One of the fundamental assertions made in Jesus scholarship is that there is--to quote Gotthold Lessing--an"ugly ditch" between the teaching of the historical Jesus and the theology of the early Church. One of the most common "criteria of authenticity," the criterion of "embarrassment," basically assumes a significant discontinuity between the teaching of Jesus and faith of the early Christians.
With that in mind, the second reading at Sunday's Mass made me smile:
"For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty..." (2 Pet 1:16).
In other news, Joel Willitts, the new blogger I mentioned a couple of days ago, talks about his conversation with Dr. Scott Hahn over at his Euangelion.
Not to be outdone, I had my own ecumenical experience tonight--I had dinner with Protestant theologian, Ralph Mackenzie. Dr. Mackenzie is a wonderful man, a true believer, who is deeply devoted to furthering the Catholic-Protestant discussion. With Norman Geisler, he has co-authored Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences. Together with Fr. Anthony Saroki, director of vocations for the Diocese of San Diego, we had a truly enjoyable theological conversation which lasted close to three hours in which we discussed our "agreements and differences"--spending more time on the former than on the latter.