Extracurricular Activities 6.6.15 —American Baptists, 1 Enoch, and Stage Two Exile
The malestrom — the ways in which the fall impacts the male of the human species, causing man to lose himself, his identity and purpose as a man, and above all to lose sight of God’s original vision for his sons — poses one of the most serious historic challenges to the gospel.
Does the gospel have anything better to offer men than a kinder, gentler patriarchy? Is the gospel able to fill the manhood void with an indestructible identity and calling that cover the entire cultural spectrum and the complete lifespan of a man’s life — no matter how long or how short that may be or how his story plays out?
Trevin Wax: Baptists started out as outsiders to American culture, and only later did they grow in number and national influence. How did their origin as “outlaws” or as you describe them “double outsiders to the established and dominant churches” impact their view of themselves and their understanding of faithful Christianity?
Thomas Kidd & Barry Hankins: Baptists have outsider status coded into their spiritual DNA. While other Americans were preparing to fight the Revolution against Britain, Baptists were being horsewhipped and jailed for illegal preaching. Sometimes the Baptists’ persecutors were also leaders of the Patriot movement. Thus, there’s a way in which Baptists have never felt quite at home in America.
Time and again the study of Jesus has been swamped by waves of radical scepticism–to the point of denial of this historicity of Jesus. Three names may be mentioned as examples.
Bruno Bauer (1809-1882), who once lectured in theology at Bonn, regarded the earliest Gospel as a literary work of art: history is produced in it, not described. Albert Kalthoff (1850-1906) understood Jesus as a product of the religious needs of a social movement which had come into contact with the Jewish messianic expectation. Arthur Drews, who was professor of philosophy in Karlsruhe, declared Jesus to be the concretization of a myth which already existed before Christianity.
Of the various “chief agent” figures in various second-temple Jewish texts, the mysterious figure designated variously “the chosen one,” “the messiah,” and, by various Ethiopic expressions typically translated “the/that son of man,” is particularly noteworthy, and frequently invoked. A recent commenter on my previous posting about the two phrases referring to Jesus in the NT as “at/on God’s right hand” is an example of this. So, I thought a posting on the subject appropriate, using it as an example also of the two categories of facts and interpretation of them.
The Western church is about to enter stage two of its exile from the mainstream culture and the public square. And it will not be an easy time.
In case you missed it, Exile Stage One began a few decades or so ago, budding in the sexual revolution of the sixties before building up a head of steam some 20 years ago. Finally some Christians sat down to talk about it 15 or so years ago, and that set the ball, and the publishing companies rolling...
Exile Stage One thinking has left Christians completely unprepared for Exile Stage Two reality. There were a set of assumptions made by Exile Stage One-rs that have not lined up with what is going to pan out over the coming three or so decades if the last five years are any indication. Let me map out some of these misplaced assumptions briefly:
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