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Are They Christ Killers?

June 25, 2008

My friend Robert wrote an interesting post yesterday titled, “Christ-killers and Time-machines and blood sacrifice…oh my!” Speaking to the label ascribed to Jewish people as “Christ Killers”, he asks a couple intriguing questions and I wanted to pass it on to you all and encourage you to go over and get involved with the discussion, yes? Awesome!

Here’s a taste of his post…

“Would you act in such a way as to prevent the trial and death of Jesus Christ?

The reason I ask is this: The aforementioned people who would ascribe the label of Christ-killer to the Jewish people betray a certain unhappiness with the Jesus’ end and a wish that he had not been killed. Why should this be so? It seems to me that the entire narrative of the ‘Good News’ is that Jesus came here to die for the sins of all past, present and future. So why should any believer in Christ and his work be upset that Jesus died? He did his job as prescribed and you are all the beneficiaries.”

Check out the whole post HERE and give him your thoughts!

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80 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2008 4:41 am

    Well, I’ll give my thoughts first….

    Its on my blog, but I think it goes back to Deut. 29:29…somethings are for God to know, somethings He lets us know….

    If Jesus didn’t die on the cross….God’s wrath would probably destroy all of us.
    He had Jesus die, out of love for us….
    We learned sacrifice by His death…

    What would we learn, and how would we act if we never saw what true love was?

    Jesus is love. Jesus died for us. And we wouldn’t be who we are today, without Him.

    1 Cor 1:24.

    Love ya!

  2. June 25, 2008 5:30 am

    I will re-post my comments on my blog and link here in a bit…

    Thanks Tam.. I am all fired up now… In a good way.

  3. June 25, 2008 5:57 am

    Here is my response.. http://cpk3.wordpress.com/2008/06/25/response-to-christ-killers/

    OK.. Now I have to get some work done…

  4. June 25, 2008 6:47 am

    Robert makes the best point…going right over.

  5. June 25, 2008 6:50 am

    This kind of talk has gotten me into so many arguments… I LOVE IT.

    I’m going to go take the side of whoever is losing… I love a good come back story. … ONWARD B-)

  6. TheNorEaster permalink
    June 25, 2008 6:51 am

    “Would you act in such a way as to prevent the trial and death of Jesus Christ?”

    You know…there was a time, quite some time ago, when I would have asked questions like that. And I would have joined the discussion, or the debate, with enthusiasm.

    However, that time has passed.

  7. June 25, 2008 7:19 am

    It is also historically wrong. Since Jesus and all 12 of his quite well-known followers were observant Jews themselves- moreover, Jesus had quite a few followers even among the pharisaic sect. Furthermore, it was never “the Jews” who killed Jesus, but a certain group of Jewish leaders. Indeed, the Jewish community was quite split over Christ’s claims which some saw as the fulfillment of JEWISH prophecy contained in the OT and others saw as blasphemy and heresy.

  8. June 25, 2008 7:29 am

    I’ve come back… decided not to jump in. I don’t expect that my argumentative persona is going to get very far in that arena, at least not towards a result that really matters. Plus, it’s a lot more important discussion than I first thought.

  9. June 25, 2008 8:10 am

    Well, I added my dime’s worth…however with inflation and the cost of living I suspect it’s really only worth about 3cents!

  10. June 25, 2008 8:18 am

    It is a shame that with the knowledge he has, that his heart is so hard…

    I have made my last comment there, and will move to prayer mode for him.

  11. June 25, 2008 8:20 am

    (HEY MY AVATAR CHANGED BACK…. WEIRD)

  12. June 25, 2008 8:30 am

    ck said:

    “It is a shame that with the knowledge he has, that his heart is so hard… “

    Robert’s response…

    There is much more shame and someone presuming to know my heart.

    I don’t come to these questions through some desire to be rebellious for its own sake. These are very deep epistemological questions and they should be explored throughly and deeply.

    I take nearly NOTHING on faith… that is my nature… and IF the nature of God is as you would describe Him, then He bears responsibility for making me this way.

    The faith i do have is the belief that the answers to my questions are not nearly as important as my conduct and honesty while searching for those answers.

    R.

  13. June 25, 2008 8:35 am

    I fully agree with totaltransformation….. GREAT post..

  14. June 25, 2008 8:59 am

    The faith i do have is the belief that the answers to my questions are not nearly as important as my conduct and honesty while searching for those answers.

    Wow… what can you add to that… More of us Christians need to live by that statement.

    I have made my last comment there, and will move to prayer mode for him.

    geez ck… I’m on your ‘team’ and all, but man, that comes across as so condescending….

  15. June 25, 2008 9:01 am

    Mocha – i TOTALLY understand! Did you see my Twitter about wanting to meet you? I’m old. I can’t remember that far back. you know…yesterday? 😉

    R – first off, i think this has been a great discussion. i love to see groups of different thoughts and perspectives respectfully communicate with another. it was what i was hoping the community here would do. just one thought here from moi, you said “I take nearly NOTHING on faith”. I think that you DO. Let’s change the word “faith” out with Trust, Belief, Confidence, Conviction, Optimism. Agree friend? No?

  16. June 25, 2008 9:03 am

    Buddy – how did you do that bold, vertical, quote bar thingy? i know. disturbing, yet impressive, how technical i can approach things, eh?

  17. June 25, 2008 9:12 am

    Tam said:

    I think that you DO. Let’s change the word “faith” out with Trust, Belief, Confidence, Conviction, Optimism. Agree friend? No?

    Robert’s response:

    Perhaps a definition is in order:

    I define faith as follows:

    Faith = That which cannot be tested through any combination of empiricism and reason.

    Others may define it differently.

    So your proposition while from your heart really doesn’t fit. That said I take heart in the love and compassion with which it was offered.

    THANK YOU for honoring me with your compliments they mean much!

    R.

  18. June 25, 2008 9:13 am

    test

    blah blah yakety-schmakety sis boom bah

    oop ack!!!

    R.

  19. June 25, 2008 9:19 am

    um. yah. that didn’t work out too well R 😎

    and…you’re welcome 😉

    love you!

  20. June 25, 2008 9:22 am

    In order to get that bold, vertical, quote bar thingy you need to type a blockquoty taggy hoochie in your comment-a-jig.

    In other words before the quote type ‘blockquote’ but instead of ‘ and ‘ use then at the end of the quote type ‘/blockquote’ surrounded with … make sense… it’s hard to post these things because they just get parsed…

  21. June 25, 2008 9:25 am

    Robert Said:
    “I don’t come to these questions through some desire to be rebellious for its own sake. These are very deep epistemological questions and they should be explored thoroughly and deeply.”

    Mocha Replies:
    Yup.

    Ok, no seriously, I respect the journey you are on Robert, and I am a firm believer that as long as you seek truth, truth will reveal itself. I opted out of the discussion earlier, because I was finding myself arguing a point… a point that cannot be argued. You yourself stated that you accept almost nothing on faith, and without faith, or without the ability to see beyond what we understand; theology becomes very dry and very dull. In fact, it starts to look an awful lot like “religion.” YUCK

    I don’t know if you will even read this, but if you do… I would ask you to consider something:

    If I asked you if you loved your wife (assuming you are married, of course) you would *hopefully* say yes. Then my next question would be, “why do you love your wife Robert?”

    You might answer that it is because she is so smart, or so beautiful, or because she encourages you to be a better person, or maybe because she understands you so well. And in response, me being the argumentative person that I am, I would then offer you a new wife, one that was smarter, one that was more beautiful, one that was a better encourager, and finally one that understood your mind, body and even spirituality better than anyone. Would you instantly love her?

    No.

    Why not, because Love is not something that can be measured, it cannot be re-created, and ultimately it is not something that can be understood. Love is something far more than scientific, it reaches into a part of our minds, hearts, and souls to another realm, to something that we don’t know how to quantify. That is the same place that holds faith, it holds God, it is based on heart, instinct, experience and feeling.

    I could try all day to explain to you what Love feels like, but until you have experienced it, you will not grasp it. However, there is something inside of us that was “designed” to love… so it is not a foreign concept, even when we have yet to know it. God is the same.

    My post is meandering, and I doubt I am making much of a point. I do want to say this though, I think the best way for you to measure, quantify, analyze, or even interpret God, is to be open to an experience with Him. Because that is what this faith thing is all about. All the details and points to argue are irrelevant once you have held the hand of the creator of the universe. And once that happens, you may end up like me, or other people who have accepted that we won’t understand everything, or you may not.

    Either way, your hunger for knowledge is cool, and I hope that you find the answers you seek… or at least something that fills the need for them.

    Blessings,

    Scott

  22. June 25, 2008 9:25 am

    well, the bracket thingy hoochies got parsed as I feared… OK the beginning bractet is the sideways triangle hoochie on the SHIFT , and the end bracket is the sideways trangle hoochie on the SHIFT . key. Use them instead of ‘ and ‘ the sae way you make things bold.

    Hang on, let me try something…

    and

  23. June 25, 2008 9:29 am

    YOU BLOCKED ME!!??!

    Is that because I was making fun of your technical prowess?

  24. June 25, 2008 9:33 am

    buddy – i wish you could see my face right now 😕

  25. June 25, 2008 9:35 am

    I went, I read, I backed out…y’all are doin’ a fine job without my input.

    I still maintain, the first point, excellent!!! Everyone of us killed Christ, no one ethnic/religious group. Our sin held Jesus to the cross and His desire to do the Father’s will.

  26. June 25, 2008 9:36 am

    wha?!!! i didn’t block you buddy. The Blog gods were protecting me from poking my eyes out with a plastic fork. How ’bout i just continue to stick with these things (“) around all the “quotes”? yep. i think that works for me. maybe i just need a seminar on block quoting. 😀

  27. June 25, 2008 9:38 am

    chelle – i respectfully agree with and support you! Love you sis!

  28. June 25, 2008 9:39 am

    Mocha you make some very good points.

    As I have said I don’t claim to have the all the answers.

    I wouldn’t even try to define love. As you said love is something that must be felt and experienced. There are things that cannot be characterized, quantified, categorized, measured etc. I accept that.

    Much in our world very much does lend itself to the methods I champion. Otherwise we wouldn’t have cured diseases or launched satellites or developed nearly instantaneous communication.

    My view is we need both the spiritual and the scientific if we are to survive.

    One thing…

    I would never ask someone to justify why they love whom they do. 😉 Perhaps as you have stated that’s your argumentative side.

    There are those, theist and non-theist, who DO think there’s is the only way. That’s an absurd belief.

    I like you do believe there is one truth for every question…

    I am not one of these post-modern new-age-y whack-o’s who think that all answers are valid or true.

    R.

  29. June 25, 2008 9:41 am

    new test

    Mary had a little lamb

    Accck!!! the lamb has fangs!!! RUN!!!!

    R.

  30. June 25, 2008 9:41 am

    Does a happy dance!

  31. June 25, 2008 9:43 am

    FYI

    Buddy is referring to these things to the ‘less than’ and ‘greater than’ symbols on the comma and period keys respectively.

    i.e. shift comma and shift period

    R.

  32. June 25, 2008 9:46 am

    whew…. would i have acted to prevent it? i don’t know. some could say that God’s Plan all along was to sacrifice His Son.
    He needed a means.
    He had messed up people ready to go.
    so.
    it happened…
    but it would not have happened if God didn’t intend and permit and cooperate.
    so.

    the flipside of this is that man’s sin, MY sin, started it all in the first place… so, yeah, we started it. it’s our fault. all of us. not the Jews or the Romans independently, but Eve to Adam to the rest of us.

  33. June 25, 2008 9:52 am

    one word: propitiation.

    after that, my brain is on summer vacation

  34. June 25, 2008 9:54 am

    Mandy said:

    He had messed up people ready to go.

    Robert’s response

    8)

    Did Mandy just say she thinks God made a mistake?!

    R.

  35. June 25, 2008 9:54 am

    Buddy..

    Yeah.. I agree.. I could have said that different…. Thanks for pointing it out to me.

    Robert,

    If you took it as condescending I apologize, was not my intent Please know that I respect your opinion as I hope you respect mine. You allowed me to dig into my faith more with your questions, because they are good questions that deserve answers.

  36. June 25, 2008 9:57 am

    “Buddy is referring to these things to the ‘less than’ and ‘greater than’ symbols on the comma and period keys respectively.”

    too many instructions, explanations, points in one sentence makes me want to pass out. don’t judge me 😕

    mandy – correct!

    and some will also say, and have already in this discussion, if God is all knowing why did He allow it? I say…Free Will. God is the author of all things. This includes Love. He knows every intricate detail of love. How it works, how it arrives, how it feels, its impact, everything. He created it. I believe He wanted true love in return. Who wouldn’t. So He allowed things to go on which paved a way for us to come to Him by choice. And for those of us who do, we do it out of our own free will and LOVE. Not by force or obligation.

  37. June 25, 2008 9:58 am

    cathi said:

    one word: propitiation.

    Robert says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propitiation

    That still implies that God did not see the fall coming and the sacrifice of Jesus was the cure to that unintended or unforeseen hiccup in the garden.

    R.

  38. June 25, 2008 10:03 am

    ck said:

    If you took it as condescending I apologize,

    Robert’s response:

    Your apology is NOT accepted….

    …because it is not required. 🙂

    I have a much thicker skin than most. I have to…with the decidedly unpopular views I have.

    This is tough stuff! Anyone who claims that have it all figured out is selling something.

    R.

  39. June 25, 2008 10:04 am

    Less Than Greater Than…. man I was trying to keep the techno-speak to a minimum… 😉

  40. June 25, 2008 10:06 am

    Hey Robert!

    Yeah the whole idea of asking someone why they loved their wife was more for illustration… I dont think I would do that either, I might end up doing a LOT of blushing… or setting them up for a realy dumb moment… “…. uhhh …I dunno”

    If you are interested in some deeper discussions on this subject, with a admitedly Christian slant, I would encourage you to check out Rob Bell. That dude takes the time to walk through quantum theory and relate it to the bible. He is one of the Christians who isnt afraid to ask the questions like these… http://www.everythingisspiritual.com

  41. June 25, 2008 10:06 am

    Less Than Greater Than…. man I was trying to keep the techno-speak to a minimum.

    Yeah those were tough concepts back in 2nd grade! 😀

    R.

  42. June 25, 2008 10:08 am

    Tam your last paragraph,(I don’t understand the quote instructions ether)… Is a great explanation.

    God does not want to force us to love him, true love forces nothing.

  43. June 25, 2008 10:08 am

    Dude, I DO have it all figured out…

    The answer to it all… the answer to all of God’s mysteries…

    here it is…

    I’m not afraid to say it….

    “I don’t know”

  44. June 25, 2008 10:10 am

    Amen Robert, and thinks for the response.

    As for having it all figured out… that is where I rely on my God. Lord know I want to know why he created mosquitoes.

  45. June 25, 2008 10:10 am

    Yeah those were tough concepts back in 2nd grade! 😀

    you wanta start sumpin wit me R???? huh?!?!?!!! i can throw dirt!

  46. June 25, 2008 10:13 am

    “I don’t know”

    That is toughest statement to make!

    But as Socrates said it is the beginning of wisdom!

    i say it all the time to my wife….

    Usually in answer to the following:

    “what do you want for supper”

    “where is my make up bag”

    “where is my purse”

    “what color should we paint the living room”

    “what are you thinking right now”

    R.

  47. June 25, 2008 10:14 am

    ck said:

    why he created mosquitoes

    To feed the froggies!!!

    R.

  48. June 25, 2008 10:15 am

    you wanta start sumpin wit me R?

    I’d sooner get into it with Mike Tyson!

  49. June 25, 2008 10:19 am

    i wont bite your ear.

    off

  50. June 25, 2008 10:20 am

    Mmmmm…..Souse.

    (Sorry Tam the set up was there)

  51. June 25, 2008 10:24 am

    CK!!!! Go to your room! Uncalled for!

    🙂

  52. June 25, 2008 10:33 am

    i wont bite your ear.

    off

    I am doing my best to behave myself here Tam….

    But you left yourself WIDE OPEN there!

    >:)

    R.

    i deserve a medal for letting that one by

  53. June 25, 2008 10:40 am

    [hands R medal]

    well done!

    😉

  54. June 25, 2008 11:33 am

    I have tried my best. I really tried. I

  55. June 25, 2008 11:33 am

    just can’t

  56. June 25, 2008 11:33 am

    seem to

  57. June 25, 2008 11:34 am

    follow this!!!

  58. June 25, 2008 11:34 am

    ^ is very, very confused. But Jesus loves me. That’s all I need.

  59. June 25, 2008 11:35 am

    Amen – that IS all we need!

    love you!

  60. June 25, 2008 11:49 am

    There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known.
    Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.
    Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.
    It’s easy.

    [sung in a British accent]

  61. June 25, 2008 12:02 pm

    Darla is almost to the airport…how cool is that?!

    I am SOOOO jealous.

    She promised to hug you for me…I suppose that will have to so.

    Love you too , Tam!

  62. June 25, 2008 12:10 pm

    (TAM— CAN I COME OUT AND PLAY AGAIN?!!!) 😉

  63. June 25, 2008 12:35 pm

    Would I have tried to prevent it?

    NO. Peter tried. Jesus called him Satan.

    Enough said.

  64. June 25, 2008 12:35 pm

    Holy cow Tam. You sure know how to provoke a conversation, don’t you? 😉 I’ve counted at least 3 words in the comments alone that I need to look up in the dictionary.

  65. June 25, 2008 12:38 pm

    chelle – i am SO excited!!! (Hug) received and back atcha!!!

    CK – no more souse! got it? 😉

    heather – good point!

    ruggles – Robert started it 😀

  66. June 25, 2008 12:48 pm

    I had a response all typed out but I have elected not to post it as I just don’t feel qualified to engage Robert on this issue. I would like to commend him, though, for being the most respectful atheist I have ever had the pleasure of reading. My hat is off to him for his ability to engage my fellow believers in an honest, open dialogue without resorting to name-calling and mud-slinging.

  67. June 25, 2008 12:52 pm

    @givemeJesus:

    Totally agree!

    Thanks Sir….well….for being a Sir:)

  68. Deborah permalink
    June 25, 2008 12:59 pm

    Darla’s coming! Darla’s coming! YAY! I can’t wait to see my little munchkin! 😀

  69. June 25, 2008 1:02 pm

    “Would you act in such a way as to prevent the trial and death of Jesus Christ?”

    Sorry for come so late to this discussion.

    I am an atheist like Robert and probably less knowledgeable about religious doctrine then he is. I see Jesus as a rebel. Rebelling against some aspects of the society he was born into. Rebellions always seem to need a martyr. So Jesus’s death may have been need to give his followers the moral strength to carry on and spread his doctrine(?).

    I also see Jesus as a good role model, but not divine. If he had lived he may have been able shaped the religious doctrine of his followers to perhaps avoid at least some of the religious conflicts that have occurred since his death.

    My personal faith is based on evolution. That we humans are evolving better brains and creating better societies as a result. If we don’t continue to evolve and create better societies we will likely become extinct.

    My overall philosophy about faith was best expressed by Robert:

    “I take nearly NOTHING on faith… that is my nature… and IF the nature of God is as you would describe Him, then He bears responsibility for making me this way.

    The faith i do have is the belief that the answers to my questions are not nearly as important as my conduct and honesty while searching for those answers.”

  70. June 25, 2008 1:14 pm

    ED.. Your Rebel comment and this whole discusion made me think of this Derek Web song…

    i’ve got the dress, i’ve got the ring
    i’ve got a song that i can sing
    i’ve got the bread, i’ve got the wine
    but i’ve got the life i’ve left behind
    i’ve got everything, but i’ve got nothing
    without you

    i’ve got the law on my heart
    i’ve got your love tearing me apart
    i’ve got a vow that i can’t keep
    but i’ve got your promise getting me to sleep
    i’ve got everything, but i’ve got nothing
    without you

    i’ve got your works, i’ve got my faith
    i’ve got all the wine that you can make
    i am the kiss of your betrayer
    but i’ve got your grace on every layer
    i’ve got everything, but i’ve got nothing
    without you

    (bridge)
    ‘cause you see it’s all just a show
    you either hate it or you don’t
    and only time will tell the difference
    if you get it clearly or with interference

    i’ve got the race, got the election
    but win or lose, i’ve got protection
    i found a lobbyist in the devil
    but i got salvation in a rebel
    i’ve got everything, but i’ve got nothing
    without you

  71. June 25, 2008 1:36 pm

    Reading ed’s comment….

    “If he had lived he may have been able shaped the religious doctrine of his followers…”

    I think that was part of His plan. If Jesus had lived and worked longer than he did would his life have had the impact it did on the world and on history, or would he have become just another religious leader with a following that eventually just became so much a part of society that it wasn’t really seen? His ministry was so brief, yet so profoundly changed the history of the world…and I think that is worth mentioning here. His death was the pinnacle of his work…on earth.

  72. June 25, 2008 1:45 pm

    ckroboth, that is a great song. I am going to have to check out Derek Web.

    I Love:

    “i’ve got the race, got the election
    but win or lose, i’ve got protection
    i found a lobbyist in the devil
    but i got salvation in a rebel
    i’ve got everything, but i’ve got nothing
    without you”

  73. June 25, 2008 2:26 pm

    I will link it up for you to listen to from my blog later.

  74. June 25, 2008 2:47 pm

    This one is a skoosh heavy for me… brain cells not quite in that level of capasity, but I wanted you to know I tried and was here. Have a great day deary and thanks for the recent s-w-e-e-t comment.

    Blessings,
    Roxanne Kristina @ http://www.sharingnotes.blogspot.com

  75. June 25, 2008 3:23 pm

    Ed… Check out my box.net on my blog. Nothing By Derek Webb should be there now.

  76. June 25, 2008 7:49 pm

    Wow! Deep stuff. I agree with you though…it was part of God’s plan for His son to sacrifice for us. It’s what we as Christians stand firm on…that Christ died for our sins, so that we may be forgiven. In my heart I feel this is what God wanted, so who is to doubt our heavenly Father?

  77. June 25, 2008 11:36 pm

    It wasn’t the Jews that killed Jesus – it was the ‘system’. The same system we have in place now. The same system that we’ve had since we became ‘civilized’. So even to this day, those of us who love Christ, are still complicit in those evils that system commits. So yes, we killed Christ and we keep on killing him, day after day after day.

  78. June 26, 2008 6:29 am

    I would like to personally express my gratitude to Tam and everyone who has engaged in this conversation over the past 2 days.

    While I don’t think anyone’s core beliefs have been changed, least of all mine ;), the dialog is very important.

    There will ALWAYS be believers and non-believers and we have to learn to talk to each other in ways that are respectful and non-judgmental.

    I realize that many of you hold the belief that we are in ‘the last days’ and the your savior is due soon. When pressed most of you will admit that no one knows the hour of his return.

    Assuming for a moment that you are right about the prophecies about the end times, you still don’t know when the events predicted will transpire. As a consequence of that, we all have to try to get along for the sake of our children and for their children. For some to advocate renouncing all responsibility for an honorable stewardship of the planet and to fore go all efforts to live in peace betrays a very dangerous sense of fatalism. If all is controlled by a God whose will is at best complicated and at worst inscrutable, why try to change anything? We can do better than that and we have a responsibility to the future to try to do so. We aren’t perfect and we never will be, but I KNOW we are capable of better than we have done.

    This is why I try to engage with people who think differently than I do….

    To leave the world a better place for my children, for my having lived.

    Peace to all

    Robert
    Leominster, Massachusetts

  79. June 26, 2008 6:57 pm

    I posted this on Robert’s post on his blog. I didn’t get to read through ALL these comments here, but I am posting my response here, too, in case it helps with the conversation happening on this post.

    _____________________________________________________________

    Hey man, got caught up on some of the comments. Great conversation, Robert. While there are some who call themselves followers of Jesus that ask these kinds of things, not enough do, unfortunately. So, thank you for helping fill that void.

    Re: my posed question regarding why Jesus didn’t come as a man in Gen 4 and Gen 5 being happily ever after:

    The reason that I can see this is actually ties in intimately with how you feel re: “All I am suggesting is that the insistence of attaching the Old Testament (The Jewish Bible) to the New (The Christian Bible) looks to me like an exercise using bailing wire and chewing gum.”

    When we take the N.T. and filter it through the evangelical Gospel, then we do tend to end up feeling like the NT and OT aren’t jiving. BUT when we try to discover the overarching narrative of the Bible and see how Jesus fits in that context, we not only come out with a much more cohesive Bible (between old and new testaments), but we also get a really amazing view of why “The Gospel” is such good news.

    Jesus dying for our sins is huge from a biblical perspective, but it really is only one part of what the Bible refers to as the Good news.

    Re: Marcion. I can empathize with that guy, but in the end I’m glad the church gave him his money back and parted ways with him. Though he may have felt like he was just being intellectually honest, he didn’t do enough searching from what I can see. He should have gone and hung out with the Ebionites or something. They could have schooled him on Jewish theology and how Christ fit into it. (kind of kidding, but I do think the answers are there in the Jewish scriptures).

    I’m actually doing a quite a bit of writing right now on these very topics. I posted one on evangelical history and the modern Evangelical approach to the gospel here: http://www.jmayblog.com/2008/03/embodying-gospel-part-one-history-is-in.html

    I wrote an impromptu thirty page essay on related themes last year and I’d be happy to send it to you and would love to dialogue with you. Your questions are close to my heart.

    I will give a brief answer here, though:

    Essentially, the Gospel or the “good news” from a holistic Biblical perspective has a lot more to do with the redemption of ALL things, including humanity and individual humans and also the physical universe as well as other animal life than just individual humans. But we also need to see it as a trajectory and in relational terms. What I mean is when we see God creating Adam and Eve, knowing they will sin, and still crating them any way, He isn’t thinking about just the beginning. He is thinking that even know they will sin, His love for them – even the idea of them, at the time – is and will be worth enduring that brokenness and pain with them until they reach maturity – even if it doesn’t come to fruition until their great x 10 to the 10th power grand kids are born. When we see the whole world being flushed own the toilet in the flood, we have to see that God is making a painful choice, but, for the sake of all who would come after and for the creation itself, He had to do it. (“the whole earth was filled with violence because of them”) As far as those people who died in the flood, I think the Biblical perspective of Heaven and Hell is much more robust than we hear in our average sermon – especially when you get into the original languages. More and more I’m seeing that the Bible may allude to the ability of the dead being redeemed in Sheol or Hades (depending on the testament) and the final Gehenna or the pit of fire may be something that comes towards the end of the story. This isn’t new, Catholics believe in this, C.S. Lewis wrote about it, and it seems to make much more sense in a Greek reading of the NT. The real question is, will those people killed in the flood, or any like them, want to be redeemed if it means that they have to agree to submit to God and let Him make them into the kind of people that will participate in an others-centered universe. From what I can tell, a violent, bitter, racist, vengeful, slanderous, gossiping, or otherwise loving-of-things-that-cause-brokenness-to-relationship type of person won’t like Heaven. I think they would see it much more like their Hell.

    Another way to see the trajectory thing is by reading the Torah and then reading Jesus’ sermon on the mount in places He says things like, “you’ve heard it said ______, but I say ______.” He is essentially kicking up the expectation for humanity because, for at least the Jewish people, they were ready for it. For instance, back when they were told “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” this was a step forward from them because in those barbaric times it was much more common to take vengeance past even what was done in the original crime. But now Jesus is taking it to the next level “turn the other cheek.” We need to see that God is redeeming humanity from within and He is walking us toward being the type of race He had in mind when He created us. It’s much like a parent who puts up with what would be ridiculous behavior from an adult, from a toddler because they love them so much and see that they will grow out of it. They baby-step them towards maturity.

    This isn’t new, either. For example, the very influential church father Irenaeus wrote in response to the gnostic view of physical matter being intrinsically evil and it being the cause of the brokenness in the world (and the result of a pretty lame creator god). He wrote that God is indeed good but He is letting humanity take the hard road to maturity.

    ANY way, I appreciate your questions Robert. Maybe there are some of us who live the good news of the Gospel with out them, but many of us need this type of stirring to challenge us. Thanks, bro.

  80. June 28, 2008 1:49 pm

    I am a little late to this party…but to the original question in the post (without reading the other blog) I would say yes. I would intervene…or at least hope that I would have the courage to. I know that it is just bla bla words and debate at this point, something to get all fired up about. But Jesus was AN INOCENT MAN. innocent. He did nothing wrong to warrant a death sentence. So yes. I would fight for him. But in saying that, He was the sacrifice for us to have eternal life. He and the Father knew that that was the only was to bridge the gap. So if I knew that information, no, I would not prevent Him from bringing salvation unto the world. Duh.

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