Monday, August 07, 2006

Sunday Readings and Monday Meetings

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.


Chad Toney said...

Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.

Matthew Gonzalez said...

I was pleasantly surprised when I read Willitts brief account with the CBA meetings he attended, the paper he presented, the interview he gave, and his meeting with Scott Hahn. I look forward to his future posts with the hopes that he discloses his insights from his doctoral dissertation.

I'm further delighted about your dinner with Dr. MacKenzie. May the grace of God bring us to closer unity.

Regarding the book "Roman Catholics and Evangelicals", I believe the authors do not quite understand the Catholic doctrines of grace, free will and justification. I find this to be a big problem amongst non-Catholics that they do not understand what we believe and, therefore, mistake the Catholic faith for something else that not even the Pope would be a part of.

Speaking of the Pope, Benedict XVI’s (when he was Cardinal Ratzinger) analysis of the problems with biblical scholars is decisive (see his different articles on exegesis which is now accessible online). Evangelical scholars as well share his view, such as V. Philips Long and Iain Provan (See "A Biblical History of Israel" and "The At of Biblical History"). Indeed, Michael, you are right. There are many biblical scholars who follow "cleverly devised myths" which undergirds their exegesis of not only the "historical Jesus" but also the "historical Israel".