I was recently nominated and invited to become a fellow of The Jesus Project, and I’ve accepted. Most readers of this blog will know that I’ve actively participated in conversations and interactions with a number of other fellows on matters related to the historical figure of Jesus. So I figured I might as well make it “official”. To get a sense of what the project is about, there are a number of helpful articles by various participants.
I’ll leave you with a couple of thoughts about a quote from the project’s co-chair R. Joseph Hoffmann: “The Jesus of the Westar Project is a talking doll with a questionable repertoire of thirty-one sayings. Pull a string and he blesses the poor.” If the Jesus of the Jesus Seminar seems suspect to some of us, I’m sure that the feeling is mutual. Yet even though I know that talk of aiming for “objectivity” is frowned upon these days, simply accepting that everyone will make a Jesus that suits them seems worthy of at least as harsh a frown. Although I would scarcely claim to be objective, I do not think that the failure to achieve an ideal makes striving for it any less worthwhile, and I think that the closest we can come is when we open our views and conclusions to criticism from those who disagree with us. And as I know that I disagree sharply on some issues with some other fellows of the Jesus Project, this should be a wonderful opportunity!