Sunday, April 29, 2007

Can We Agree?

An invitation from Sarah Dylan Breuer:

...I'm going to start a list of points on which I think I and many 'progressives' agree with the vast majority of 'reasserters.' Progressives and reasserters, please use the comments either to add your own points on which you think we'd agree or to let me know if you don't actually agree with one of the points posted up here, and I'll periodically edit the list in light of the comments. I'm not using the most specific or detailed language I could use, as the goal is to come up with the greatest number and most specificity possible while still allowing broad agreement. I'm also not listing everything in this first bunch of points that I believe and I think most reasserters also believe, simply because that would take too long and I've got papers due. I'll add more later, but I hope this is a good start.

That said, here's my initial list of things I believe that I think most reasserters would also affirm:

  • Jesus is Lord.

  • Jesus and the God who created the universe are one.

  • The Old and New Testaments were inspired by God, and are useful for teaching and Christian formation (a la 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

  • Jesus of Nazareth was an actual historical person who was born of Mary, gathered disciples and taught, healed, and confronted evil powers in ministry the first-century Roman province of Palestine, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate's authority.

  • Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Christ of God.

  • The God of Israel raised Jesus of Nazareth from the dead. I know some Christians struggle with this, but I believe this was a bodily resurrection, and the tomb was empty (and John Dominic Crossan never persuaded me that there was no tomb).

  • Jesus' disciples met the risen Jesus -- some had visions, some corporeal encounters (though Jesus' body was different in some ways -- e.g., he didn't seem to need doors to be opened or unlocked to get into a room), but in all cases reported in the New Testament it was Jesus they met.

  • I think the list of canonical books in the New Testament is a good one. There is no non-canonical gospel that I would have liked to see in the canon, and no book currently in the canon that I'd exclude if I could.

  • I believe that the kingdom of God was inaugurated in Jesus' ministry, and that Jesus will come again to realize fully his work among us.

  • I believe that the God of Israel has chosen Jesus, the Christ, as judge of the nations.

  • I believe that Jesus is really present in the sacrament of the Eucharist.

  • I believe that Jesus is really present wherever people gather in his name...
  • I agree with Dylan's list. In my comment on her site, I suggested one addition.

    If you want to add to this list, or express your disagreement, please post your comment at Grace Notes. Note the title of Dylan's blog; let's be people of grace. Note also that "the goal is to come up with the greatest number and most specificity possible while still allowing broad agreement." From what I understand, this is not an invitation to debate. But, of course, debate here all you want.


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