Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Jesus Lives

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Last night, an overflow gathering of the Men’s and Women’s Groups at Incarnation discussed the Historical Jesus–that is, what we know of the actual man, Jesus of Nazareth, who lived at the beginning of the first century, A.D.

My associate and I discussed a recent book by Reza Aslan entitled, Zealot. I emphatically do NOT recommend the book, which rehashes old claims that Jesus was a political rebel who never intended to preach a theological message, much less leave behind a church.

For me, the most interesting aspect of the evening was the fact that our parishioners didn’t seem at all disturbed by the skeptical claims of Aslan’s book. It’s clear that in New York City, at least, the faithful aren’t upset by the attempts to undermine their views of Jesus.

Why is this? Perhaps laypeople have been so often disappointed by “experts” that they no longer rely automatically on their opinions. If one expert says Y today, another expert will say Z tomorrow. Laypeople realize that after 200 years of biblical criticism, the number of Christians still grows daily.

Meanwhile, after the meeting, as I walked to a restaurant for dinner, I glimpsed a glorious sunset. For me, this was an adequate rebuke of skepticism–and one that holds, whatever scholars say about the historical Jesus. —J. Douglas Ousley