Saturday, June 21, 2008

Who Crucified Jesus?

The Scriptures tell us it was an easily swayed mob that called for Jesus to be crucified and Barabbas to be released. Not the Jews as a whole but rather those in position of power over them who led the drive for crucifixion. They could just as easily have been Americans swayed by powerful politicians. The mob, I might venture, was poor and working-class, whatever meaning working-class could have had in that day. The people in power were likely better off, and possibly even some of them rich. Who crucified Jesus? The rich and the poor, the blind and the seeing, the sheep and the goats. All of these. Even Peter, who in the Catholic Church is regarded as the first Pope, in a sense crucified Jesus by his vehement denial of Christ. In a theological sense it is taught, and I believe it proper to believe, that you and I share the responsibility for this Crucifixion. But what does that mean historically? Does it mean that had we been there we would have been among the ringleaders or the mob? Was there not one human being in all of the Roman Empire who knew of the Crucifixion and did not somehow consent? Or does it simply mean that by virtue of our sinful nature we contribute to the necessity of Christ's death and resurrection? Is there any other sense in which it is proper to say that we crucify Jesus?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Central Doctrine

What is the central doctrine of Christianity?

Is it the Incarnation? Do we consider the Resurrection as a doctrine separate from the Incarnation event, the Christ-event as it were, and as such a separate choice as the central doctrine of Christianity? If so, are they equal or is one more important than the other? Is either of these more important than the doctrine that God created the world? Is the doctrine of Creation even really a valid choice here, given that it is hardly specific to Christianity?

I am tempted to say, if we take Christian-specific doctrines as the standard, that the central doctrine of Christianity would have to be the Incarnation of Christ. I'm still working on that, though; I haven't looked at much material on what the central doctrine is.

If I were worried merely about being funny and not about my orthodoxy I might even venture to say that the central doctrine of Christianity is "God wins." Thoughts?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

One of those "Well, Duh" Sorts of Headlines, also:

Well, I'm not sure this needed a news story. Though I think it probably is newsworthy, it's not like you wouldn't expect this from the UCC. I'll be reading the letter at my leisure and commenting accordingly, but hopefully it's good stuff.

I'm also working on a 5-day cycle of reading the Book of James. It's quite interesting and it's going to make me look at my life in uncomfortable new ways. In fact, it already has. Like the fact that I still fail the part in James 1:19 about everyone being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.

Monday, January 21, 2008

KPCN01: KKairos Posts Christology Notes

This is a new thing. I'm not good enough at paying attention to homilies yet to summarize those. But I will be posting my Christology notes (when sufficiently entertaining) this semester. Today is easily one of those days. I will post in each segment a "page #" followed by stuff on that page. About 1/4 of my notes for the day (and I suspect will be in the future) was stuff I wrote that just paraphrased the stuff in the handed-out outline. Another 1/4 is my individual speculation on things. The last half or so is notes to and from another amateur theologian who is strong in the Catholic tradition and sits next to me. Enjoy. All errors in my notes are reproduced, unless they spell something I can't write on a blog. Some stuff is followed by discussion.

Page #3

So the consensus seems to be that what's being condemned by the text is "conservative inclusivism and what is advocated is more "liberal" inclusivism? [The author of the text seemed to be advocating a reverence of other religions and/or the truth thereof while maintaining the uniqueness of Christ.]

Undoing the inauthenticity of the Hist-Jesus Quest [I believe this was about alternative/not-in-power beliefs being ignored in the historical Jesus quest, but that may be fuzzy.]

Barth a Hist-Jesus person? Or a Kerygma, nothing-to-say-about-history person? Hmm. I am not so sure. [the theologians of the "no quest" historical Jesus period were later represented in a light which allows for more acceptance on their part of access to history of Jesus; in other words this was under the impression that Barth was a little more pessimistic about access to the historical Jesus than I had thought he was, which might be true or might not.]

"Any person who closes the issue...[it's] out of an insecurity." - [A classmate]
generally true, but not mathematically. I'm thinking too mathematically!

People don't generally wake up in the morning and say to themselves, "I'm going to support the dominant social structure and make a better effort to be an intentionally sexist person" But it does happen, less intentionally so, but it happens. [This was a response to talk about how you usually wind up supporting a power structure that supports you, even in scholarly work, and even if you don't intend to.]

Page #4

CALVINISM [this was a response to my fellow theologian's emphasis in a note to me that our professor had told us that we would be introduced to Edward Schillebeeckx "And you will come to love him." The underlining was done by my friend, not really in her voice.]

I'm starting to think the egalitarian-authoritarian-complementarian relationship in Christianity is more complex and nuanced than any one specific viewpoint in Christian theology will ever grasp.

Egal-Comp-auth refers to:
* relationship of authority/egalitarianism with respect to Jesus, heirarchy and laity; what does it mean to be "equals" in a faith community?
* proper relationship of complementarianism/egalitarianism in a marriage, also with respect to Jesus' authority over the marriage or whether either spouse has authority over and above the other

[For now I'll let these notes speak for themselves. Trying to go into it would be too much.]

Anglican womenpriests fleeing to Catholicism. [a note to my friend after the professor noted the author's contention that a pour-and-stir approach to things (in this case merely adding women to the hierarchy without making much other social change) was inadequate, thinking of the the recent articles featured on The Curt Jester weblog.]

Dangerous memory --> challenges to Status QUO [a note about the notion of Jesus and early Christianity as a dangerous memory that challenges social structures instead of supporting them.]

So The Way = a prophetic and Wisdom tradition, Jesus as First Among Equals [I won't go into all of this, except to say that I'm not sure I understand the JaFAE phrase and that I'm really not sure I'm correctly interpreting my professor's synopsis of the author's claims about the relation of Wisdom to the Jesus Movement in Judaism. That said, I'm still fairly confident in said interpretation.]

So there you have it. My first posting of theology notes. Enjoy.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Coming in 2008

In an effort to make sure I stay awake/aware at Sunday night mass I'll be doing a brief analysis of all the homilies I hear on Sunday night or the Monday morning after. I'll also be taking Suffering and Death and Christology as my theology courses, so there'll be some extra fun there. I'll let Xeirx add his piece as he sees fit.