How things change with time

A few short years ago, I bought a 1st Edition of Albert Schweitzer’s 1910 Quest for the Historical Jesus.  Here is what wiki has to say about it: In The Quest, Schweitzer reviews all prior work on the question of the “historical Jesus” starting with the late 18th century. He points out how Jesus’ image has changed with the times and with the personal proclivities of the various authors. He concludes with his own synopsis and interpretation of what had been learned over the course of the previous century. He takes the position that the life and thinking of Jesus must be interpreted in the light of Jesus’ own convictions, which he characterizes as those of “late Jewish eschatology“, and that Jesus defies any attempt at understanding him by making parallels to the ways of thinking or feeling of modern men. In Schweitzer’s view, Jesus genuinely believed that his ministry would bring about the end of history and did not see any prolonged period elapsing between his time on earth and God’s final judgment.

If Schweitzer is correct, why are Christians anticipating Jesus’ return in the near future ?  This was always a problem for me when I was a believer.

wiki goes on to say: Schweitzer concludes that critical 1st century theology has been ignored by the faithful. Almost all early followers are known to have been illiterate. Only those few literate leaders, then in power, could be aware of the critical unfulfilled First Century promise indivisible from the original theology of Jesus. Schweitzer observes that the early church leaders introduced a modified theology, once the prompt return of Jesus failed to occur. Obviously, the early leaders would surely lose power, and their employment, if they failed to modify the original theology.

There are many scholars today who share Schweitzer’s sentiments.  There have even been well known Christians who have made similar claims including CS Lewis in his The World’s Last Night: “Say what you like,” we shall be told, “the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else.”
It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.

I would venture to say this is never discussed among Christians today and you will never here about this from the Pulpit. If this subject was open for discussion , how would Christians react ?

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26 thoughts on “How things change with time

  1. If Schweitzer is correct, why are Christians anticipating Jesus’ return in the near future ? This was always a problem for me when I was a believer.

    I’d go even further and ask, why a 2nd coming at all? This was one of the huge questions I confronted as a kid. Jesus, God, came to earth, did what he had to (as the story goes)… and then, nothing changed. Life went on. the earth kept turning. there was still pain and suffering and misery. And sin. What, I asked, was achieved? And then we were being told that a 2nd coming was something to be expected. WHY? Why a 2nd coming? It simply didn’t make any sense.


  2. Great question, John ! Maybe you should ask this of unkleE over at Nate’s blog. I would be very interested in his answer. This might be difficult for him to answer because it would be hard for him to use statistics or a general consensus . 🙂

    Was Jesus really a sacrifice at all ? After all, God got his Son back good as new in just 3 short days.


    • Doesn’t actually qualify, does it… More like an inconvenience, like having to go to the shops to buy some milk before going home.


  3. Er …. god knows?


  4. But does he , Ark ? 🙂


  5. haydendlinder

    I’d like to start by saying… Your wallpaper is messing with me. The middle part moves but the back stays there… Taunting me.

    Humor aside, many of the Christians I go to church with are NOT waiting for a second coming. And no you do not hear it from the pulpit salesman but I think many of us have come to terms with the reality that if it was going to happen it would have been withing the last 2000 years. I mean, that is a long time. Even for God. Embarrassing? eh, do you know me?


    • Hey haydendlinder ! Nice to hear from you again ! Not sure what is going on with my wallpaper. I’ll check into it.


      • haydendlinder

        Glad to be back BTW… Where was I? Oh yeah!… Really? The wallpaper comment is the one that stuck out to you?


    • Hayden, 2,000 years isn’t a long time if you consider your god waited 200,000 years before telling Abraham to kill his son… as a sick joke, of course, just to mess with his head in a cruel game of chicken.


  6. I hadn’t had anyone else comment about the wall paper so yes your comment did kinda stick out. 🙂
    Not that I don’t value your other comments ! 🙂


  7. Sorry Hayden, I took you at face value. Silly me. 🙂 I will try and lighten up when I read your comments. 🙂


  8. mike and brandy

    God sends Himself in the form of Jesus to save us from Himself in the form of Hell by forgiving us for sins against Himself that He could just as easily Forgive without the sacrifice?
    is it really forgiveness of a debt if anybody, let alone Himself, has to still pay the price for the debt being forgiven?
    only just seeing this quandary. thx for the post.


    • Mike, I think you’ve hit upon the ultimate absurdity of it all. It can be summed up as:

      God sacrificed himself,
      to himself,
      to save humanity from himself.

      Or, alternatively:

      Knock, knock
      Who’s there?
      It’s me, Jesus. Let me in
      Because I have to save you
      From what?
      From what I’m going to do to you if you don’t let me in


      Liked by 1 person

      • mike and brandy

        Priceless and sadly disturbing at the same time

        Liked by 1 person

      • haydendlinder

        Bwahahahaha! I admit it. I loved that!

        Liked by 1 person

        • And you are are still a christian, Hayden. Why?


          • haydendlinder

            Because my God, told me to be.:) It’s fun when you argue with a crazy man, huh?:)


            • Not really. But not unexpected. That you always skirt these issue suggests you know where I am coming from and have no reasonable response.


              • haydendlinder

                See? That’s why I don’t like talking to you. I leave you this great openning that Arch would have been all over and all you can do is show a lack of imagination.
                Much like 70% of the pop of the U.S. I am Christian AND do not believe the bible is infalible. Unlike the 30% who do. Since the bible doesn’t say Jesus came to save us from Hell in the first place, it makes it very easy to laugh at John’s joke. Since it was funny. And drew attention to the BS that the 30% like to pass off as “truth.”


                • Neil de Grasse Tyson likes to mention that 85% of the top scientist in the world do not believe in Yahweh. But his point is why DO the other 15%?
                  This is a similar question I would ask you.
                  You take a subtle side swipe at the fundies and biblical literalists yet maintain you are a Christian. A christian who wants to claim the intellectual and spiritual high-ground over his ”flat-earth” Brethren yet still believes in the Resurrection! FTS!
                  And you think ”They ” are crazy?
                  Go figure, Hayden.


                  • haydendlinder

                    And I fail to see why that should give anyone pause. The bible is a crock. God is very real.


                    • Face Palm
                      Do your realise how frakking dense that statement is, Hayden?
                      This is like saying Chickens are a crock but chicken eggs are very real, and it makes you come across as even more deranged than Ken Ham.
                      For gods’ (sic) sake, stop listening to frakking voices in your head and go and do some genuine research with regards Yahweh and Canaanite gods.
                      You are apparently a smarty guy, wake up and understand where your Bronze age beliefs are really coming from.


                    • haydendlinder

                      Don’t be stupid. The bible worshipers have only been around since the 1920’s. And despite how educated your last response sounds it doesn’t matter where my faith comes from so long as it is a healthy belief that improves my life.


                    • And in what way does it improve your life?


  9. haydendlinder

    Keep in mind this is just for me, but it helps me to see the world as my family and not as my adversaries. Which is how I used to view everything.


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