To say Christ does not need Christianity is like saying a farmer does not need agriculture. If by agriculture we mean Monsanto and McDonald's, then perhaps the statement is true. But if by agriculture we mean the practice of farming, then the statement is an oxymoron.
An influential movement speaks beyond the confines of its origin, crosses tribal boundaries and touches people who might otherwise have no connection with each other. These communities do exist, they always have. But they are often hidden away and hard to track down.
We live in a time when Catholic priests are an aging and shrinking group, damaged in morale and reputation, overstretched in their monopolization of all sacramental services. What we really need are no priests.
The claim that our religious beliefs and practices are right because they are ancient goes way back in our history. But an important new book points out that Christian heresy did not emerge when some misguided Christians deviated from a "pure" and "original" orthodoxy.
We might not always agree on the meaning of Jesus' participation in Jewish festivals, but we can agree that Jesus honored these traditions of his people. For Christians, this model should invite an appreciation for Jewish tradition.
Alan Segal graced us for a while -- to teach and inspire, but, most of all to befriend those who shared his mortal journey. Whether or not he was conscious of it, he did his part to heal, repair and transform this world.
"In the Footsteps of Jesus" is the culmination of a very personal 15-year quest for the historical Jesus. I spent part of that time trying to retrace the footsteps of Jesus and those who followed in his wake.
Perhaps because of the long informal establishment of (Protestant) Christianity as America's culture-religion, long ago the American Church became confused about what exactly it means to be the Church.
Ever since their discovery, the scrolls have aroused passions on a scale that is extraordinary for an academic subject. Now that those passions have cooled, the time is ripe to ask what we have really learned from this remarkable discovery.
Is it true? Is it a fake? Should we care? If Jesus was married, would it overturn the patriarchy that for 2,000 years kept women out of ordained leadership? Would it allow men to be married and ordained in the Catholic Church?
A chronological New Testament is different from and yet the same as the New Testament familiar to Christians. It contains the same 27 documents, but sequences them in the chronological order in which they were written.
Most conservative scholars will view the money transaction through a mythical lens and argue that Paul's collection given to the Jerusalem Apostles was not a "bribe" but an attempt to unify the church. But is that all it was?
For centuries, Scholars have debated Paul's mysterious "barb." It has been the source of much speculation, including Paul's lusts, sexual preference or physical ailments, including malaria and eye disease.
Paul, in his Galatians autobiography, identifies James as a man who replaced Peter as the head of the early Church. Additional apocryphal and secular sources assume James as heir to the church and rightfully so as his brother.
Early Christianity was a rebellious underground movement until Roman Emperor Constantine made it his religious practice in A.D. 312. These events did more for the spread of Christianity than any proselytizing efforts conducted by the Apostle Paul.