Somehow I missed that George Athas began blogging last September. I loved his post on the passion narratives, siding with Mark Goodacre against Dominic Crossan, and then taking it up a notch higher.
in this case the scriptural ‘varnish’ doesn’t distort the basic shape of the historical facts... [but] simply alerts us to the agenda of the Gospel writers. They are telling us about the ministry of Jesus because they believed that what happened to him was of revelatory significance...Nicely said. My reaction: "Of course!"
Also tonight, check out Mike Bird's challenging post on "The Inclusive Jesus". I do think Jesus was more inclusive in his day than most other people, in some ways. I do NOT think that first century Judaism has to be tarred and feathered with ethnocentrism in order to emphasize Jesus' awesome graciousness, merely by contrast. The way he entertained sinners, trained unlearned fishermen, and allowed women into his circle - those aren't things normal JEWS didn't do, they're simply things normal PEOPLE did not do. Not anywhere. Not in those days.
Anyway, check out George's blog and Mike's great post, including my comment there. You'll be challenged. Enjoy.