Tuesday, May 02, 2006
The Problem with Bultmann
Many elements of Bultmann must be rejected or else we risk fundamentally changing Christianity into something more like Unitarian Universalism. Although Bultmann claims the person of Jesus is not just another New Testament myth, that part of his argument is not particularly convincing. He claims that Jesus was merely the person in human history who revealed the broken relationship between God and humanity. Through Jesus, God clarified our complete separation from Himself and demanded that we accept a relationship with him as a gift given by grace.
This logic allows Jesus to be parallel to other philosophers like Buddha, Mohammed, etc. Bultmann claims Jesus alone provides the means for man’s salvation, but he never explains how Jesus does this except in pointing out our need for salvation. Certainly Jesus was not the only man to think humanity needed to be saved from itself. Nor was he the only man to die for his beliefs.
At his worst, Bultmann himself rejects the power of the Holy Spirit, claiming such possession by God can only be applicable in a mythological world of spirits, miracles, and heroes who are larger than life.
Even worse than Bultmann’s personal rejection of the Holy Spirit, though, is the direction his scholarship led others. The Jesus Seminar could be considered an example of the demythologization Bultmann proposed.
HillCountryWriter Category: Church stuff
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