Salvation is adherence to Jesus, called
"the Christ", i.e. the anointed Messiah of Israel, the unique Son of the God of
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob & Moses ; a Divine Person, a Word pre-existent in God,
Father. The apostles teach humanity is saved through the Incarnation, Death &
Resurrection of the Godman Jesus Christ.
Although Christian philosophy teaches
Christ (the Son of God) became human, Christians nevertheless stress this only
happened once, namely in the man Jesus. For traditional ascetical theology, the
complete recuperation of the "Imago Dei" never leads to the identity of the core
of everyman's soul (i.e. the spirit) with God. The complete unity of humanity and Divinity
did only take place in the Godman Jesus, and this explains why the Son of God is also
understood to be the unique Son of the Heavenly Father. When following Jesus
Christ, we become the adopted sons of God (through, with and in His Name).
Evil cannot be part of God. The Semitic concept is rejected, the Platonic embraced. God did not create evil nor does His creation necessitate it. Evil is the outcome of a choice against the order of being (either by spiritual beings and/or by man's natural will). This choice is tolerated by God (not created & not willed) to allow for real freedom, genuine responsibility & moral conscience. Spiritual evil predated the evils caused by humanity. The anti-order of darkness of Lucifer & Satan undermines creation. It does not exist, except in the evil will in which the devil "is frozen". This anti-order is given the status of "anti-Christ". He works against God. Chaos as such does not exist, i.e. is not a positive state of being but an absence or a corruption of it (cf. "privatio boni"). Absolute evil has nothing of its own and can not be characterized, except as an absolute negation of life and an existence in the perverted will. At the end of the Day of Judgement only paradise (absolute good) & hell (absolute evil) remain.
It is true the great Protestant
thinkers introduced a manifold of "new"
theologies (also new liturgy & catechism). After the Reformation, the Christian
Medieval order was past (cf. the ideal of one, holy empire upon which the
imperial style of the church of Rome & Byzantium was based since
Constantine). The dangers of the relativity of the sacred symbol = the founder(s) + superstructure being
more clearly & critically understood, a "modern" contra-Reformation emerged
(cf. the Concily of Trent on the unification & simplification of the Rituals of
Catholicism). The results were poor. The linear standardization of the Rituals caused
the embroided local practices to feel alienated. It was not the expected return of the Medieval
§ 1/+ The sayings gospel Q is the main
historical source of the narrative compositions of the synoptics (Mark, Matthew &
Luke). In Q1, the earliest and purest layer of the sayings, the
word "Christ" does not occur. Analysis of the frequency of the words used in Q1
shows that "be", "do", "My" and "Elohîm" are
often used. Jesus is portrayed as the Son of Man who "has nowhere to lay His
head" (Lc.9:58). His teaching is summarized by the first saying of Q1 :
"How fortunate are the poor ; they have the "Kingdom of Elohîm." Nevertheless,
the nomenclature of the Hellenized Jews who believed Jesus was the "anointed
one" ("christos") -the so-called "church of Jerusalem (&
Antioch)"- became, together with the gentiles, the standard. Paul enlarged the use of this christic
appellation by coining many new phrases such as to exist "in Christ", or
assimilating those of earlier authors (Philo's "circumcision of the heart").
This major centralizing
authority interprets the descent of the Holy Spirit in an exclusive way
(suggesting that realization through Jesus is for an elected selection of disciples
working behind closed doors). In Q1 no "prima Petri", no eucharist, no
§ 3/- Besides the problem of the historical
authenticity of Christianity, many internal contradictions paralyze the truthful
missionary intent. As soon as dogmatic statements are countered by reasonable arguments,
an unfruitful distinction between knowledge and faith is made (between
"nature" and "grace"). Most, if not all, physical
claims of the Christian churches have been refuted by modern science. Contemporary
Christian fundamentalists still cling to the historical value of the narrative gospels.
Hence, they are unable to change enough to adapt to the needs of the current situation of
Recent scholarly research suggests actual Christianity to be the religion about Jesus Christ instead of the spirituality apparent in the sayings of Jesus. Moreover, only about 20% of what is proposed by Christianity in the New Testament is considered by liberal scholars to be definitive. The Jesus discovered in Q & The Gospel of Thomas is the authentic, solitary Jesus of history. He has been called a Buddhist, a Gnostic, a Cynic, a magician, et j'en passe. Who was this historical Jesus unwrapped by science ? A philosopher, a mystic ... the Son of Man, the Word of God ?
initiated : 6 IV 2000 - last update : 31 XII 2012 - version n°35