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Hi Fred,
Been associated with TCPC for a while now but first direct contact with you I think, so this is a treat.
I am reading 'The Third Jesus' at the moment and a similar point is made as the one you make above. It posits the theory that Christianity has been distracted away from the central message and teaching of Christ, that is, a reaching of god-consiousness and truly loving others, by concentrating too much on the divinity and meta-physical aspects of the Jesus story. I find myself well and truly on the fence!
I absolutely agree that there needs to be a shift in how one lives a 'christian' life, what that entails, and the egalitarian principles you mentioned above is a perfect example of what that shift needs to be. As Tony Campolo often points out, there are over two thousand scriptures relating to caring for the poor, let's concentrate on what Jesus wanted us to do! I also strongly adhere to the notion that the great commandment and the golden rule should be the lens through which all other aspects of the NT are viewed, including the life of Jesus.
My issues arise over the notion of 'demoting', or 'freeing' Jesus so that he may be simply worshipped as a wisdom teacher.
The issue I have with this is an absolutely personal one, but perhaps others feels the same way. I respect and validate other wisdom traditions enough that, to be honest, if Jesus was 'just' another wisdom teacher, I doubt very much I would be a Christian. I have said this in another post, I would almost certainly be a Buddhist, maybe a Hindu, because I think the wisdom teaching and contemplative exploration of a relationship with the limitless divine is done far more beautifully and with less contradictions in these faiths than in the christian version. What makes the christian position viable for me is, yes, the wisdom teaching, yes the golden rule and the great commandment, but at a crucial level what makes it viable is that I truly believe that Jesus was, and I guess is, the fullest revelation of the limitless divine. In other words, the Divine showed itself in the form of Jesus, more than other teachers, before or since. Now I am a passionate pluralist, I do not believe that Jesus is the 'only' way, I believe strongly that other faiths can reach the divine. But, for me, Jesus needs to have that special place, that unique position.
As I often say, I believe there are many paths to the divine, but for me Jesus is the highway!
This is just my take on it and, yep, I guess I am on the fence.

How refreshing to read your blog. I live amongst a very narrow people and have to keep my thoughts to myself with almost no one to resonate with. Thanks!

I have found myself in the same place many times.

[Tarvid's Bible] John 14:6
Love saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto Peace, but by me.

A beautiful post throughout...and the last line made me close my eyes, smile and nod. Thank you.

If I may, there is a Canadian Anglican progressive priest's blog that I follow faithfully, and it may be of interest to you.

http://www.reconnectingthespirit.com

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