My growing Christmas consternation, heightened by delightful marriage to a Jewish wife, continues.
I wish to see something solid and non-sensational that explains the purpose of the different birth stories in Matthew (Jesus as the new Moses) and Luke (Jesus as superseding John the Baptizer), the way Marcus Borg and Jon Dominic Crossan explicate it. That on the one hand.
I wish to see also something solid about the origin of the December 25th celebration, the incorporation of Greek mystery religion notions, and then of Native European traditions -- but not so much in a "tear-it-apart-and-tear-it-down" way as in a literary and ritual creative way. Over the years Christianity develops the two birth stories by conflating them, and it's analogous to how William Shakespeare took old stories and developed them into powerful and memorable plays.
I wish to see also something that separates "Christ" as "Messiah" (and asserts boldly that Jesus does not pass the test for Messiah) from "Christ" as this new "Son of God" etc., comparing him/it to and distinguishing him/it from "Augustus" as the "Son of God" -- all in all the highlighting again of this new religion. John B. Cobb, Jr. goes a long way toward doing this in his little book "Process Answers to Frequently Asked Questions," but my wife found his short discourse way too dense.
I wish to see something that alters the usual statement, "Christianity is a branch of Judaism" to "Christianity is a creative new religion that has lasted two milleniums. It was a twig taken from Judaism and transplanted in Greek mystery soil. It is a creative play on the historical figure who died, but has little to do with his historical self."
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