Today the Cedar Rapids Gazette published an article by Mitchell Landsberg from the Los Angeles Times about heretic John Dominic Crossan and his teaching on the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer. Let me cite the article with my commentary:
John Dominic Crossan, a renowned, if controversial, scholar of Christianity, says the essence of the Lord's Prayer can be found in those first two words, in fact, in the single word 'father,' which, he believes, encapsulates an entire first century worldview lost to modern churchgoers. 'After that,' he says, 'everything would follow.' Crossan, a former Catholic priest who teaches at DePaul University, is an old hand at challenging contemporary Christian assumptions.
Read that as, “Crossan is a heretic who doesn’t like what Scripture says.”
He is one of the founders of the Jesus Seminar, a liberal Christian organization that is devoted to the study of the history of Jesus and early Christianity.
This is a mischaracterization of the Jesus Seminar. They exist only to debunk the divinity of Christ and the authenticity of the Word of God. If they truly studied the “history of Jesus and early Christianity,” then they wouldn’t come to the conclusions they come to!
The group is respected in some circles for its scholarship, and in others, viewed as heretical for its skepticism.
Those who respect this group for scholarship have no respect for the truth!
Among its more controversial declarations are that many of the miracles attributed to Jesus did not occur, at least not as described in Scripture, and that Jesus did not physically rise from the dead.
Gee, I wonder why it’s “controversial”? Isn’t it interesting that a bunch of men who were not there can totally ignore eye-witness testimony?
Crossan has written several books about the historical Jesus. In a sense, he said in an interview, each one has helped lead to his latest book, 'The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer' (Harper-One 2010).
No, Crossan has written several books about a Jesus of his own making, not the one of history. He’s much like cult members in this regard. As far as leading to his latest, well false teaching does build on other false teaching.
In it, he dissects the Lord's Prayer (also known as the Our Father), line by line, word by word. There is nothing new about this: Most faiths do the same with their important liturgies, and there is a long tradition in Christianity of parsing the Lord's Prayer for its deeper meaning. But Crossan's interpretation is not exactly conventional.
Read that as, “Crossan’s interpretation is heretical, as are all his teachings.”
'Let's say it's a fresh and defensible reading of the prayer text, though definitely not the traditional interpretation,' said Clay Schmit, a professor of theology at the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., and academic director of its Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts.
So now the article cites someone from a theologically liberal and aberrant Seminary as an authority on what is true Christianity!
'The traditional interpretation focuses on the relationship between the Father ... and the individual,' Schmit said. 'It seeks an alignment between the will of the person making the prayer with the will of the Father.'
And this is a problem because?
Crossan calls the Lord's Prayer 'a prayer from the heart of Judaism on the lips of Christianity for the conscience of the world.' To understand it, he said, it is necessary to comprehend the culture in which it was written, that of first century Judaism. …it is delivered by Jesus, which helps explain the revered status it holds.
When Jesus' disciples heard the prayer, Crossan said, they would have responded differently than a modern churchgoer. To begin with, he said, the term 'Father' - 'Abba' in the original Greek or Aramaic - connoted a 'householder,' one who oversaw the affairs of a family. A householder, he added, would have been judged by how well he provided for everyone. When the prayer continues with 'hallowed be thy name,' he said, what it means by 'hallowed' is 'a fair distribution for all, the justice of an equitable household.' In other words, Crossan said, the prayer is about 'distributive justice,' about making sure that all are cared for. 'It is revolutionary,' he writes, 'because it presumes and proclaims the radical vision of justice that is the core of Israel's biblical tradition ... It dreams of an Earth where the Holy One of justice and righteousness actually gets to establish - as we might say - the annual budget for the global economy.' Not everyone agrees.
AHA! Now we get to Crossan’s agenda - to promote the social gospel, which is one of those other gospels Paul warned about in Galatians 1:8-9. Whoa, I wonder why “not everyone agrees”? Could it be because he is lying about what it means?
'That sounds to me like a very agenda-driven interpretation,' said Steven Porter, who teaches the Lord's Prayer to graduate students in his theology classes at Biola University, an evangelical Christian school in La Mirada, Calif. He said he would challenge any student who made that argument in class. 'While I might very much agree with a lot of the points there about distributive justice, and might think there are plenty of passages in Scripture that do seek justice for those who are oppressed and so forth, to find those in the Lord's Prayer seems like a stretch to me,' he said.
I’m glad to see they ended the article with this bit of truth.
John Dominic Crossan is an arch-heretic, and anyone who claims the name of Christ should avoid anything he writes as if it was the black plague!
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