(Community Matters) The gospels as metaphors of how to live your life, Jesus as a teacher of how to live a moral life, or biblical literalism? Haven’t gotten as far as planned in the book but did jot these notes (most quotes)
4 ways we see Jesus
1) The Dying Savior: Jesus Died for Our Sins
2) Jesus as the Divine Human: God in Human Form
3) The Apocalyptic Jesus: The End is Near
4) Jesus as Teacher: Guidance for a Moral Life
Two paradigms for how we see Jesus – and the first, which is predominant among American Christians, has only become common over the last 3 or 4 centuries:
1) Belief-centered – emphasizes the importance of holding Christian beliefs about Jesus, God & the Bible. Sees the gospels and Jesus within a framework of biblical literalism – the Bible as a divine product that is to be read literally. This paradigm linked to concept of an afterlife – the promise of heaven and the threat of hell. Under this frame of thinking, citations of Heaven in Matthew & in John are misinterpreted as Jesus speaking of an afterlife.The belief-centered paradigm of how see Jesus focuses on believing in him to enter into heaven for an afterlife. What’s new (3 or 4 centuries) about belief-centered paradigm is that now, we must believe THAT everything said & described about Jesus, God & the Bible is true – rather than as prevailed from Christianity’s earliest days, one simply must believe IN (trust & loyalty) Jesus and God. Before the second half of the seventeenth century, a metaphorical belief in the Bible mattered most, though when stories became challenged by facts discovered during the Englightenment, the idea of the Bible as inerrant in all forms and facts is first recorded in a book published during this period.
2) Way-centered: is about following Jesus on a path, a path of transformation. Borg calls this an emerging Christian paradigm, one that weaves in what we started learning from science during the Enlightenment of the 17th century. These thinker first realized the 5 first books of the Jewish Bible weren’t written as a direct revelation of God to and by Moses but an ancient Israel over time. This thinking then influenced how we came to know the New Testament, as a set of recordings by early Christian communities decades after his life of what Jesus had come to mean in their lives.
Pre-Easter Jesus & Post-Easter Jesus: