Sunday, Mar 06, 2005: “Resurrection: Interpreting the Easter Gospel; Chapter 4”

St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
Resurrection: Interpreting the Easter Gospel, by Rowan Williams
Chapter 4: “Talking to a Stranger”
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Discussion Led By Mike Kreutzer
Sunday, March 6, 2005


GROUP DISCUSSION:  Although some felt this chapter a little easier to understand, there was still difficulty in interpretation of much that was written.  There was the idea of the familiar stranger.  You don’t really know him, but he seems very familiar.  Perhaps this was implying that you cannot cast the past aside.  Then there was the concept of salvation vs. redemption.  Salvation is generally meant to be saved to heaven in the afterlife.  Does is make any difference in our current world?  What does this really mean?  We seem to have made it very complex.  It was noted that the Jewish God of the Old Testament was very vindictive, but Jesus changed that.  However, that God was also a very fair God.  Many Christians are caught up in the Passion.  This is not really the central part of Christianity.  “Were you there when ‘we’ crucified our Lord?”   “Lord, forgive ‘us,’ for we know not what ‘we’ do.”  There were many men crucified by the Romans.  It is very interesting who we select as martyrs.  The Catholic martyrs are very different from the Anglican martyrs!  We are very fortunate in this country that most of us do not have to suffer.  However, we are surrounded by those in other countries who do.  This can be very hard to relate to.  We cut them off mentally.  Nevertheless, there are abused and neglected children right here in our own neighborhood.  In the Dayton area there are over 2,000 children in foster homes.  The disciples seem to have completely forgotten Jesus.  When we think of ourselves as victims, many time we can still be oppressors of others.  When someone has committed a crime, we keep them locked up an away from everyone else.  How much do we make them suffer?  The definition of “dialectic” vs. “un-dialectic” came up for discussion.  Dialectic refers to something that can be both true and false at the same time.  Many people claim to believe but don’t find meaning going to church.  This is not what Christ taught us to do.  Christ called upon all people to reconcile with one another.  Spirituality works within a community, not just for each individual.  We should all be sharing in Christ’s grace and not just paying lip service to it.  Then the question of what is a true Christian lifestyle was brought up.  Does is mean living communal style as describe in Act.  No, this is the idealistic approach and only an expression of how to live.  Groups like the Amish seem to live in their own little self-centered communities.  Finally, it was noted that until the second century there was no description of the resurrection in the Gospels.  Peter was the first to address it.