Thursday, October 30, 2008

Reformation Reminder

Jesus was not God. Mary was not a virgin. The resurrection story should not be taken literally. These are some of the claims made by Peter Dresser, an Australian Catholic priest, in a booklet entitled "God is Big. Real Big!"

On Christ's divinity he writes:
    No human being can ever be God. And Jesus was a human being. It is as simple as that! ...

    ... The people who made Jesus into a God -- or to be more theologically correct, the Incarnate Son of God -- were a breakaway group of Jews, Christians, who claimed that this person Jesus was the Messiah, the anointed One of God, the Christos. Subsequently there developed over the early church period some theological reflections regarding this man Jesus which ultimately lead to the Council of Nicaea which encoded the major beliefs of the mainstream Christian churches today, including the divinity of Jesus. I want to return to this whole matter regarding Jesus being God a little later because it is a concept that not only does violence to my own intelligence but must be a sticking point for millions of people trying to make some kind of sense of the Christian religion. The concept of Jesus being an avatar makes considerable contemporary sense. It does not detract in any way from Jesus being a human person, it explains more easily his relationship with his God, and it helps us to read and respect the lives and teachings of other avatars -- something very important for us living in the global village.
On the virgin birth:
    A human couple cannot give birth to God! But because the early Church saw Jesus as a divine person, God, the notion of virgin birth had to be introduced in order to explain this phenomenon. And what an overzealous and violent attempt it was. Mary was proclaimed to have been a virgin before, during and after* the birth of her son. This really affronts one’s intelligence because it is simply not possible! Not even the traditional God can do something that is logically impossible. And it is logically impossible to be a mother and remain a virgin.

    (*My note: Protestants do not hold to Mary's perpetual virginity.)
On the resurrection:
    It is important that we do not accept resurrection in a literal sense as being a resuscitation -- and Jesus literally coming alive and dancing on the tomb! Those who insist on interpreting Jesus' resurrection as his physical restoration have perhaps never considered the difficulties raised by such a view. ...

    ... It is not my intention to prolong discussion on the literal interpretation of resurrection except to say that once again we are confronted with religious language. Even the expression that Jesus was raised up on the third day is not to be taken literally.
In the following clip, Tim Brunero of talks to Dresser about his booklet. Note how Dresser opens the interview with a blatant lie: "I'm a little bit sort of dismayed that this has caused controversy, to tell you the truth." No, this is exactly what he set out to do.

How appropriate that this story comes out just before we Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. Let this serve as a reminder that reformation wasn't a one-time thing. We must remain constantly on guard, ready to make a defense for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15).


Anonymous said...

I have not read this book yet, but seeing as how I've seen it mentioned by so many other reformers in their blogs, I think I might have to.

About the resurrection, does Dresser mention 1 Corinthians 15:17 which reads "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile" ??

John8v36 said...

Wow, what an attack, a demonic doctrine, a blatant attack on the diety of the Lord Jesus Christ. How did this guy become a priest? God have mercy on his soul!

By His grace alone,


Lee Shelton said...

I haven't read the entire thing, but I don't believe he mentions 1 Corinthians 15:17. Not that he would really care anyway. He obviously doesn't think the Bible is the word of God.

Victoria said...

WOW! I don't know what else to say. wow.

Tim Brunero said...

Nice work... would love a link back to just in case people what to find the source ;-)

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