Forums | Doing Theology and Church History
Bultmann and the Christ of Faith
30 November 2017, 9:53 PM
The latest theology video on doing theology is Finding the Critical Centre: the Jesus of History and the Christ of faith. Watch it here
The challenge I've set myself is to explain some aspects of Christianity in 120 seconds more or less.
Sometimes it's a complete failure and takes 7 or 8 minutes to labour some minuscule little point.
But today I think I'm on track with one explanation from liberal theology about the art of understanding what Christianity is.
Obviously, there are many different ways to approach Christianity.
Some will say it is a myth of the dying, rising God. And for others Jesus is the personification of that myth or, if you like, the myth made real, made flesh. That was C.S Lewis’s position.
There are others like the New Zealand theologian Lloyd Geering, turning 100, who regard it as a myth and in his view not real. God, he said, is an outdated concept no longer useful.
Then there were the great evangelical preachers like William Barclay who said that Christianity is fact but the art of history can't penetrate to the core of the facts.
And there's the German bible scholar Rudolph Bultmann, who talked about the two languages of the Bible, the picture language and the language of discourse. He insisted that while the pictures of 2,000 years ago didn't communicate well today the discourses did and remain essential.
Bultmann said, the Jesus of history is lost. All you have, is the Christ of faith and on this must you make your decision.
I like that. All you have, is the Christ of faith and on this must you make your decision. It makes sense to me.