chapter  20
12 Pages

Preparation in History for Christ

The radical discontinuity of Christ with existing culture is indeed a very important truth. One can understand why German theologians in particular are so touchy about it; but one may also wonder if it is not being used to solve a problem which is a Lutheran creation in the first place. The Christian observation that there are no debates in Judaism about the historicity of Moses analogous to those about the empty tomb or the Virgin Birth accurately reflects the far smaller importance that questions of historicity have in mainstream Judaism. If Christ is to save us, it cannot be by accentuating or concentrating aspects of human culture or religion that had existed before him. The Elizabethan Church chose lessons for the major festivals from the wisdom books of the Old Testament wherever it could, aiming at moral edification. But the Church of England today prefers readings that speak of the mighty acts of God' in history.