Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?: The Doctrine of the Person and Work of Christ -- By: Larry Dixon

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 08:2 (Winter 1999)
Article: Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?: The Doctrine of the Person and Work of Christ
Author: Larry Dixon

Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?:
The Doctrine of the Person and Work of Christ1

Larry Dixon2


“One reason why I find the Incarnation compelling…, in the figure of Jesus the Christ there is something that escapes us. He has been the subject of the greatest efforts at systematization in the history of man. But anyone who has ever tried this has had, in the end, to admit that the seams keep bursting. He sooner or later discovers that he is in touch, not with a pale Galilean, but with a towering, and furious figure who will not be managed” (Thomas Howard, Christ the Tiger).

“The Christ that [the church historian] Harnack sees, looking back through nineteen centuries of Catholic darkness, is only the reflection of a Liberal Protestant face, seen at the bottom of a dark well” (George Tyrrell).

“Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Jesus in Matthew 16:13).

There is today a collection of scholars which reminds me of a group of schoolboys on a warm summer’s day, sitting outside, playing marbles. Having been one of the best in my neighborhood, I recall with delight the occasions when my “shooter,” firmly placed between my thumb and forefinger, was unleashed with an adolescent power which scattered many of the cat’s-eyes and other kinds of marbles outside the circle. Those that went outside the circle became mine. I also remember losing my favorite shooter to Butch, the neighborhood bully. The game of marbles is great when you’re winning; it’s a sad day when all your marbles are gone.

One might ask whether the seventy-four scholars who comprise the Jesus Seminar think tank in Sonoma, California, have lost all their marbles. None come from evangelical, Bible-believing colleges or seminaries, but these men have taken upon themselves the task of evaluating the sayings ascribed to Jesus in the four Gospels. Using colored beads (I like to think of them as marbles), these men vote on the probability of a particular New Testament saying’s authenticity. A red marble means: “That must be Jesus!” A pink indicates: “Sure sounds like Jesus!” A gray is the way of saying, “Well, maybe.” And a black marble means “There’s been some mistake!” As a result of their game of marbles, they have concluded that 82% of the words of Jesus found in the Gospels were not said by Jesus.3 They even reject John 3:16 as spoken by Jesus, thus eliminating ...

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