Monday, January 10, 2011

FacePalm of the Day #46 - Islam and Christianity A Common Word: Anglican bishops declare that Jesus is not God.

thegrandverbalizer has seized upon the report:

In the British newspaper the "Daily News" 25/6/84
under the heading "Shock survey of Anglican Bishops"

We read
"More than half of England's Anglican Bishops say that Christians are not
obliged to believe that Jesus Christ was God, according to a survey
published today. The pole of 31 of England's 39 bishops shows that many of
them think that Christ's miracles, the virgin birth and the resurrection
might not have happened exactly as described in the Bible. Only 11 of the
bishops insisted that Christians must regard Christ as both God and man,
while 19 said it was sufficient to regard Jesus as 'God's supreme agent'"
He uses the this report to make the argument that learned Christians have been moving away from standard traditional teachings that he attributes to Paul.

And that the stories of the ministry of Jesus in the Bible
have been extensively tampered with by the hands of mankind.

The Church, as Heinz Zahrnt put it "put words into the mouth of Jesus which
he never spoke and attributed actions to him which he never performed." One
of those who has shown that most of what the church says about Jesus is
baseless is Rudolph Augustein in his book "Jesus the Son of Man." Another
very comprehensive study of this matter can be found in the book "The Myth
of God Incarnate" which was written by seven theologian scholars in England
in 1977 and edited by John Hick. Their conclusion in this matter is that
Jesus was "a man approved by God, for a special role within the divine
purpose, and..... the later conception of him as God incarnate ... is a
mythological or poetic way of expressing his significance for us." See also
John Mackinnon Robertson's "Christianity and Mythology" T.W Doane's "The
Bible Myths and their Parallels in Other Religions" (A good summary of these
studies is available in M.F. Ansarei, "Islam and Christianity in the Modern

This post by thegrandverbalizer throws out all kinds of assumptions and thoughts and offers nothing but the opinions of some who don't represent the viewpoints of all scholars. Some of the people he quotes make some rather strange statements. Take this one for instance:

A University of Richmond professor, Dr. Robert Alley, after considerable
research into newly found ancient documents concludes that
"....The (Biblical) passages where Jesus talks about the Son of God are
later additions.... what the church said about him. Such a claim of deity
for himself would not have been consistent with his entire lifestyle as we
can reconstruct. For the first three decades after Jesus' death Christianity
continued as a sect within Judaism. The first three decades of the existence
of the church were within the synagogue. That would have been beyond belief
if they (the followers) had boldly proclaimed the deity of Jesus."
We know for a fact that there were many gentile Christians within the first 30 years of the crucifixion. There is no way it makes since that all Christians were within the synagogues given that gentiles could not go into the synagogues or Temple. Yes, all of the first Christians were Jews, but it didn't stay that way. Traditionally, it's been accepted by Christians that at least two of the books of the New Testament was written by a Gentile - Luke. Look at what thegrandverbalizer wrote:
Notice what the Bible itself says here:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Now clearly the Bible mentions that there will be a great apostasy-a falling away. However, you
the discerning Christian will have to ask yourself. Is that process going on now? It is an ongoing
process? Or was it something that happened in the early Christian community? Why is that the more learned Christians are moving away from the doctrine of the Trinity?

Maybe indeed these people are all reprobates and apostates. However, maybe they have just woken up as they become privy to the facts. I mean Paul writes the majority of the New Testament yet not so much a peep from Jesus about this guy? Paul is not mentioned any where in the Old Testament yet he is so crucial to the development, shape and destiny of Christianity? Maybe some folks got to scratching their heads trying to make heads or tails of it all.
Notice how thegrandverbalizer tries to discount and discredit Paul, yet is more than happy to use 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 to suggest that the Trinity is an example of people falling away from the true faith Jesus taught. Why is this such a FacePalm? Wait for it.....Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians. I realize that there are some scholars might try to argue Paul did not write it but I'd like to see them prove it.
As for thegrandverbalizer's exegetical skills let the way he presents John 17:3 speak for itself.
This is exactly what Jesus himself testified to in the Bible:
"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and
Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
John 17:3
What did Jesus say? Far from denying his deity, Jesus affirms it. He is saying that eternal life comes from knowing God and knowing himself - equating himself with God. Far from denying the Trinitarian doctrine because the doctrine does not say that Jesus and God is the same person. The Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit share the same being.
As for the condition of the Anglican church, it has had problems from the beginning. Don't forget that it started because King Henry VIII wanted to be able divorce his wives until he found the one to deliver him a male heir (and he wasn't above murdering them to get what he wanted). That's not saying that there aren't Anglicans who are just as saved and born-again as any real Christian. Given today that much of the Anglican church today is so inclusive of homosexuality as being a viable lifestyle, I'd say that the Anglican denominations now adopting such views as throwing out Biblical inerrancy and Jesus' deity is not really a big surprise. When you let Biblical inerrancy go, of course you go off the rails - and quickly. Anything will do and anything goes.

Islam and Christianity A Common Word: Anglican bishops declare that Jesus is not God.
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