Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Monday, August 25, 2014

Taylor Swift - "Shake It Off" & "Leaving Regrets Behind"

Sometimes "ya gotta shake it off" and be in tune with your inner person.
Being true to yourself is better than being fake. And wasting time in stuff
that is rippin' away your life is totally stupid. Taylor Swift's parody of the
Music Industry and of a society (or social ethos) telling itself what is, and
isn't, important makes her again, one of those clear-sighted entertainment
voices that can clearly see through the lies of the world and man.

                                                                                                                                   - R.E. Slater, August 25, 2014

Taylor Swift - Shake It Off

Published on Aug 18, 2014
Taylor’s upcoming new release 1989 “Shake It Off” now as an instant grat!
Music video by Taylor Swift performing Shake It Off. (C) 2014 Big Machine Records, LLC.

VIDEOS - Dance Break: Watch Taylor Swift ‘Shake It Off' In Her New Video
by Blaire Bercy

Well there is a new contender for best broken-hearted anthem this year, ‘Shake It Off’. The song is all all about letting go and dancing to shake off the issues. Watch as Taylor tries every style of dance she can think of to get over everyone and everything. (Yes TayTay just said, “hella good hair” …I’ll let that sink in.)

Florence and the Machine

Anne Frank, a Jewish girl trapped in Nazi Germany

Marilyn Monroe, Poetry in Tragedy

amazon link
"fresh challenges to today's emerging church
messages of guidance and encouragement..."

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On '1989,' Taylor Swift Explores the Limits of Her Identity

Taylor Swift is an example of why our culture loves authenticity...
and what we still don't get about it.

I was recently chatting with a friend (who we’ll call Stephanie) about a mutual acquaintance I couldn’t quite figure out. This acquaintance seemed like an honest, forthright and genuine person, but I could never quite shake the sense that he was also an opportunist—on the look out for new friends who could further his career. I was hoping Stephanie, who’d known him longer than me, could answer the question: Was this guy the real deal, or was he a shrewd social climber?

Her answer surprised me: “I think he’s both.”

The acquaintance in question was not Taylor Swift, but it’s still a good description for her, whose new album 1989 comes out Monday. A brief Google search suggests the most frequent adjectives used for Swift center around approachability. She’s real. She’s genuine. Her fans talk about her like she's a childhood friend. In a world of pop stars who seem about as authentic as an egg sandwich from McDonald’s, Taylor Swift represents something fresh.

But then, let’s not ignore the obvious. Taylor Swift is the biggest pop star in the entire world. This isn’t personal opinion—it’s plainly true. Such status isn’t attained without caution and precision, but Swift has mastered the neat trick of culling her public persona from her actual personality instead of conjuring it from scrap. It’s not fake, per se, but it is pure marketing, and it’s been a wild success.

In that sense, it’s hard to shake the sense that Swift’s authenticity is a calculated affair—moments of soul-bearing honesty, carefully constructed for maximum impact. “Adorkable” is quickly becoming to this decade what “manic pixie dream girl” was to the aughts, and though Zooey Deschanel may have made the trope famous, Swift perfected it. She pitches herself as her fans’ best friend, a delightfully awkward newcomer and an unlucky-in-love ingenue, all while being a global superstar. It’s a tricky tightrope to walk, and it’s one Swift maneuvers deftly.

On 1989, the tension feels more apparent than usual, if only because Swift has shaken off whatever vestiges of country music were lingering after Red. Even though Swift was in the country world, she was never truly of it. The genre served Swift’s confessional style well, but no country artist ever seemed so primed for crossover. 1989 is a pure pop album—replete with the '80s synths Lorde and Lana Del Rey brought back into vogue—which makes her heartfelt moments stand out all the more. As a pop album, it's successful. At her best, Swift is a terrific songwriter, and on songs like "How You Get the Girl" and "This Love," she showcases a truly unique talent.

“Shake It Off” you’ve already heard, and you may have also heard “Out of the Woods.” Of the two, “Out of the Woods”—with its cloudy, muted vocals and generally somber sentiment—is more indicative of the album as a whole. This may be a move to pop, but it’s a deft one—slyly substituting wide-eyed earnestness for the bubblegum melodies and hip-hop influences that fuel her peers. In this way, Swift continues to stand out from the pack, the goofy nerd who doesn’t quite get it, but is too full of charm and goodwill not to love.

Swift continues to stand out from the pack, playing the part of a goofy nerd who doesn’t quite get it, but is too full of charm and goodwill to hate.

Take “Shake It Off.” When she sings about her critics—how they accuse her of being a dumb blonde with too many dates—she’s admirably turning the tables on her many haters. It’s a great pop song and a valiant message, but it’s clearly designed to solidify her brand as the consummate outsider. She’s airing out her dirty laundry, but only in its most likeable light.

If it’s an act, it’s one Swift has worked hard to keep up. By moving from Nashville to New York City, she continues to be able to act surprised and delighted by the world around her, just a newcomer to the big city with a guitar on her back, a head full of dreams and a weary but upright heart. Is it fake? Well, perhaps not—who hasn’t felt small in the big city? But just how true it is appears to be an open question.

In an age where “authenticity” continues to be the most prized of all virtues—both in the Church and the charts—you get the sense it’s a trait we haven’t fully figured out yet. We offer our authenticity out piecemeal—offering people genuine glimpses of ourselves, but only very cautiously, and generally with our perceived best interests in mind. If art reflects culture, then Taylor Swift serves as sort of goddess of authenticity—both in how we’ve gotten it right and where we still fail to grasp its true power. Because whatever value being genuine might have when it’s self-serving, its true beauty only shows when we’re revealing the things about ourselves that won’t advance our careers.

Jimmy Kimmel: Taylor Swift Performs “Shake It Off”

Taylor Swift Performs “Out of the Woods”

Taylor Swift performing Out of the Woods, NYC | Jimmy Kimmel Live

Taylor Swift performing Out of the Woods, NYC | Jimmy Kimmel Live

The Differences Between "Intelligent Design" and "Evolutionary Creationism" - An Introduction

A Satire - "What's Science up to?" by Aasif Mandvi

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Reviewing “Darwin’s Doubt”: Introduction

August 25, 2014

Today on the BioLogos Forum, we begin a series responding to Darwin’s Doubt (2013) by Stephen Meyer. Meyer holds a PhD in the history and philosophy of science from Cambridge University and is Director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute. This significant book makes a comprehensive case for Intelligent Design, referring to an extensive body of scientific literature.

BioLogos and other evolutionary creation leaders have been in conversation with Meyer and other leaders in Intelligent Design for many years. See, for example, exchanges in 2009-2010 on the BioLogos site regarding Meyer’s Signature in the Cell [1], many articles in the journal Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, a 2010 conference by the Hill Country Institute, and a 2012 symposium at Wheaton College. This blog series continues the conversation.

In today’s culture, “intelligent design” is often used broadly to refer to the work of an intelligent being in the universe, in opposition to “godless evolutionism” (see this helpful introduction from BioLogos Fellow Ted Davis). Within this broad scope, the views of evolutionary creation, old earth creation, young earth creation, and the monotheistic faiths would all fall under “intelligent design.” These groups are united in rejecting the views of militant atheists like Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne who argue that religion is just superstition and cannot be reconciled with science. Those who accept this sense of intelligent design generally believe that science and religion are not at war, but can inform and enhance one another. At BioLogos, we believe that God is the living and active Creator of the whole universe, from initiating the Big Bang to providentially sustaining his creation today.

When capitalized, however, “Intelligent Design” refers to a more particular set of views and arguments as exemplified by the work of the Discovery Institute and this recent volume by Stephen Meyer. The views of the Discovery Institute (DI) and the views of BioLogos (BL) have a lot in common. Unlike young earth creationists, most DI leaders accept that the universe and earth are billions of years old, as we do at BL. Most DI leaders also accept a time scale of billions of years for the appearance of first life and subsequent species on earth.

DI and BL agree wholeheartedly that an intelligent being fine-tuned the laws of nature, designing the universe to be a place of life. The fundamental parameters and laws were crafted so that stars and galaxies could form, carbon could be produced in abundance, and life could flourish on Earth. Unlike militant atheists, we see this as evidence that the universe was created with purpose and intention.

Yet with all these similarities, there are significant areas of disagreement between the views of Intelligent Design and Evolutionary Creation (more on different positions). The biggest difference is in how the two views counter atheistic evolutionism: Both reject the idea that the science of evolution disproves God or replaces God, but take very different approaches.

  • Intelligent Design claims that the current scientific evidence for evolution is weak, and argues that a better explanation would make explicit reference to an intelligent designer.
  • Evolutionary Creation claims that the current scientific evidence for evolution is strong and getting stronger, but argues that the philosophical and religious conclusions that militant atheists draw from it are unwarranted.
  • Evolutionary creationists respond to atheists by pointing out that in Christian thought, a scientific understanding of evolution does not replace God. God governs and sustains all natural processes, from gravity to evolution, according to his purposes.

Perhaps because we accept the science of evolution, the misconception has developed that BioLogos believes God must always use natural causes. This is not the case. At BioLogos, “we believe that God typically sustains the world using faithful, consistent processes that humans describe as ‘natural laws.’ Yet we also affirm that God works outside of natural law in supernatural events, including the miracles described in Scripture.” (See more on miracles). The debate is over how much God chose to use miracles over the eons of natural history, and here BL and DI assess the evidence differently.

In upcoming posts we respond to Meyer’s scientific and philosophical arguments. We begin tomorrow by featuring a review first published in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith (PSCF) by paleontologist Ralph Stearley who evaluates Darwin’s Doubt alongside two other recent books on the Cambrian and Ediacaran periods, countering Meyer’s arguments for the extreme suddenness of, and lack of precursors to, the Cambrian explosion.[2] In coming weeks, we will feature a review by philosopher and historian Robert Bishop, who addresses the overall argument of the book, assessing the rhetorical strategies.

Geneticist Darrel Falk (BioLogos Senior Advisor for Dialogue) will also offer some reflections on the book. Note that BioLogos Fellow for genetics Dennis Venema also responded recently to DI arguments from genetics, explaining the evidence in support of common ancestry of humans. For a discussion of arguments from information theory, we recommend the December 2011 special issue of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. Finally, we’ll feature an article from theologian Alister McGrath that responds, not to Darwin’s Doubt in particular, but to the overall apologetics approach of Intelligent Design.

As you will read in these posts, these scholars are carefully considering the evidence and explaining the findings to those outside their field of expertise. This kind of attention to evidence counteracts another misconception about BioLogos, namely that we uncritically accept the consensus of mainstream science simply because it is the consensus. We do take the consensus among scientists seriously, when it has been tested by extensive peer review among those who are experts in an area and when it is supported by multiple independent lines of evidence. Since no individual can be an expert in all the disciplines relevant to the evolution of life, we need to rely on the expertise of others. But ultimately it is the strength of the evidence itself that convinces us that species developed through the processes of evolution. Evolutionary biology is a rapidly developing field, with several areas that do not yet have a consensus. These include the particular mechanisms of evolution posited by the neo-Darwinian synthesis, and the development of the very first life form (see “At the Frontiers of Evolution” by Venema and more in Bishop’s review). The case is still open in these areas, and most evolutionary creationists feel it is too soon to claim that these must be places where God acted miraculously rather than through natural mechanisms.

At BioLogos, we embrace the historical Christian faith and uphold the authority and inspiration of the Bible. Several leaders at the Discovery Institute, including Meyer, share these commitments. The organization [e.g., Biologos], however, has chosen not to make specific religious commitments, welcoming Jews, Muslims, and agnostics as well as Christians. This difference is integral to our contrasting approaches to apologetics. DI seeks to make the case for the designer in a purely scientific context, without specifying who the designer is. At BioLogos, we take the approach that science is not equipped to provide a full Christian apologetic. Rather, we believe in the Triune God for the same reasons most believers do – because of the evidence in the Bible, personal spiritual experience, and recognition that we are sinners who need the saving work of Jesus Christ. Because of these beliefs, we look at the universe through the lens of biblical faith, and see a glorious creation that testifies to the God we know and love. How do we make the case for God if we accept the mainstream scientific results for evolution? Stay tuned for the closing piece of this series by theologian Alister McGrath. In the meantime, take a look at John Polkinghorne’s views of the resurrection and natural theology, this sermon from leading Pastor John Ortberg, and a blog series from BioLogos Content Manager Jim Stump.

The debate between intelligent design and evolutionary creation is relatively minor in the larger work of the church. Both views are held by fellow believers seeking to be faithful followers of Christ, as is young earth creation. Yet damage can be done to the church if popular apologetic techniques get attached to incorrect science. The purpose of this series is to seek truth, including pointing out scholarly weaknesses and inaccuracies as we see them. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Prov 27:17) We welcome the iron to be sharpened on us in turn, and have invited Stephen Meyer to post a response to the reviews in this series.


The 2009-2010 review of Signature in the Cell included posts by Darrel Falk on December 29, and byFrancisco Ayala on January 7. Responses from Stephen Meyer were posted on January 28 and March 8-9, with rejoinders from Falk on January 29 and March 10-11. [return to body text]

While not a review of Darwin’s Doubt, Keith Miller recently updated his excellent overview of the Cambrian explosion in the June 2014 issue of PSCF, available online now for subscribers. [return to body text]


Deborah Haarsma serves as President of The BioLogos Foundation, a position she has held since January 2013. Previously, she served as professor and chair in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Gifted in interpreting complex scientific topics for lay audiences, Dr. Haarsma often speaks to churches, colleges, and schools about the relationships between science and Christian faith. She is author (along with her husband Loren Haarsma) of Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (2011, 2007), a book presenting the agreements and disagreements of Christians regarding the history of life and the universe. Haarsma is an experienced research scientist, with several publications in the Astrophysical Journal and the Astronomical Journal on extragalactic astronomy and cosmology.

Who Is Rudolf Bultmann? The Father of Form Criticism and DeMythologizing of the Bible.

Rudolf Bultmann

Bultmann's legacy = mostly positive

Brian LePort
August 21,  2014

(1) Bultmann was a first class scholar, even if you disagree with him, and he will cause you to think afresh about exegesis and theology when you read him.

(2) Bultmann was not an angry skeptic trying to destroy orthodoxy as many conservatives seem to suppose. He was a modern man trying to understand how to retain what was central to the Gospel in his day and age. One may not want to concede as much ground as he did to modernism, but that doesn't mean we should see his task as necessarily antithetical to what even conservative theologians do now (save the most Fundamentalist types).

(3) Whether or not we like it, we are all playing the same game as Bultmann. If you disagree read his 1941 essay "New Testament and Mythology: The Problem of Demythologizing the New Testament Proclamation" and then honestly ask yourself whether you totally disavow his hermeneutic or if you may have adopted a modified form. Personally, I may not follow him on the resurrection, or even on spirits like angels and demons, but I do tend to seek the core theological truths in Genesis 1-11 without relying too much upon the "science" of these texts (or, the lack thereof). So at some point I tend to seek the "kernel", if you will.

(4) Even if you find most of Bultmann's conclusions to be bankrupt you will likely also find that the person whose response to Bultmann you most admire is exactly that: a response to Bultmann. As I said in point (1), Bultmann forces us to think and he did the same for his contemporaries and near contemporaries. Even when one disagrees with Bultmann that act of disagreeing makes for constructive theologizing.

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Rudolf Karl Bultmann (German: [ˈbʊltman]; 20 August 1884 – 30 July 1976) was a German Lutheran theologian and professor of New Testament at the University of Marburg. He was one of the major figures of early 20th century biblical studies and a prominent voice in liberal Christianity.

Bultmann is known for his belief that the historical analysis of the New Testament is both futile and unnecessary, given that the earliest Christian literature showed little interest in specific locations.[1] Bultmann argued that all that matters is the "thatness", not the "whatness" of Jesus, i.e. only that Jesus existed, preached and died by crucifixion matters, not what happened throughout his life.[1][2][2]

Bultmann's approach relied on his concept of demythology, and interpreted the mythological elements in the New Testament existentially. Bultmann contended that only faith in the kerygma, or proclamation, of the New Testament was necessary for Christian faith, not any particular facts regarding the historical Jesus.[3]


Bultmann was born in Wiefelstede, Oldenburg, the son of Arthur Kennedy Bultmann, a Lutheran minister. He did his Abitur at the Altes Gymnasium in Oldenburg, and studied theology at Tübingen. After three terms, Bultmann went to the University of Berlin for two terms, and finally to Marburg for two more terms. He received his degree in 1910 from Marburg with a dissertation on the Epistles of St Paul. After submitting a Habilitation two years later, he became a lecturer on the New Testament at Marburg.

Bultmann married Helene Feldmann in 1917. The couple had three daughters.[4]

After brief lectureships at Breslau and Giessen, Bultmann returned to Marburg in 1921 as a full professor, and stayed there until his retirement in 1951. From autumn 1944 until the end of World War II in 1945 he took into his family Uta Ranke-Heinemann, who had fled the bombs and destruction in Essen.

He was a member of the Confessing Church[5] and critical towards National Socialism. He spoke out against the mistreatment of Jews, against nationalistic excesses and against the dismissal of non-Aryan Christian ministers. He did not, however, speak out against "the antiSemitic[sic] laws which had already been promulgated" and he was philosophically limited in his ability to "repudiate, in a comprehensive manner, the central tenets of Nazi racism and antiSemitism[sic]."[6]

Bultmann became friends with Martin Heidegger who taught at Marburg for five years, and Heidegger's views on existentialism had an influence on Bultmann's thinking.[7] However, Bultmann himself stated that his views could not simply be reduced to thinking in Heideggerian categories, in that "the New Testament is not a doctrine about our nature, about our authentic existence as human beings, but a proclamation of this liberating act of God."[8]

Beliefs regarding Jesus

His History of the Synoptic Tradition (1921) remains highly influential as a tool for biblical research, even by scholars who reject his analyses of the conventional rhetorical pericopes or narrative units of which the Gospels are assembled, and the historically-oriented principles called "form criticism" of which Bultmann has been the most influential exponent:"

  • The aim of form-criticism is to determine the original form of a piece of narrative, a dominical saying or a parable. In the process we learn to distinguish secondary additions and forms, and these in turn lead to important results for the history of the tradition."

In 1941 he applied form criticism to the Gospel of John, in which he distinguished the presence of a lost Signs Gospel on which John, alone of the evangelists, depended. This monograph, highly controversial at the time, became a milestone in research into the historical Jesus. The same year his lecture New Testament and Mythology: The Problem of Demythologizing the New Testament Message called on interpreters to replace traditional supernaturalism (demythologize) with the temporal and existential categories of Bultmann's colleague, Martin Heidegger, rejecting doctrines such as the pre-existence of Christ.[9] Bultmann believed this endeavor would make accessible to modern audiences—already immersed in science and technology—the reality of Jesus' teachings.

  • Bultmann thus understood the project of "demythologizing the New Testament proclamation" as an evangelical task, clarifying the kerygma, or gospel proclamation, by stripping it of elements of the first-century "mythical world picture" that had potential to alienate modern people from Christian faith:

"It is impossible to repristinate a past world picture by sheer resolve, especially a mythical world picture, now that all of our thinking is irrevocably formed by science. A blind acceptance of New Testament mythology would be simply arbitrariness; to make such acceptance a demand of faith would be to reduce faith to a work"[10]

Rudolf Bultmann said about salvation and eternity - “As from now on there are only believers and unbelievers, so there are also now only saved and lost, those who have life and those who are in death”[11]

While Bultmann reinterpreted theological language in existential terms, he nonetheless maintained that the New Testament proclaimed a message more radical than any modern existentialism. In both the boasting of legalists "who are faithful to the law," and the boasting of the philosophers "who are proud of their wisdom," Bultmann finds a "basic human attitude" of "highhandedness that tries to bring within our own power even the submission that we know to be our authentic being."[12] Standing against all human highhandedness is the New Testament, "which claims that we can in no way free ourselves from our factual fallenness in the world but are freed from it only by an act of God ... the salvation occurrence that is realized in Christ."[13] 

  • Bultmann remained convinced the narratives of the life of Jesus were offering theology in story form. Lessons were taught in the familiar language of myth. They were not to be excluded, but given explanation so they could be understood for today.
  • Bultmann thought faith should become a present day reality. To Bultmann, the people of the world appeared to be always in disappointment and turmoil. Faith must be a determined vital act of will, not a culling and extolling of "ancient proofs."

He carried form-criticism so far as to call the historical value of the gospels into serious question.[3] Some scholars[who?] criticized Bultmann and other critics for excessive skepticism regarding the historical reliability of the gospel narratives. The full impact of Bultmann was not felt until the English publication of Kerygma and Mythos (1948). The conservative and confessing Lutheran theologian, Walter Kunneth, provided some interesting insights on Bultmann in his Die Theologie der Auferstehung.

Selected works

Die Geschichte der synoptischen Tradition (1921, 1931)
  • History of the Synoptic Tradition, Harper San Francisco, 1976, ISBN 0-06-061172-3 (seminal work on form criticism)
Jesus (1926)
  • Jesus and the Word, New York, London, C. Scribner’s sons, 1934, online
  • Jesus Christ and Mythology, Prentice Hall, 1997, ISBN 0-02-305570-7
Neues Testament und Mythologie (1941)
  • The New Testament and Mythology and Other Basic Writings, Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1984, ISBN 0-8006-2442-4
  • Kerygma and Myth by Rudolf Bultmann and Five Critics (1953) London: S.P.C.K., HarperCollins 2000 edition: ISBN 0-06-130080-2, online edition (contains the essay "The New Testament and Mythology" with critical analyses and Bultmann's response)
Das Evangelium des Johannes (1941)
Theologie des Neuen Testaments (1948–53)
  • Theology of the New Testament: Complete in One Volume, Prentice Hall, 1970, ISBN 0-02-305580-4
Das Urchristentum im Rahmen der Antiken Religionen (1949)
Religion without Myth (coauthored with Karl Jaspers) (1954)
  • Myth & Christianity: An Inquiry Into The Possibility Of Religion Without Myth, translation 1958 by Noonday Press, Prometheus Books, 2005, ISBN 1-59102-291-6. In this dialogue with philosopher Jaspers, Jaspers first makes the case that Christianity can not be understood apart from its mythical framework, and that myth is necessary form of communication through symbol. Bultmann responds that modern scientific analysis of the text is required to separate the genuine from the miraculous claims, thereby revealing the true message.
History and Eschatology: The Presence of Eternity (1954–55 Gifford Lectures), Harper, 1962,Greenwood Publishers, 1975: ISBN 0-8371-8123-2