Honest to Jesus
is far and away the best book about the goals and work of the contemporary Historical Jesus movement. Robert W. Funk is director of the Westar Institute, which sponsors an annual Jesus seminar in which scholars attempt to establish which events recorded in the gospels actually happened and which did not. In Honest to Jesus
, Funk describes these scholars' professional methodologies and personal goals, and summarizes their surprising findings. His prose is clear, his passion is bracing, and his conclusions are challenging. Funk's Jesus, in the end, emerges as a revolutionary figure for a new age, without being the least bit New Age-y.
From Publishers Weekly
In his 1963 book, Honest to God, Bishop John A.T. Robinson questioned the ways in which the traditional Christian doctrine of God could address the concerns of a church and culture that, Robinson said, had largely left the traditional doctrine behind. How could Christians, in his words, be "honest to God?" Now, Robert Funk, the provocative founder of the Jesus Seminar, asks a similar question about the ways in which late-20th century Christianity can be honest to Jesus in the light of work by the Jesus Seminar and other critics that argues that the traditional portait of Jesus as a supernatural miracle worker is neither supported by the Gospels nor meaningful to a contemporary technological society. Funk's Jesus is a person who "caught a glimpse of what the world is really like when you look at it with God's eyes and who endeavored to pass that glimpse along in disturbing short stories we call parables." But, the Gospels often conceal Funk's Jesus, so that he concludes that "the New Testament conceals the real Jesus as frequently as it reveals him." Funk proposes 21 theses, among them setting Jesus free from the "scriptural and creedal and experiential prisons in which we have entombed him"; abandoning the doctrine of the atonement based upon the blood sacrifice of Jesus; and "declaring that the New Testament is a highly uneven and biased record of various early attempts to invent Christianity." With this last declaration, Funk, exhibiting a self-assurance that often borders on self-righteousness, advocates revising the canon of scripture by which the Christian church has measured itself for the past 2000 years.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.