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The Once and Future Jesus: The Future of Jesus, the Church of the Future, the Future of the Faith Paperback – 15 Jan 2000

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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Let your enemies love you! 4 April 2001
By Dave Kinnear - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Once and Future Jesus is a compendium of presentations given at one of the many Jesus Seminars. The writing is insightful, in depth, concise, and enlightening. This is must reading for anyone serious about bible study.
Each of the contributors to this book sheds new and different light on what I once thought I understood. The gems almost slip by you, such as this one from Robert Funk: "Love your enemies is probably the most radical thing Jesus ever said. Unless, of course, one considers the parable of the Samaritan. There the admonition is to let your enemies love you." Perhaps this is not a new slant for many readers, but for me, it was a fresh way to view a wonderful, familiar parable.
And it is so good to have a female point of view. Karen L. King, in Back to the Future, opens our minds to the gospel of Mary and how the "basis for leadership lay in a person's spiritual maturity, not any ephemeral physical characteristic like gender or sexuality."
And of course, the indomitable Bishop John Shelby Spong gives the reader hope for the survival of Christianity in his essay, Christ and the Body of Christ. And Lloyd Geering point out in The Legacy of Christianity that "It was the ancient Israelites who abolished the gods of nature who prevented humans from interfering with their domain. It was the ancient Israelites who declared that humans had been given dominion over the earth by its one and only Creator. It was the ancient Israelites who desacralized the sun, moon, and heavenly bodies and proclaimed that the heavens and the earth belonged to one created system." This small book, packed with new insight, was for me an excellent read.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
"The Once and Future Jesus" 12 Aug 2009
By Robert G. Peebles, Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bishop Spong's book is expectedly stunning. Participants in the Jesus Seminars comment on the most current thoughts on Jesus. Jesus can now be seen in a new light, as an individual repositioned in the current age. Without revealing or skewing comments in this book, I can only say that if your mind is open than this book will alter your spirituality.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Steven H Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Contributors to this 2000 book include Robert Funk [Honest to Jesus: Jesus for a New Millennium], Marcus Borg [Jesus: A New Vision: Spirit, Culture, and the Life of Discipleship], John Shelby Spong [Jesus for the Non-Religious], Karen King [The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle], John Dominic Crossan [The Historical Jesus], Gerd Lüdemann [Jesus after 2000 Years], and others.

The Introduction explains, "This collection brings together in a single volume the various keynote addresses---all by Fellows of the Jesus Seminar---from the 'Once & Future Jesus' celebration at Santa Rosa, California in October 1999. Like the panel sessions that were interspersed through the program, those addresses were organized around three themes: The Future of Jesus, The Future of the Church, and The Future of the Faith."(Pg. 1) It adds, "These essays celebrate the scholarship and the results of the Jesus Seminar. More than that, they probe the character and the significance of the Jesus tradition." (Pg. 4)

Robert Funk states, "Scholars of religion are exiting Christian precincts at an alarming rate in order to gain the right to think unorthodox thoughts. Biblical scholarship and theology are moving into a wholly profane, secular setting. Many scholars have elected the safe route, which is to abandon the theological ship and seek refuge in a humanistic harbor. The departure of scholars is matched, or perhaps exceeded, by the loss of clergy. The clergy have been caught in the tension between the churches they have taken oaths to serve and the scholars who were their mentors in the seminaries... some have opted for the safe course, which is not to offend patrons of the parish in order to protect their pensions. This intellectual sacrifice has made them theological eunuchs in the temple of the Lord. Others have given up and quit the service of the church altogether. Still others---a few---have dared to broach the fundamental issues and behave like prophets, at great expense to themselves." (Pg. 6) He adds, "My experience in the On-the-Road programs has led me to conclude that scholarly debate will not determine which reconstructed picture of Jesus is more accurate. The resolution of the argument regarding the historical Jesus will not take place finally in learned books but in the public market place of real needs and viable ideas." (Pg. 23)

Marcus Borg says, "when we do not make the distinction between the pre-Easter Jesus and the post-Easter Jesus, we risk losing both. When we do make the distinction, we get both---and both matter. And this is why historical Jesus scholarship is important: it helps us to see the distinction between the human Jesus and the divine Christ, and to glimpse the utterly remarkable person Jesus of Nazareth was." (Pg. 55)

Another essayist suggests, "Perhaps the recovery of the human Jesus of the past is the very stimulus we need today. It is the faculty of self-criticism which has enabled the Christian cultural stream to reach the secular global sea now spreading round the world. Self-criticism needs to be exercised more than ever if this cultural stream is to continue to evolve for the full benefit of humankind in a way consistent with its long-term hopes." (Pg. 144)

This volume will be of great interest to anyone concerned about the contemporary church, and modern theology.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Another outstanding Polebridge Press product. 8 Jan 2013
By John Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Used by a local study group reading a chapter a month. Every month was a fresh view of Jesus, the man.
3 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Buyer Beware 22 April 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Not recommended for persons who are: just become Christians; theological beginners.

This compilation includes viewpoints supported by the founder of the HIGHLY DISCREDITED Jesus Seminar.

Thus the "a priori " assumption is the contents will also be intellectually unfounded and dishonest and far afield from actual long-term studies and assessments.

You read this at the risk of your own social, intellectual, and spiritual impairment.
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