Doug Pagitt, Kuyper College, and Marcus Borg…

15 Oct

So I almost accidentally typed in Dung for Doug..that would have been a Freudian slip huh… Just some quotes from the Dougster, (or Emergent’s other white meat, as I like to call him) and Some from Marcus Borg, who among other things believes:

1. Most (perhaps all) of the “exalted titles” by which Jesus is known In the Christian tradition do not go back to Jesus himself. He did not speak of or think of himself as “the Son of God,” or as “one with the Father,” or as “the light of the world,” or as “the way, the truth, and the life,” or as “the savior of the world.” Only two “exalted titles” might possibly go back to him: “messiah” (about which “cutting edge” scholarly opinion seemed to be negative), and “Son of man” (see “9” below).

2. It follows that Jesus message was not about himself or the importance of believing in him.

3. Jesus was an eschatological figure. He expected “the end of the world” in his own generation. This expectation was quite literal, involving the coming of the Kingdom of God “in power,” the gathering of the elect, and judgment. This expectation was central, not peripheral, to shaping and animating Jesus’ ministry and message. This point, along with the next three, has fallen away as a foundation to my work.

4. His central message was the imminent coming of the Kingdom of God, understood eschatologically.

5. Jesus also spoke of “the coming of the Son of man,” whose advent would be associated with end of the world events. Scholars were divided about whether he was referring to himself (that is, to his own future role), or whether he was speaking about a figure other than himself (that is, though he expected “the coming of the Son of man,” he did not identify himself with that figure).

6. Finally, we cannot know much about Jesus. Any very specific claim about him is highly problematic.

Anyhoo Here are the comments from the “D” (courtesy of the Grand Rapids Press)

“Christianity is not something to be taught and believed, but something to be lived and re-imagined with every generation.

“I don’t see something wrong with understanding the gospel through a cultural lens,” he said.

“Faithfulness is as much situational as enduring.”

And here is one From the Borg:

I now see that the Christian tradition—including its claims about Jesus—is not something to be believed, but something to be lived in. I see that Bible and the tradition as “icons,” mediators of the sacred. The point is not to believe them, but to be in relationship to that which they mediate: God, the Spirit, the sacred. My own journey has thus been “beyond belief.” It has moved from belief through doubt and disbelief to relationship. For me, to be a Christian is to be part of a community that tells these stories and sings these songs. It feels like home.

Always good to know that those who have abandoned the Gospel agree I guess. Also good to know that Kuyper College is inviting them to speak to their students. That’s beautiful. Was James Arminius not available? Perhaps Anton Levay (not that I am suggesting that Doug is the head of the church of Satan mind you). But you would think that a college (Formerly Reformed Bible College) named for a reformed luminary…might not invite someone so at odds with it’s basic doctrine to have so much say on their campus, but perhaps as George Castanza might say they are “down” with the whole emergent thing…Their Student are, as evidenced by the following quote:

“All I know is I like what he’s saying and I’m hopping on board,” said Nate Heyboer, a 24-year-old student from Zeeland. “Doug comes in and kind of connects the dots for me.”

As a final note, isn’t it funny how guys like Pagitt say things that set up false choices: i.e. Christianity isn’t something to be believed it is something to be done. I don’t get it, isn’t it possible that it is both?

Or Perhaps Christianity is a relationship. With someone whom you love and believe in so much that you would do anything for him. Anything he wanted. And while you are  doing anything he wanted, perhaps you might realize that it is not your job to re-imagine him for your culture and time, but rather to understand his revealing of himself and how it can transform you in your culture and time. Or perhaps I could re-imagine what he meant when he said he was the same, yesterday, today and forever…

 

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One Response to “Doug Pagitt, Kuyper College, and Marcus Borg…”

  1. efwakemazzizle November 2, 2006 at 7:08 pm #

    “Christianity isn’t something to be believed it is something to be done”

    Wasn’t this the mantra of early-20th century liberalism??

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