Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A very good new web site: Richard Bauckham-Biblical Scholar and Theologian

A particularly good and new web site is “Richard Bauckham - Biblical Scholar and Theologian.’ Among the books he has authored are Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity and Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony.

There are quite a few good sermons and lectures on this site. And a clue to what the two books, above, are about are the lectures, Orthodoxy in Christology and Surrounded by Truth.

In the lecture “Orthodoxy in Christology” Bauckham offers various ways to approach the biblical and historical understanding of who Jesus Christ is. One thing he does insist on is that the approach must have three components to be adequate, that is, it must have a contemporary understanding, a biblical component and an orthodox credal one. And he writes about how in the past that list has always been read from the right to the left but now in most cases it is read from the left to the right.

Bauckham does explain how the modern and postmodern way of understanding who Jesus is affects our thoughts on Christology. He states that the post-modern understanding of Christology that attempts to finds its position in a supposedly early diversity of christologies presupposes that the modern historical view has already deconstructed orthodoxy.

Bauckham goes on to explain how the modern historical method has not destroyed credal orthodoxy. And going beyond this he speaks to the way and the need to understand Christology in our contemporary situation. He writes:

“Thinking through afresh the relationship between the Bible and credal orthodoxy enables us the better to understand both. Moreover, it is out of such thinking that the lines linking the Bible and credal orthodoxy to the third corner of the triangle of orthodoxy develop. Who is Jesus Christ for us today? The simplest answer might be that he is God for us - both that he truly is God for us and also that he is God for us today. Here and now as much as there and then, it is in Jesus that we find the God who is not indifferent to us or against us, nor even the God who regards us benevolently from afar, but the God who is with us and for us in a radical identification with the human situation that transforms it.”

The other lecture, “Surrounded by Truth” is, of course, about Jesus who is truth. But here also Bauckham explores what that means to us today and how we live it out as Christians. Here is a quote to whet your appetite:

“That truth is encountered we see most fully in the case of Jesus as truth. As the human person he is, as God embodied in a human life, his personal reality confronts us. He eludes our grasp, as all persons do in genuinely personal encounter. We cannot apply to him the modern rationalist desire to master truth, but nor is the postmodern notion of constructing our own truth for ourselves appropriate – not, once again, if we encounter him in his personal otherness. Of course, it is in fact all too easy to construct a Jesus figure of our own making – Jesus as we would like to him to be, a Jesus who is nothing but a reflection of ourselves or our ideals, even a Jesus as we fear he may be. Quests of the historical Jesus – modern or postmodern - always run that risk. But when they fall for it they evade the experience of encounter, preferring a useful idol to the personal otherness of Jesus. They turn, like Pilate, from the possibility of encounter back to mastery and control.”

So check out the site. There are even some children stories entitled, MacBears,

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