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By Gordon D. Kaufman

The newest degree of Kaufman's pondering, because it is embodied during this booklet, has attained an admirable simplicity, strength, and relevance to the wishes of our day. He calls us to include the creativity that got here vividly to expression in Jesus and within the ancient trajectory of his effect. Kaufman frees his Christian theology from each hint of mythological and supernaturalist pondering with no diminishing its significance for contemporary international. John B. Cobb Jr. Ingraham Professor of Theology Emeritus Claremont Graduate collage The vigorous curiosity this present day within the ancient determine of Jesus is never matched by way of theological advances in knowing his individual and importance 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 logo of Jesus in the modern clinical worldview. development on his idea of God as easily creativity, he right here locates the which means of Jesus' salvific tale inside an evolving universe and a threatened planet. outdoor the dualistic different types of the biblical worldview, he unearths, the tremendously inventive and influential determine of the ancient Jesus could have an important position within the emergence and improvement of the cosmos and human background. inside of that position, 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 college. His many very important theological works contain his Essay on Theological strategy (1975, third variation 1995), Theology for a Nuclear Age (1985), In Face of puzzle (1993), God-Mystery-Diversity (Fortress Press, 1996), and at the beginning . . .Creativity (Fortress Press, 2004)

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And in Christianity there has been Jesus Christ—not a body of prescriptions and laws, but a human being who came to be thought of as the very incarnation of God on earth. These “additions”—going beyond God’s fundamental relation to humans (as creator)—were indispensable for the orienting and ordering of life. Creativity, as we will be thinking of it here, is that to which everything that exists is attributed—whether massive or infinitesimal, material or ideal, beautiful or ugly, valuable or useless, meaningful or meaningless, good or evil, true or false, and on and on.

Since in this case we are not working with an anthropomorphic or anthropocentric conception of God as a conscious deliberative agent, but instead with an understanding of God as the mystery of creativity manifest throughout the cosmos, there is no place in this christology for the trajectory1 explanations and interpretations. This important shift in theological understanding should not be regarded as meaning that all talk of God—in connection with Jesus’ significance—must be given up. On the contrary, when we uncover events or processes that we take to be truly new or novel in history, it is appropriate to identify them as creative; and this means (for the theological standpoint within which we are working) that we should not hesitate to call God to mind as we consider these processes and events and their profound mystery.

19 The Jewishness of Christian faith must have been known and admitted by most early Christians, but the growing sense of the revelatory and salvific importance of Jesus eventually led to the conviction, widespread in the churches, that he was himself divine—one with God the Father (and thus of much greater authority than Moses or any other prophet). During the earliest Christian centuries, however, there were a good many followers who did not make these extravagant claims culminating in the doctrine of the trinity; ultimately those Christians did not prevail.

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