What Did Jesus Do?

John Loftus points out even some Christian thinkers know what Jesus did is not always anything we should do:

Charles Sheldon’s 1896 book, In His Steps asked, “what would Jesus do?” in order to spur Christians on to imitate his behavior. This book has been widely criticized by Christian thinkers because Christians cannot do what Jesus did, since they are not Jesus. Can we perform miracles? Should we overturn the money changers’ tables and thrash them with a whip? Jesus also shunned a Canaanite woman and called her and her people “dogs,” because he said his mission was limited to the “lost sheep of Israel” (Matthew 15:21-28). There are a host of things these Christians wouldn’t try to imitate, like telling women to be silent in the churches as Paul did (I Cor. 14:34), selling all and giving it all to the poor (Luke 18:22; Yes, Jesus really meant this because his ethic was an “interim ethic” until the Kingdom of God came, which the NT writers believed was imminent in their lifetimes), or sending a slave back to his master (Philemon), or even be an itinerant preacher like Jesus with no place to rest his head (Matthew 8:20). These Christians merely pick and choose what they want to imitate based upon what they want to do.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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