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By Gordon D. Kaufman

The newest degree of Kaufman's pondering, because it is embodied during this publication, has attained an admirable simplicity, strength, and relevance to the desires of our day. He calls us to embrace the creativity that got here vividly to expression in Jesus and within the old trajectory of his effect. Kaufman frees his Christian theology from each hint of mythological and supernaturalist considering with out diminishing its significance for modern day international. John B. Cobb Jr. Ingraham Professor of Theology Emeritus Claremont Graduate college The vigorous curiosity this present day within the historic determine of Jesus isn't matched via theological advances in realizing his individual and value for our personal time and worldview. Gordon Kaufman takes up this problem during this daring, speculative paintings. regardless of the fabled problems of conventional Christological phrases, Kaufman seeks to re-envision the emblem of Jesus in the modern clinical worldview. construction on his concept of God as easily creativity, he right here locates the which means of Jesus' salvific tale inside of an evolving universe and a threatened planet. outdoor the dualistic different types of the biblical worldview, he unearths, the vastly inventive and influential determine of the ancient Jesus may have an important position within the emergence and improvement of the cosmos and human historical past. inside that function, he argues, Jesus, his relation to God, and his centrality to Christian religion develop into clearer and our personal lives and activities tackle a brand new that means. Gordon D. Kaufman is Professor of Theology Emeritus at Harvard Divinity institution. His many vital theological works comprise his Essay on Theological strategy (1975, third variation 1995), Theology for a Nuclear Age (1985), In Face of poser (1993), God-Mystery-Diversity (Fortress Press, 1996), and first and foremost . . .Creativity (Fortress Press, 2004)

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As just noted, one of the most significant historical outcomes of Jesus’ activities, death, and resurrection was his fairly rapid elevation after these events—in the minds of many of his followers—to divine status (Jesus-trajectory1). In Jesus-trajectory2, of course, this development is understood to indicate that Jesus had become of the highest possible order of significance to his followers; and it was this distinctive way in which they publicly proclaimed that significance that led to increasing interest in the Jesus-story throughout the wider world in which the early Christian missionaries were spreading it.

This is clearly a thoroughly anthropomorphic God. ” Moreover, this God appears to be concerned largely with human affairs on planet Earth—an anthropocentrism also clearly visible throughout the Bible. And it all comes to a crescendo in the Christian story, where it is claimed that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16)—a very powerful, precious, but strongly anthropomorphic and anthropocentric image, one so exaggerated as to suggest that the principal focus of God’s activities is the plight of human beings.

It was only within a relatively small and insignificant corner of the Roman Empire that he was known at all. However, the impact of his life, crucifixion, and what his followers called his resurrection on subsequent history has been phenomenal. Something truly new and significant came into the world in and through Jesus’ activities, death, and what followed upon his death. In Jesus-trajectory1 we have an account of the important conceptual developments that were occurring during these events—developments that enabled the story of Jesus to spread through wider channels shortly after his death, and to grow and multiply over the centuries in many quite diverse ways.

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