Paulinities, not Christianities?

Posted: July 21, 2012 by Ty in Musings, Spirituality
Tags: , , , , , , ,

HOLE, WILLIAM: The Life of Jesus of Nazareth. ...

HOLE, WILLIAM: The Life of Jesus of Nazareth. Eighty Pictures. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Photo of Bart D. Ehrman taken followi...

English: Photo of Bart D. Ehrman taken following the Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is a perplexing problem for anyone that claims to be following the Living Christ…are we truly following his life & Teachings? Have we entered into the full cosmic story from creation throughout re-birth in Mama Mary through life, miracles, teachings, execution, resurrection and ascenscion?

These are harder questions that one thinks. Recently I picked up Bart D. Ehrman‘s new work, Did Jesus Exist (2012) from my local library. Ehrman lost his faith while becoming the eminent New Testament authority, yet still professes a love of scripture.  This work could be seen as a Christian apologist tomb, but what it is, is an stance against the mythicists that say Jesus of Nazareth never existed (and well worth the read so I encourage anyone to pick up any of Ehrman’s works to understand the histories of the Christianities).

Yet he brings up a unique point, Paul rarely if ever references the whole cosmic story of Jesus. He references the mystical death & resurrection…which leaves the documents that have mostly shaped the western churches (Paul’s letters) lacking the whole image of the word become flesh, that which spoke life and was reflected in Genesis 1’s poetry, the healer of those cast out of community, the renewer of authentic community in the love of God, neighbour and self. The man who walked into the nest of vipers and continued preaching love and the reign of God even up to and including his lynching at the hands of the bourgeoisie of Israel and the Empire.

These are pieces missing in Paul’s Christology and as such leaves a void within our Christianities, that many Progressive churches (liberal, liberation, social gospel, Red Letter, Emergent, Missional) are attempting to recapture by bringing the whole story together and focusing on that it is not just the death and resurrection that bring meaning to the story, but what came before and what came after… the whole Cosmic Saga… that is the beautiful story of Jesus called the Christ.

Historically, he was Jesus of Nazareth or , Yeshua Bar Josephson, a peasant labourer, born out of wedlock (a bastard child), raised in a back water town, looked down upon as the almost lowest of the low in the proletariat…only lower than his class were the sick, lepers and women.

Yet this labourer became a travelling teacher, faith healer, prophet that radically changed the way the world worked for better or worse.

Was he the Christ? That is a matter of faith.

Was he a human being who existed? Yes, that is a fact of history.

The challenge to the church today is whether or not we want our faith shaped by the peasant radical, or the elitist Pharisee?

What is your choice?

  1. Prayson Daniel says:

    Thank you so much for a wonderful post. Quite provocative. I think the question creates a false dichotomy Ty.

    If we look it that way, Ty, then we are to choose between Jesus of the authors of Mark, Matthew, Luke+Acts and John and that Jesus of Paul as if there are two or more Jesus.

    Remember we have one main Author, God. Thus the early Jesus of Paul and of later authors of the Gospel accounts is the same.

    In Christ,

  2. Did Jesus Exist? « A Robin Hood's Musing says:

    […] Paulinities, not Christianities? […]

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