Excerpts from Ace's mailbag on the March 28 Cover Story, Risen? [edited for space]. A sampling of lengthy essays of response are included in this week's cover story.
Next you guys will try to tell us that there are actually traditional Christians who believe that Jesus did rise from the dead!
To be such a stalwart example of one of 'his generation's great intellects' in the area of Christian thought and theology, Gerd Lüdemann displays an utter failure to grasp even the most basic tenets of the Christian faith. His statement, and the supposed intent behind it, that the 'hallowed precincts of church and theological tradition often stand directly opposed to the human sense of truth' was so rich in irony that it brought a smile to my face. Of course Christianity stands directly opposed to a human sense of reason...one would have to positively torture scripture into brand-new shapes for anything less to happen.
Lüdemann's brand of fervor is no less dogmatic than that of all the believers whose faith he proclaims to be dead, but he couches that in a setting of scholarship that I suppose is intended to pass for a lack of bias. Rob Simbeck partners with him in this article with quotes about how many liberal scholars believe that 'much of what is attributed to Jesus in the New Testament involves later church doctrine put in his mouth by the writers of the gospels'...without so much as a crumb of what evidence lead to that conclusion. Lüdemann wanders down the same path with comments like, 'My previous faith...has become impossible because its points of reference, above all the Resurection, have proved invalid". He dismisses the vigor of a faith that's two thousand years old and as vibrant as it ever was, opining that Jesus himself is 'insufficient as a foundation of faith', while in the same breath presenting his own crisis (and failure) of faith to be a sufficient foundation for disbelief