To the editors:
In the April 21st interview with Mr. Sheehan, he makes several points that I would like to take issue with. First is that every major theologian shares his views on the “myths” of the bible; secondly, I take offense to his insinuation that those that differ with these views are country bumpkins who close their eyes to facts.
I am a bible-believing, ex-catholic, born-again Christian, who had doubts about bible teaching and scripture reliability. I was confronted with some of the theories Sheehan presents, but ended up believing in the historical reality of the gospels. I found it simply impossible to believe that Jesus’ followers risked social alienation and even martyrdom to advance the cause of their religion and swell the ranks of their church if they had not witnessed a risen Christ.
Also, there has been a consensus among some scholars to date the gospels a lot earlier–written 12-29 years after Jesus’ death. That blows several of Sheehan’s theories away.
Sheehan does see something in Jesus that I do agree with. Jesus did not come to earth to form a religion. He came so that men could be redeemed through belief in Him, not in traditions, sacraments, rituals, and masses. Mr. Sheehan would rather believe in himself and his theories, I’ll choose Jesus.
Robert McClory replies:
Mr. Burkat misses the point. Sheehan’s position is that Jesus’ followers did believe in his resurrection–but not necessarily in a bodily, physical resurrection. They maintained God had “awakened” Jesus and taken him to himself. For this conviction they were willing to die. Sheehan’s theories may be disputed, but they are not so easily blown away.