Thinking Christian

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Jesus Christ

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 …

 

I don’t understand indifference toward Jesus Christ

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Of all the possible ways to think about Jesus Christ, the one that baffles me most is indifference. He is the most remarkable character in all history and literature, and for that reason alone he deserves a close look. I don’t think that’s disputable. Obviously there’s debate as to whether he’s an historical character or a fictional one. The thing is, though, either way, he stands out above all the rest.

He stands out in the eyes of the other major religions. As Craig Hazen …


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Something Different About This Philosopher

Monday, September 8th, 2014

A philosopher came through the university, explaining the purpose of life, the way to happiness, the answer to the question of immortality, and the truth about right and wrong, good and evil.

He spoke plainly. He avoided argument except over his right he speak; for he spoke on his own authority, and as if speaking for God himself: “It is true because because God says so, and I speak for God. My words are attested by the power of my works. Search the Scriptures and …

 

Jesus, Authority, and Knowledge

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Jesus Christ  came to inaugurate a new Kingdom entirely under his own authority. Inevitably this produced a clash: one does not simply claim authority as king where another is already enthroned. Jesus’ Kingdom was “not of this world,’ yet even so it got him crucified.

On the surface it sounds like a classic political power struggle. Take a closer look, though, and you’ll find that Jesus’ authority challenge was like no other. If you’ve never seen this, you’ve never understood Jesus Christ.

Authority Structures: Government, …


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