Monday, November 10, 2008

The Church Invents the Gospel

This is a response to the breathless reviews of the latest scholarly tomes that give a “fresh read” on the four gospels… essentially nothing more than the same old liberal saw on demythologizing.

If the church invented the gospel (or Jesus, or the resurrection…) as the brilliant liberal scholars suggest, then who invented the church?

I picture a scenario something like this happening in order to get to a place where the church invented Jesus and the gospel…

Peter: Hey, guys – I have a GREAT IDEA! We can leave our respectable lives as God-fearing Jews and working class fishermen and invent this cool new religion that will get us in huge trouble! What do you say?

James: Well, we’ll need some kind of folk hero that will really make simple people gravitate to our cause… a figure that’s controversial, compelling, likable… You know, a Messiah or something. We could call him “Jesus”. That’s a cool name. Doesn’t it mean “The LORD saves”? That’s perfect. We could come up with a great story, like he dies for his people and then comes back to life… That would make a pretty cool religion.

John: Man, you guys are brilliant! This is awesome. Hey, let me take it a step further so we’ll be sure to get ourselves kicked out of the synagogue and maybe even killed! We can say that Jesus not only rose from the dead, but that – get this – He’s GOD!! We can pretend that when Isaiah said that the Messiah will be Mighty God, Everlasting Father, etc., that he actually meant…

Peter: But wait! If he dies, won’t that kind of kill the whole Messiah thing? Isn’t the Messiah supposed to be a great conqueror and restore Israel?

James: No, silly! The resurrection will take care of that. Hmmm… we do have the whole lack of conquering problem, though… I know! We can make it a spiritual kingdom and then make it so he comes back to conquer LATER! We could say he died for the sins of people in fulfillment of the Levitical prototype. Hey, everyone wants to be forgiven, right? Wow, this is fun!
Or maybe it really was the other way around…

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3 Comments:

Anonymous james hopkins said...

it's kind of funny how they use "Wills is explaining the Gospels as historical products, built from the ground up through the church rather than dictated from highest heaven." rather than saying, he thinks the church made it up

November 10, 2008 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

It sounds better that way.

I think they realize that to put it bluntly would perhaps turn people off, but they can slip it by a little easier if it is worded more delicately.

But maybe that's just me being cynical...

November 12, 2008 at 2:58 PM  
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June 3, 2010 at 5:15 AM  

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