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The Historical Christ and the Jesus of FaithThe Incarnational Narrative as History$
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C. Stephen Evans

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198263975

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019826397X.001.0001

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Modernity's Responses to the Problem

Modernity's Responses to the Problem

(p.27) 2 Modernity's Responses to the Problem
The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith

C. Stephen Evans (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The last chapter looked briefly at the challenge posed to the historicity of the incarnational narrative by Enlightenment epistemology and metaphysics; this one takes a brief look at the responses to this problem that have been characteristic of modernity. In one sense, the variety of responses has been immense; the corpus of ‘historical Jesus’ material and theological and philosophical literature bearing on the issues related to the incarnational narrative is so massive as to make it virtually impossible for one individual to master all of it. However, the author believes that most of this material can be usefully classified into four types of response, each with their own correlative attitudes towards traditional Christian faith. These are: (1) Defence of the narrative as historical – defence of traditional Christian faith (orthodoxy); (2) Rejection of the narrative – rejection of Christianity; (3) Revision of the narrative – revision of Christianity; and (4) Divorce of the meaning of the narrative from its historicity – divorce of Christian faith from its historical foundations. These four responses are analysed in turn.

Keywords:   Christian faith, historicity, incarnational narrative, Jesus, modernity, responses

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