Does a metaphorical Jesus follow from a metaphorical Adam?

January 23, 2012 § 2 Comments

Painting from Manafi al-Hayawan (The Useful An...

Someone recently asked me whether nothing stops us from seeing Jesus as a metaphor when we embrace a metaphorical understanding of Adam and Eve. This is a valid question. A typical case of the slippery slope. I have been there too and in certain ways will always remain at a place of ambiguity toward the true meaning of the text and the consequences resulting from the interpretative decisions we make. But it is not true that a metaphorical Adam results in a metaphorical Jesus.

Ever since the Enlightenment there have been many approaches to Jesus some of which indeed interpreted him more metaphorically than historically. German idealism took Jesus to be a decisive synthetical moment in the self-realization of the divine Idea through human finitude. Similarly, liberal theology has seen Jesus either as the exemplar of ultimate dependency on God or the moral example for humanity to follow. All these approaches detach the concept of Christ in varying degrees from the historical Jesus. « Read the rest of this entry »

Modernism, postmodernism and then what?

January 6, 2012 § 2 Comments

English: Statue of Immanuel Kant in Kaliningra...

Immanuel Kant

At the end of my essay ‘How The West Was Lost’ on the disappearance of Christianity from the West I propose a few recommendations for the way theology should move forward. Christian theology, I argue, has not been able to stem the tide of secularization and has not been able to adequately answer and change the post-Enlightenment worldview in which knowing is located in the autonomous human subject. This is not because theology has been done badly. In fact, the 19th and 20th centuries have seen a vast array of theological approaches to deal with the new situation. Rather, as belief systems, which theological constructs are (together with things like scientific paradigms, building skills, etc.) they are unable to counter the deeply ingrained assumptions inherent in modernism as a worldview. Worldviews dictate belief systems and use them for justification. Belief systems will rarely challenge worldviews, since the worldview’s assumption are established a priori. They are not up for debate. Though postmodernism critiques modernism, it still works from the basic assumption of knowing located in the human subject, However, instead of being positive about the outcome it is now rather pessimistic of the possibility of arriving at true knowledge. Christian thought, therefore, will need to move beyond postmodernity to provide an alternative to both modernity and postmodernity. This is short is what my essay is about. Though my essay does not address how we should be going about this, it ends with a few recommendation. I present them here as they are:

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Fresh Start

January 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

This blog has been around for a while. Then I locked it up for a period in which I did not feel like writing much. But since after all Apologia Christi is a great name for a blog, I should actually do something about it. And besides 2012 has just started.

However, when I consider the idea of giving an apology for Christ I realize that so much of what goes around in his name is quite contrary to Christ and does little to defend him or his message. This holds true for my own tradition, evangelicalism. The more time I spend there, the more I feel comfortable in the margin. The more I study theology the more I see serious flaws in evangelical theology working themselves out in the practice of evangelicals in the West. Now, it is tempting for me to think, that I am going to say how things are supposed to be or that I will show the way forward. I wish that were true, but I am human all too human. So I decide to remain an evangelical and make its margin my home. In these outskirts of the wider story that I am part of I can muse about ‘what ifs,’ think aloud as I’m going and send off some fire crackers here and there. « Read the rest of this entry »

A mosque at Ground Zero?

August 29, 2010 § 2 Comments

Anne Frank died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen in ...

Image via Wikipedia

Recently Obama expressed his approval for the building of a mosque on Ground Zero. Who wouldn’t support such a fantastic initiative? What is more beautiful in the context of the fraternization of the world religions than to have declared enemies dig holes in each others garden? I could come up with a few other worthy initiatives that deserve all possible support because they will end all efforts to maintain controversies for the sake of remembering the fallen. « Read the rest of this entry »

A quick thought on the impact of postmodernism on Christian Apologetics

August 16, 2010 § 5 Comments

Does postmodernism herald the end of Christian apologetics as we know it? Does the argument for God’s existence go out of the door as ‘so yesterday’? « Read the rest of this entry »

Poem of the Week [10.10]

August 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

A poem on the ultimate surrender in the face of what comes at you through life. Don’t try to maintain control, but surrender to the One who holds past, future and present in his hands and for Whom human free will, divine foreknowledge and divine predestination converge. Did you know He has a plan for your life? « Read the rest of this entry »

Why the hell…? [3] – Do we need one?

July 21, 2010 § 3 Comments

Jeroen Bosch, The Seven Cardinal Sins

The first question that comes to mind when thinking about hell is ‘why the hell’ it needs to exist. It hardly helps in convincing people of their sin; it seems not too helpful a tool to bring the ‘Good News’ to a postmodern world. An eternal conscious punishment seems rather harsh. Or better: unbearably and crushingly heavy. In this third installment of the three part series ‘Why the hell…?’ we will explore the reality of hell and the question of whether it should be seen as a place of eternal conscious punishment. This last matter is most crucial in apologetic debates. « Read the rest of this entry »

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