it:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in …


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Responding to Dale Tuggy on Jesus and Faith

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Did Jesus Have Faith In God?

I got a bit of pushback from Dule Tuggy, professor of philosophy at SUNY Fredonia, on my posts about Jesus and faith. Dr. Tuggy’s series on my posts begins here. His view is that although Jesus is never spoken of as having faith, nevertheless he demonstrated faith:

I’ll stick to this point: the gospels don’t need to say that Jesus had …


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The Dogmatically Self-Assured Reza Aslan

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Book Review

I’ve been doing some work recently on the theory that Jesus Christ was a legendary figure, so I thought I should read Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Plenty of other people have been reading it. It’s a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and has been named one of the year’s best books by Good Housekeeping, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Bookish, according to its Amazon web page.

I’ll say this much for it: it’s a well-crafted tale. …

 

How Jesus’ Not Having Faith In God Affirms His Deity

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Did Jesus Have Faith In God?

I was looking over my bookshelf the other day when Fulton Oursler’s The Greatest Faith Ever Known caught my eye. I’ve never read it (like too many other books I own), but I know it’s about the apostle Paul. And it got me wondering: didn’t Jesus have the greatest faith ever known?

No, he didn’t, at least not according to the …


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How real was Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross?

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

It never occurred to me, when I wrote my Touchstone article on the Jesus-legend theory, how many readers would find it hard to understand Jesus’ sacrifice as being truly genuine. Recently Andy wrote,

it is inconceivable to me how an infinite being could “sacrifice” anything – if Jesus was God allmighty, and he knew that he was, then he was never in any real danger and didn´t sacrifice anything. To “sacrifice” means to give up something valuable – but what has he …

 

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