Item description for A Credible Jesus: Fragments of a Vision by Robert Walter Funk...
Jesus saw the extraordinary in the ordinary. His extraordinary vision comes to us in bits and pieces, in random stunning insights, embedded in the everyday language of his parables, aphorisms, and dialogues. In A Credible Jesus, Robert Funk sorts and assembles these fragments and examines ways in which the vision they preserve can serve twenty-first century people searching for meaning in a very different world than the one Jesus inhabited. The resuslts and both unsettling and reassuring.
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Studio: Polebridge Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.5" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.48" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2002
Publisher Polebridge Press
ISBN 0944344887 ISBN13 9780944344880
Availability 0 units.
More About Robert Walter Funk
Robert W. Funk is the director of Polebridge Press.
Robert Walter Funk was born in 1926 and died in 2005.
Robert Walter Funk has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about A Credible Jesus: Fragments of a Vision?
Beyond Jesus May 18, 2008
In some of his writings Robert W. Funk suggests that we shift our focus from an obsession with Jesus to the subject to which he has been pointing all these years. That observation struck me with such power that I have been trying to do that. And this book is one that definitely seeks to accomplish that. Robert W. Funk, founder of Westar Institute as well as the Jesus Seminar but now deceased, describes the vision of Jesus that is found in bits and pieces, embedded in his parables, aphorisms and dialogues, and assembles these fragments to give us a picture of Jesus.
You see, one of the most destructive religious teachings is rooted in a particular notion of faith or belief. Faith, to some, means giving assent to the standard doctrines of one's religious tradition. History is crammed full of the excesses of this view. Even in communions where faith, historically, has been perceived relationally, there is a substantial clamor for "believing the Bible" rather than relating to a person. According to Funk, when faith is defined in this fashion it is regarded as "a supernatural virtue that enables one to believe that God has revealed the divine will through Christ and the church." This is an utter distortion because "faith, understood as trust, involves seeing the world and other people for what they are when viewed through God's eyes." Thus, it is an avenue to the deepest dimensions of reality and to God.
I emphasize what Funk says about faith in this book as a way of "reviewing" it. It is about the fragments that Jesus Seminar fellows have assembled in the database of sayings that comprise the vision of Jesus described in this book.
Hear Funk again in light of the observation I made at the beginning about looking beyond Jesus to kingdom or his "alternative social vision." "A world like the one Jesus envisioned cannot become a universal worldview. To survive, it has to be flattened, simplified, literalized for the masses. When that happens, it is time to start over. It is time for radical transformation and the formation of a new community." "A Credible Jesus: Fragments of A Vision," like all the work of the Jesus Seminar, seeks to liberate Jesus from the mythical matrix by which he has been framed for centuries. He concludes that the Jesus of history was involved in the same conditions of life as a peasant in the first century. In fact, he was a peasant. He was determined to live by his alternative social vision. Funk claims that the challenge Jesus poses isn't so much to follow in his footsteps as it is to catch a glimpse of his vision of life ruled by God's gracious generosity as light for our pathways in the modern world. He uses "fragments" to accomplish this. Read this book for some of the authentic work of Funk and the Jesus Seminar.
A small book - huge message Jan 8, 2007
After the "Five gospels ..." Robert D Funk et al tried to take the focus from what did really Jesus said as when he was referred to or just quoted etc to focus on what does his words REALLY tells us about life, future and present state of mind.
Every chapter is preceded by quotes of Jesus' red dotted words from the "Five gospels" and then comes the reflection of Jesus Seminar on these quotes. In their very handy introduction, the reader is informed about the pros and cons of the book: it tries to capture a glimpse of Jesus' message thru the layers of Christian tradition, Judean-Roman historical context, other forerunners (wise teachers before Jesus) but foremost thru our time and our understanding of Jesus.
Our understanding is unique of things past. The most conservative Christians feel this burn in the bosom when they read Jesus' word and life story according to the gospels, I as a liberal Christian, feel the same burning in sharing the bread and wine in the sign and token of unity, love and humbleness. We have people of the Jewish religion having all sorts of perspectives on Jesus - we have Muslims, worshipping him as the beloved prophet of God, but we have also atheists, trying to contact him in his humanness. Somewhere in between we all are lost in the web of the stories around Jesus - his birth, family status, apostles, did he have a wife or not, did he really die or fainted, did he walked on water ...
Thru this web we have a new prism, a new reflection where we can try to listen to the voice - how faint it is - of Jesus when scholars best can catch it. Catch it, not thru revelation, not thru X-ray signals, but thru humbleness: accepting that how much miracle a faith can contain, we have still to do in our terrestrial science with a man, a poor man, walking along Galilean countryside, taking the day as it came, eating what he got from hospitable foreigners, preaching about the MORE of today, the MORE of having a meal - preaching about an alternative life style that we can carry in our lives each hour of our days.
He looked at the nature around him, seeing birds being fed without sowing or ploughing, he saw how great was the hope for a poor woman or man to be at ease with life compared to religious folks and orthodox believers He saw more into life than codes, routines and rituals. He said once: A woman walked with a jar full of food on her head. She didn't know that it was broken, she noticed it when she arrived at home. He likened this whole story to the divine domain of life ("kingdom of god"). It was an empty jar - not filled with delicious food - it was a confident woman, confident in having food when there was not.
Jesus Seminar shows that Jesus never talked about himself as a bridge to god, he saw godhood - the ease of life and hope for tomorrow - in every one of us. It couldn't be given to us thru rituals or a specific living, it would be given only by asking, by searching, by knowing that injustice is only a symptom. Family structures, hierarchy, dividing humans in women, men, sinners, lepers etc are the root of all injustice. See individuals in the leper, in the most outcasts: SEE, UNDERSTAND and FREED yourself from this injustice. The symptom will always be there - but not if you agree on its cause.
Jesus knew that poor and hungry will always be among us - he knew that only charity would make a change - but he also hoped for us to see how captured we are of this so-called reality that we cannot see an alternative. Jesus Seminar couldn't have done it in a more fantastic than this book. Thank you:-)
Exploration of Jesus the human being Apr 3, 2003
Robert Funk wrote a gem of a book that attempts to tease out the ideas and approaches of Jesus, the man, seperate from the meditations and the symbolic language of biblical writers trying to convey the significance of the risen Christ. The results are thoughtful and, no doubt, controversial. He covers a lot of ground in a very few pages. I believe he also gives us a sense of what Jesus may have been like. For an attempt at de-mythological description, I find it amazingly spiritual. If you find value in trying to put a human face on the man who became a religious icon (as I do) I recomend this book highly.