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Who is Jesus - A Study in Holy Manners- Led by Jock McTavish and Wayne Holst
In the fall/winter of 2000 for ten Monday evenings, a unique study on "The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions" by Marcus Borg and N.T. Wright was held at St. David's. Here is the study material of that successful discussion.
You are welcome to peruse the material and may find the links useful.
Click to send us your comment. Thanks. You are also welcome to send us email on any portion of the work - the email links are still active.

Please also be advised of the current study,
Our current study is also a Marcus Borg book "Reading the Bible Again for the First Time". This continues the theme of a modern response to the fundamental questions. Click left to visit the home page of this study in progress.
Click to visit the Cyber Discussion Group Using the model of mutual respect demonstrated by authors Borg and Wright in presenting their views, come expecting to discover and clarify what you believe; in an environment where faithful expression, listening and honouring others' views will be emphasised. We will deal with fundamental issues relating to the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith by probing the meaning of his birth, life, death and resurrection. We will investigate his teachings and ask: Is Jesus God? Will He come again to save us? We will attempt an honest and creative learning dialogue in a climate of tolerance.

Church Moderator Marion Pardy sets the tone for us. "The church needs to practice holy manners", she says. "We are called to be gentle, patient and compassionate with one another".
The following are quotes from the 8 areas of debate and are typical of the learning and exploration ahead in our group discussion. Your participation is most welcome. If you cannot make all meetings, come to some.
Section Marcus J. Borg W. Tom Wright
1. What do we know of Jesus? How we see Jesus is to a large extent the product of the lenses through which we see him. We know about Jesus in two ways: history and faith. People regularly try to eliminate one on the basis of the other, dismissing combinations as compromise.
2. What did Jesus do and teach? Jesus was a Jewish mystic and a Christian Messiah, a healer and exorcist, a wisdom teacher, a social prophet, a movement initiator Jesus was a first-century Jewish prophet announcing and inaugurating the kingdom of God, summoning others to join him, warning of the consequences if they did not.
3. The death of Jesus. Jesus died as a martyr, not as a victim. A martyr is killed because he or she stands for something. Jesus was killed because he stood against the kingdoms of this world and for an alternative social vision grounded in the kingdom of God. ... Good Friday has more than a political meaning. But it does not have less than a political meaning. The cross of Jesus is thus the Christian symbol par excellence, forming the focal point of Christian spirituality, Christian praying, Christian believing, and Christian action. And the manifold ways in which it is and does allthis can trace their roots legitimately to the mind and intention, to the action and passion, of Jesus himself.
4. God raised Jesus from the Dead. For me, the historical ground of Easter is very simple: the followers of Jesus, both then and now, continued to experience Jesus as a living reality after his death. ... a figure of the present, not simply a memory from the past. Once you allow that something remarkable happened to his body that morning, all the other data fall into place with astonishing ease. Once you insist that nothing so outlandish happened, you are driven to ever more complex and fantastic hypotheses to explain the data.
5. Was Jesus God? I find the christological language of the New Testament much more compelling when I hear it as the testimony of the community rather than as the self-proclamation of a Galilean Jewish peasant. ... To be Christian is to affirm, "Here in Jesus, I see more clearly than anywhere else what God is like." I believe in the god I see revealed in Jesus of Nazareth. ... I do not think Jesus "knew he was God" ... he believed he had to do and be, for Israel and the world, that which according to scripture only YHWH himself could do and be.
6. The birth of Jesus. ...not a factual claim dependent upon a biological miracle, but a way of seeing Jesus that immediately involves seeing him as the decisive disclosure of God. ... With beauty and power, these symbolic narratives express central early Christian convictions about the significance of Jesus. The problem is that miracle, as used in these controversies, is not a biblical category. The God of the Bible is not a normally absent God who sometimes intervenes. This God is always present and active, often surprisingly so. ... I hold open my historical judgement and say: if that's what God deemed appropriate, who am I to object?
7. He will come again in glory. Christ comes again and again and again, and in many ways. In a symbolic and spiritual sense, the second coming of Christ is about the coming of the Christ who is already here. It is time that the old scholars' myth of "the delay of the parousia" was given a decent burial. Metaphorically, of course.
8. Jesus and the Christian life. ... being Christian is not about believing, but about a relationship with the God who is sacramentally mediated to us through the Christian tradition in a comprehensive sense of the word: the Bible, the gospels, Jesus himself, and the worship and practices of our life together in Christian community. Glad, rich worship of the God revealed in Jesus invites outsiders to come in, welcomes them, noursihes them, and challenges them. ... Books about Jesus can be an aid toward worship, a guide in mission. But if it really is Jesus we are talking about, worship and mission are more important even than books.
2 Reviews of the Book:
From Amazon.Com: The way Jesus studies should be done. Reviewer: A reader from Macomb, IL
This book brought a lump to my throat. What rare respect. I have read many "Jesus books" and I am tired of all the biting criticism of opposing vews. Here we have a book that presents two very different views without rancor. It is so handy to have these views presented in a single volume. I am surprised and extremely pleased to see that two Christians with such different views of Jesus are good friends and respect the other's views. Borg and Wright have had many personal discussions with one another, so each is very familiar with the other's arguments. Bravo to both of them. I especially liked the following two quotations: By Wright: "And the way to solve all such questions, whether to do with Jesus or to do with the sources, is once more the scientific method of hypothesis and verification." By Borg: "My point is not to deny an afterlife. But it wasn't central to Jesus' teaching. The vision of the Christian life that flows out of taking him seriously is about a relationship with the Spirit of God that transforms our lives in the present, not about a reward that only comes later." THIS IS THE IDEAL WAY TO DEBATE SUCH ISSUES. Why can't other scholars show similar respect for opposing views?
Elizabeth Johnson, Fordham University, author of She Who Is.
"A fascinating, highly civilized conversation on the central issues about Jesus under debate today. The point-counterpoint arrangement introduces genuine and instructive differences of view, while the authors' mutual respect models an ideal way to disagree. Bravo to this intelligent spirit of searching for common ground!"

September 23, 2001