Beware of False Doctrines!!!

By: Dr. Ted Baehr; ©2000
The ABC Special “The Search for Jesus” allowed only one side to be presented. Dr. Baehr explains why this made it so dangerous.


One of the most prominent featured in ABC’s Peter Jennings Reporting: The Search for Jesus was the anti-Christian crowd at the so-called Jesus Seminar.

Throughout the years we have presented many articles about the Jesus Seminar, a group funded in part by Norman Lear. The Jesus Seminar folks have spent their years vehemently attacking Jesus’ divinity and undermining his credibility. In the tradition of 19th century biblical criticism, they have tried to find “ a historical Jesus,” but rather than use the sophisticated linguistic deceits that the German critics used to undermine faith in Jesus and prepare the way for the Nazi holocaust, the Jesus Seminar folks simply cast lots to deter­mine whether what is attributed to Jesus in the Bible are his words or not. By casting lots, they say they’ve found that only 18 percent of the words attributed to Jesus in the Bible are his actual words.

Of course, this is ridiculous. The Jesus Seminar process is academically absurd and their theology is myopic and solipsistic. Their work has been dismissed by major scholars, both liberal and conservative. As Dr. Gregory A. Boyd (Cynic Sage or Son of God? Recov­ering the Real Jesus in an Age of Revisionist Replies) says while refuting the arguments of the Jesus Seminar in journalist Lee Strobel’s book, The Case for Christ, “The Jesus Semi­nar represents an extremely small number of radical-fringe scholars who are on the far, far left wing of New Testament thinking. It does not represent mainstream scholarship.”

What may be of more concern about the ABC program is that ABC refused to allow the conservative or liberal scholars who disagreed with the Jesus Seminar, to present a coun­terpoint. According to a June 20, 2000 article in the Los Angeles Times, the program scru­pulously avoids Jesus’ divinity, ignores his resurrection, undermines his miracles, and makes him out to be a political figure. This is just what the Pharisees wanted to do. This is a serious attack on Jesus Christ and Christianity, if the Los Angeles Times article is correct. This same type of attack destroyed the vibrant church in Germany 100 years ago, and thus allowed Adolf Hitler’s National Socialism to come to power.

It must be noted that the position of the Jesus Seminar, in spite of the connections with the entertainment industry, has been thoroughly refuted theologically. However, the aver­age person does not know this, and so this program could lead many people astray.

One Christian critic quoted in the LA Times article has said that people can find out for themselves. Of course, this ignores the power of persuasion of the mass media of enter­tainment.

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