A Load of Bock

This past Monday our staff had the privledge of hearing from Dr. Darrell Bock, the Research Professor of New Testament Studies and Professor of Spiritual Development and Culture at Dallas Theological Seminary.

Bock presented a variety of issues deep within our culture’s epistemology regarding today’s version of who Jesus is. Mainly addressing the root of these issues from within the academic community, Bock illustrated four current divorces of who Jesus is.

The four divorces follow:

  1. The Divorce of Creature and Creator: The issue here deals with a separation of the creature having less accountability to the creator. To address this idea within culture is that we have to address their questions, not ours. Bock went on to say we have missed the point of wasting our time on the inner conflict of addressing “when” and “how” the creator went about creating his creation. This wasn’t the purpose of why Moses wrote Genesis, but to simply state the “who.” Bock went on to give praise to the Intelligent Design approach, that addresses the real issue of “who” the Creator is (thereby opening up the discussion that humans are the creator’s creatures, and how we are to interact with our creator). Bock gave kudos to latest movie on the denying of the Intelligent Design debate, titled Expelled.
  2. The Divorce of the Jesus of Faith & the Jesus of History: This issue here is that there is the “historical Jesus” found within “other sources” as well as The Bible…and then the added “Jesus of faith” which is this “divine nature” of Jesus “forced” on the Scriptures by The Apostles. (Nothing new here, just your “run-of-the-mill” “Jesus Seminar” stuff).
  3. The Divorce of Jesus and the Bible & its Texts: This addresses the deconstructive approach of scripture in trying to debunk the validity of The Bible by either positioning an apparent conflicting text against another (“divide and conquer”) or by position an “either/or” approach to scripture instead of a “both/and” (i.e. realizing that Paul and James on their meaning of “faith and work” can and do coexist)
  4. The Remarriage of The Current Canon & Rejects: (NOTE: Bock tried to make this a divorce, but I think it makes more sense of saying this is an inappropriate “remarriage.”) Essentially what we have here within the academic community is the desire to elevate later found writings that didn’t “make the cut” in being a part of our existing cannon (The Bible). These texts (which is a main piece in The Da Vinci Code), have previously been examined and disqualified due to how they counter Hebrew theology, were written too late, teach of a human Jesus, and are systemic of Gnostic ideals.

To find out more about Bock’s writings and a strong group of colleagues that are providing resources for ministry leaders to address these academic and cultural signals, go to bible.org and primetimejesus.com


~ by Dave Smith on March 18, 2008.

2 Responses to “A Load of Bock”

  1. Just curious: what, in a nutshell, was his perspective? I see he’s from Dallas, so I have an inkling… but I wouldn’t want to judge the book by the cover, so to speak.

  2. He is hard to pin down actually. I think foundationally his premise is strong in the sense of needing to engage these issues critically and thoroughly, while not quickly dismissing them.

    To be trully “liberal” and hear from all spectrums in our analysis.

    He had some very interesting comments about the danger of fundamentalism…and how he has noticed that many of the antagonists towards the faith in academia come from very fundamental backgrounds and are reactionary towards the church’s narrow-mindedness and lack of critial thought.

    On the other hand he then quickly dismissed something like “The Golden Compass” sounded fundamental and then equated the unChristians as the “enemies” we are in a spiritual battle with to “win” for Christ. (He was actually trying to say we aren’t out to defeat them, but win them for Christ…but I didn’t like the terminology of “enemy” and felt it wasn’t an accurate portrayal of Eph 6.

    Not sure if that helps. In the time we had with him, it was somewhat hard to define him.

    I think if you hit his blog if may reveal more of what you are looking for.

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