“More Jesus, less Christ, no God!”
Sounds good, doesn’t it, just rolls off the tongue. It’s the new motto of Zingcreed that summarizes the blog’s theology as well as its Manifesto in a nutshell.
At first I was tempted by the title of a book by Tom O’ Golo “Jesus Yes, Christ, No!” but that’s a bit harsh, a tad abrupt – it is meant to shock, but it just makes the author (a minister of religion, writing under a pseudonym) sound rabid.
More Jesus. This summarizes such sentiments as Embrace the human Jesus (see the title of David Galston’s book in my Post The 5 gospels of the historical Jesus ). Some might want to hug the historical Jesus, but that goes too far for me. I see Jesus as a teacher, first and foremost, and as a former teacher myself it would worry me if a pupil wanted to hug me! It’s the lesson or message which counts not the woman or man that delivers it. Even ‘Embracing’ , although a ‘milder’ form of hugging, is a bit extreme, Dr Galston; I love the teaching not the teacher. I want to learn from Yeshua (Jesus’s name in Aramaic) the Wisdom teacher, preaching in the Jewish wisdom tradition that’s found in Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes in the Hebrew Scriptures (O.T.). Presently, the church listens to Paul and other post-Resurrection folk who didn’t even meet Jesus. I would like to see a shift of emphasis back to Jesus’s parables and aphorisms, to put it mildly.
Less Christ. Christ does not mean the same thing as Jesus. The two words are not interchangeable. Christ is a title. It means ‘Messiah’ or anointed. It’s all theology that was thought up by Paul (boo!) and others after Jesus died. Jesus didn’t call himself Christ. Prove me wrong with chapter and verse, please. The title detracts from the humanity of Jesus, it leads to an exaggerated view of this iron age peasant, who, in Robert Funk’s words needs to be demoted. It’s not a useful term, so let’s reject the Risen Christ hypothesis – it’s past its sell-by date!
No God In my view the God metaphor has passed its Best Before Date too. You’re no longer useful, daddy-O, so please just retire gracefully from the scene. You should have gone long ago. Why are you still hanging round here like a ghost? I won’t be any harsher than this: I’m a non-theist, not a militant atheist.
At first, I was going to make the motto “Jesus Yes, Christ No, God No!”
then “Jesus Yes, Christ No!
Jesus Yes, God No!”
But I don’t like the sound of “Christ no!” as it sounds like someone swearing vehemently.
So the only decision now is whether to use 0ne exclamation point or three.
I think More Jesus, Less Christ, No God! is fine.
Now I shall have to write a series of Posts to explain how I arrived at this philosophical conclusion.
I shall enjoy doing that.
Hope you can join me!
Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.
Related Zingcreed Posts:
Throwing the baby out with the bathwater
A blueprint for the school of the historical Jesus
The ballad of boogie Christ
Jesus’s dark side
Naked Jesus – a cock and bull story?
Jesus was a lower class power broker
Small dark ugly and illiterate – the real Jesus?
See alphabetical index on title page for lots more.
Realist and non-realist views of God
Robert Funk’s 21 theses, the coming radical reformation
The 4 philosophical proofs of God’s existence
Radical Christian definitions of God
Is God the fifth force in the universe?
[376,i& l, T&C]