Saturday, August 9, 2008

Mike: Reply to Rami's 8-7 Response

Once again, we find ourselves in substantial agreement on a number of points.

For the sake of brevity, I'll just say I agree substantially with your first two points regarding the final beatitude. I think you may underestimate tensions experienced by Jesus within his own lifetime. His own family, for example, appears to have harbored significant doubts about his ministry, not to mention his sanity. Still, we're on the same page.

Your "fifth option" argument is on target, insofar as it goes. Some of the New Testament scholars we've mentioned in earlier posts certainly take similar positions. Collaboration, "ghetto," complete withdrawal, and jihad were the options espoused and practiced by the groups you identify. I often wonder what everyday folk thought about it all. Jesus' nonviolent approach, coupled with his insistence on the acceptance of the suffering it would bring, challenged these more normative options.

From my perspective, the resurrection hallowed Jesus' version of satyagraha, in effect stamping it as "approved by God" and thus making it both universal and for all times.

Assuming you're ready, we'll now move on and take up the remainder of the Sermon on the Mount.

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