Wednesday, April 12

Two religious posts... know, in honor of holy week ;-)

+ There are many legitimate criticisms of the Emerging Church movement. But, having listened to sermons from two of those churches this week, I am heartened by their observance of Lent and their connection to the church around the world. Evangelicalism's connection to the historic and worldwide church has often been bad.

+ Gospel of Judas

Brad has a post linking 4 posts by Ben Witherington on this topic. Witherington is a scholar who really knows what he's talking about.

Macon had an excerpt that I thought put this 'find' in the right context.

Suppose that sometime around the year 3,800 A.D., someone wrote a newspaper that began: "According to a recently-discovered document, which appears to have been written sometime before 1926, Benedict Arnold did not attempt to betray George Washington and the American cause, as is commonly believed. Rather, Benedict Arnold was acting at the request of George Washington, because Washington wanted Arnold to help him create a dictatorship of the proletariat and the abolition of private property."

A reader who knew her ancient history would recognize that the newly-discovered "Arnold document" was almost certainly not a historically accurate account of the relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold. The reader would know that the terms "dictatorship of the proletariat" and "abolition of private property" come from a political philosophy, Marxism, which was created long after Washington and Arnold were dead. The reader would also know that the most reliable records from the 18th century provided no support for the theory that Washington or Arnold favored a dictatorship of the proletariat or the abolition of private property.

This Friday's coverage of the so-called "Gospel of Judas" in much of the U.S. media was appallingly stupid. The Judas gospel is interesting in its own right, but the notion that it disproves, or casts into doubt, the traditional orthodox understanding of the betrayal of Jesus is preposterous.
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