Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Why I Heart the Jesus Seminar


When I post on the Jesus Seminar, I tend to raise the ire of some commenters. I don't intend that, but I regard it as an added bonus. One blogger said that I was a Jesus Seminar Fanboy. True enough. I am an associate member and a member of their fan club. Folks may think it odd that scholars would have a fan club. I think it is swell. Some people are fans of NASCAR and enjoy watching grown men (and women) turn left around a racetrack. Others are fans of Westar and enjoy watching grown men (and women) vote left around a table.

Why do I heart them? Let me count the ways:

  1. They are a swell group of folks. All around, nice people.
  2. They publish books that I can read.
  3. They are interested in topics that interest me: the historical Jesus, Christian origins, and so forth.
  4. They go around the country two by two as the Lord has instructed them to preach the gospel of higher criticism. I am pleased to have so far hosted three such events, known as Jesus Seminars on the Road.
  5. They hold their Spring and Fall gatherings at the Flamingo.

10 comments:

  1. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, is that all you ministers think and or blog about?

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  3. No, Monkey. I can attest to the fact that John thinks about other things besides the Flamingo.

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  4. So the queston is: Are you a fan of the Jesus Seminar because they agree with what you believe, because you have added to your progressive views because of their thoughts or some of both?

    Just wondering.

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  5. I don't know about John, I am typically a fan of those who agree with me. Except Louis Farrakhan, of course. I'm just sayin', in case I want to run for office some day.

    I also tend to like folks who say things that open my eyes a little more. Anyone else like that kind of stuff, or is it just me, here?

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  6. Hey Viola,

    That is a good question. If I had to give one reason why I appreciate the Jesus Seminar it would point 2 that I made in my post. They have made higher criticism accessible to the public. I learned higher criticism in a PCUSA seminary. It isn't as though they invented it.

    They are an educational group as much as a scholarly group. I wish that all scholars would write in such a way that is accessible to non-professionals. Many are now doing so even though they are not with the seminar and even though they disagree with some of the particulars of the Jesus Seminar.

    I have been to several of their Fall and Spring gatherings. It is refreshing to see scholars sitting around a table debating issues in public. You can interact with them, ask questions, even get to vote.

    The point is to get people to think on their own.

    I am a fan because of the educational element. They have been a helpful resource for me as a minister to bring higher criticism to people in my congregations.

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  7. By the way, Viola, you live in the neighborhood. You would get a kick out of their Fall gathering. Mr. Historical Jesus himself, Dominic Crossan, is one of the presenters next week.

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  8. Count me among the Jesus Seminar fan club membership! And you keep right on blogging about them: I love you for it.

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