True or Fact?

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Today’s New York Times contains a conversation between Nicholas Kristof and Rev. Timothy Keller. Ego maniac that I am, I imagined myself in the midst of their conversation. Please read the original and see what you think for yourself: 

Kristoff: Is the Virgin Birth essential to Christianity?

Keller: A religion can’t be whatever we desire it to be.

Rami: Of course it can. In fact it always is—we create religions and Gods in our own image.

Keller: If we did away with the Virgin birth it would damage the fabric of the Christian message because Jesus was not just a great human being, but the pre-existing Creator God, miraculously come to earth as a human being.

Kristoff: And the Resurrection? Must it really be taken literally?

Keller: As St. Paul said, without a real resurrection, Christianity is useless (1 Corinthians 15:19).

Rami: With all due respect to Rabbi Saul, when we take things like Virgin Birth and Resurrection literally we dumb religion down. These are metaphoric truths not scientific facts.

Keller: Christianity is pretty much inexplicable if we don’t believe in a physical resurrection.

Rami: I would suggest you read Marcus Borg, John Spong, Raimon Panikkar, and Cynthia Bourgeault to see how vibrant and compelling a post-literal Christianity can be.

Keller: There is nothing unscientific or illogical about miracles if a Creator God exists.

Rami: That’s a huge IF, and it doesn’t prove Christianity. What if the Creator is Krishna?

Kristoff: I’m troubled by the evangelical notion that people go to heaven only if they have a direct relationship with Jesus.

Keller: The Bible is clear salvation must be through grace and faith in Christ.

Rami: Honestly I’d rather go to hell. Everyone I love and admire will be there. Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Simone de Beauvoir, Hannah Arendt, Erich Fromm, Ma Sarada, Ramana Maharshi….

Keller: Thanks for a great conversation. And, whatever my doubts, this I believe in: Merry Christmas!

Rami: I don’t even know what believing in “Merry Christmas” means. Anyway, have a happy Hanukkah though I don’t believe in that miracle either, and, given what I do believe, I wouldn’t have supported the Maccabees at all.

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One Response to True or Fact?

  1. Teri December 23, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    I love the premise, and always find the humor/wisdom of your take on things, challenging and delightfully subversive. Please continue…

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