Originally Posted by gb8
RBP with so you putting so much emphasis on interpretation and taking into account the fact that the time of when the gospel is written is so important in looking at its true meaning what is your opinion on the character of Jesus basically mirroring mithra and other such older god stories? At what point does one take that leap of faith and what is interpretation how do you yourself make the distinction.
the question isnt really about the "originality" of jesus, but the effect of the resurrection of jesus. it inspired those who followed him to die for him-- out of love.
and then more followers came, by the power of the Holy Spirit. and more. and it continued. and it has lasted the test of time.
where happened to the followers of mithra or other ancient near eastern gods? if they did survive, they had nowhere near the effect of lasting power of the jesus way/movement (christianity)
one of the principles that i believe in is: if something is true, it will pass the test of time.
one joke about catholicism is: that the church is the best proof for the Holy Spirit because there is no way it should have lasted over the centuries. there is truth to this joke...
as important as the intellectual aspect of our humanity is, i dont think that it is what makes us take a "leap of faith". i have never met anyone who has changed from a non-believer to become catholic. there is much more to us and God than just our minds
there are other factors that move us into relationship with God that are much more powerful than an intellectual assent.
at the heart of it is another mysterious thing: grace
there are all sorts of ways to describe grace but for our purposes, enough to say that it is like the water in a pool that enables us to float/swim to God. we cannot get anywhere in a pool without water.
grace surprises us in different ways--- and oftentimes hits us when we are not looking
i dont think we really choose God as much as become aware that God IS
and we are in intimate relationship and in union with this God
it is best seen in the person of jesus (again the power of the incarnation). one scripture says jesus is the image of the invisible God...
faith is our response to this love/grace of God which brings us closer to God. faith allows us to be in some sort of relationship with this Mystery.
relationship with God is more a heart thing and soul thing more than a mind thing although all of these work hand in hand
theology can be described as faith seeking understanding. these discussions of the concepts/dogmas presume faith, not primarily to engender faith
just some scattered thoughts...