Comments: Holy Week opinion

Simon. The link to the D Telegraph review of Philip Pullman's books take one to the Guardian review again.
Also there has been this from the ABC today
and there was an excellent talk by Giles Fraser on Radio 4 at 6am this morning which is worth bringing to a wider audience.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Saturday, 3 April 2010 at 11:04am BST

I am so pleased to see TA taking its aims seriously in engaging the latest knowledge of science and technology. You have however exceeded yourselves today by shifting time! I read Peter Owen's posting, date stamped "11.33BST" at 11.15BST. Is either Peter's PC or your server affiliiated with the new Dr Who? Or just maladjusted?

Posted by John Waldsax at Saturday, 3 April 2010 at 11:25am BST

I've corrected the link to the Telegraph review.

I've also corrected the timestamp on this article. By default this is set to time when the article is started, which in this case was several days ago. It than has to be manually changed to the actual time of publication. But this has to be in GMT and by mistake I entered it in BST.

Posted by Peter Owen at Saturday, 3 April 2010 at 1:16pm BST

The theme in Philip Pullman’s new book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ is a development from the well known Jesus of history Christ of faith division in some theology. As one who has 'given up' (in the Archbishop's words) I'm not convinced by the Archbishop's shift to apparent reality from the story.

That is to say, the Jesus of history is not Pullman's stripped down, ordinary, Jesus, and in teh gospels, but still a highly supernatural believing Jesus, who even at the last moments will have contrasted his personal agonies and necessity to go through with it (if the account is secure at this basic level) - it is we outside these compulsive guiding beliefs of that time and who have 'given up' who see that he is facing nothing by his act of self-giving. We are the ones who take that up, whereas a Jesus of history had come to a point of expecting a personal end as the means to a cosmic beginning, and (like Dr. Who in the last episode) he didn't "want to go".

Posted by Pluralist at Saturday, 3 April 2010 at 2:52pm BST

Amazing pictures and was really taken with Filipina Roman Catholic Mary-Jane Mamangun nailed to a cross as a re-enactment of the Crucifixion of Christ during Good Friday celebrations. What ever next: women priests in the RC church?

Posted by Richard Ashby at Saturday, 3 April 2010 at 5:30pm BST

I read the reviews about the book The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. It is clearly a story, a fiction: For one thing, any kid named Christ by his mother would have been mercilessly ribbed by the Greek-speaking Jews of the era.
But, the idea of someone faking Jesus’ resurrection reminds me of a non-fiction book from the 1970s called The Passover Plot. It involved the author’s attempt to show Jesus faked his death, but it all went horribly wrong for Jesus (a soldier stabbed him too deeply in the side), Jesus died, and when a friend of Jesus' tried to tell the apostles all this, the friend was mistaken for an angel by hysterical women and the shaken apostles (Hey, it could happen to anyone).
I am Jewish, but I refuse to believe that a religion that has survived for 2,000 years, despite murderous wars, ruinous schisms, natural disasters of a cataclysmic scale (plagues, earthquakes, etc) and whose eponymous central figure can still inspire people (including this skeptical non-believer) is based on a fraud.
For me, "Something Happened" at the time of Jesus' crucifixion and death. Something that transformed a room of scared rabbits into enthusiastic bearers of the Good News willing to die for their faith. That transformed a troubled Jewish priestly candidate from a persecutor into the greatest early expounder and evangelist for that faith. I refuse to believe a fraud made this happen. For Christianity, as well as for Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and other great religions, the words of Gamaliel in Acts 5:34-35, 38-39 still ring true for me.
Happy Easter, everyone!

Posted by peterpi at Saturday, 3 April 2010 at 6:27pm BST

I second peterpi's comments on the Resurrection.

I think "something" happened in that tomb that was certainly not a fraud, was far more than a metaphor, and was much more than the resuscitation of a corpse (the Risen Christ is not a zombie or a vampire). The Resurrection was something transformative, whatever it was.

Posted by Counterlight at Saturday, 3 April 2010 at 8:05pm BST

Dear friends,

Happy Easter from Pomona, California and the TEC Diocese of Los Angeles. Christ is risen. My prayer is that we join together in prayer for resurrection within ourselves, in our communties, in our Churches, in the Communion, and in the human community.

Please enjoy a youtube video of Holy Week at our progressive, inclusive, and thriving parish community. Just click on the link below or enter "st pauls holy week" in the Youtube address bar. Much love to all. Christ is risen, indeed! Karen+

Posted by karen macqueen+ at Saturday, 3 April 2010 at 9:47pm BST

"This is the Church. We are a body that ought to care about matters of ultimate concern: about life and death, about salvation. Instead, we are in danger of looking like a silly little pressure group overly absorbed with our own existence."
- Canon Giles Fraser -

Once again, we have Fr. Giles 'telling us how it really is' - with his honest appraisal of the true value of the dying and rising of Christ. Unless, and until; the Church is willing to 'die unto itself' - like Jesus - it cannot be trusted with the proclamation of that quality of life we call 'eternal'

"Christ our Passover is sacrificed FOR US, (and, one dares to say, 'in us') therefore, let us Keep the Feast - not with the old leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of SINCERITY and TRUTH." Alleluia! HE IS RISEN!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 4 April 2010 at 1:11am BST

Congratulations to Fr. George Pitcher. His is a truly evocative summation of what God did for us at Calvary, and what he expects of us as a result.
There can be no resurrection without a death. This is the truth at the heart of our religion.

Thank you, T.A. for this article.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 4 April 2010 at 1:19am BST

Something may have happened... OK, so I wonder. Assuming the death, which reasonably you do, was it a body that would rot reanimated? No. Was it a spiritual body, like a square circle, in which consciousness was continuous. No. Was it a revived man - no, he wasn't walking about like a cripple.

Was it a set of Christian communities some decade/s on writing accounts of a salvation faith that drew on early Jewish last days resurrection/ first of the resurrected beliefs, of altered expectations under retained expectations. Yes, I would suggest. A heady, no doubt confused, waiting, expectant, meal-ritualistic religious faith, expanded to another cultural community, undergoing the rapid changes one sees in charismatic settings.

The something does not have to be, and in probability is nothing much to do with the person at the centre. The 'something happened' school is people looking too hard at night with binoculars and full beam headlights into a fog that you cannot see into - all you can see is the use and the shifts in use made in the terminology as early groups seeking this faith continued to shift their understandings.

Posted by Pluralist at Sunday, 4 April 2010 at 2:11am BST

"The 'something happened' school is people looking too hard at night with binoculars and full beam headlights into a fog that you cannot see into..."

Not at all. It's called faith, and it doesn't depend upon what I can see. I understand you don't accept the idea of the Christian leap of faith, but I do wish you showed more understanding of it.

Oh, and: Christ is risen, alleluia!

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Sunday, 4 April 2010 at 12:53pm BST

'Whatever did happen' back then the love and goodness of so many people around us today in our neighbourhoods, and beyond is very encouraging and moving - and aren't we glad it is no respecter of persons, but is shown in all kinds of people religious or no.

May be this is how resurrection works or appears in us now ?

For me something this low-key and modest seems to work quite well ........

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Sunday, 4 April 2010 at 3:34pm BST

Thank you Bill, for your most appropriate response to 'Pluralist's pessimistic view of Resurrection. As you so rightly say; Faith is the key ingredient here and the whole conception of Christ's Resurrection is more to do with the perception of those who are able and willing to accede to the possibility. Faith is what belief in God is all about. You can't gain it by the process of intellectual subscription, nor can it be bought by striving. It is pure GIFT.

Christ is risen, Alleluia!
He is risen indeed, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 4 April 2010 at 11:44pm BST

I think the "something happened" school have something of an insight. The empty tomb stories are likely a second strata development, probably liturgical, perhaps connected with the alleged site of Jesus' burial. The most intriguing witness is the list of appearances from Paul. Clearly there is an original religious experience, a set of interior experiences, that cannot now be recovered. The stories of the empty tomb are perhaps largeley attempts at the mythological and legendary expression of such experiences. At its core, the NT witness is an exaltation spirituality/theology, and surely that is sufficient. Given that most of the appearances of Jesus are linked to charismatic experiences, we should hardly be dismayed.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Monday, 5 April 2010 at 2:32am BST
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