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Article presented at NEAATS Theological Symposium 2004, Jan 28-30, 2004, Osaka, Japan.  The theme of the symposium was "Ministerial Formation and Spirituality in the age of Globalization."



The Historical Jesus to the Challenges of Globalization

                               Kim Joon-Woo (Methodist Theological Seminary, Seoul)

I.  THE CHALLENGES OF GLOBALIZATION PROJECT TO THE KOREAN SOCIETY
  1. The Political and Economic Challenges of Neo-liberal Globalization to Koreans
  2. The Social and Cultural Challenges of Globalization Project to Koreans
II.  THE CRISES OF KOREAN PROTESTANT CHURCHES AND GLOBALIZATION TREND
  1. Rapid Decline of Membership in the Mainline Protestant Denominations of Korea
  2. The Main Causes of the Membership Decline and the Loss of Social Credibility
III. EDUCATIONAL NECESSITIES OF THE HISTORICAL JESUS TO SEMINARIANS
  1. Necessities for Mission and Evangelism
  2. Theological Necessities
  3. Ethical Necessities
  4. Political Necessities
CONCLUSION


     This essay is to examine the theological significance of the recent scholarship on the historical Jesus, in particular, to meet the challenges of globalization to the Korean Christians.  First, I will briefly examine the political and economic as well as social and cultural challenges of the neo-liberal militaristic globalization project to the Korean people.  Second, I will analyze the present crises of the Korean churches, focusing on the rapid decline of church membership and the loss of social credibility among Koreans, in relation to the globalization trend.  Third, I will argue for the educational necessities of the historical Jesus, particularly to the seminarians, to meet the challenges of globalization and to overcome the crises of the Korean churches.  I am convinced that my arguments are vital for ministerial formation and spirituality in the age of globalization.  
     My thesis is that the rapid decline of church membership and the loss of social credibility of the Korean Protestant churches, that would be more deteriorated by the challenges of globalization, have been caused by "the crises of intellectual and moral credibility" of Christian life, and that these crises, again, have been theologically caused, to a great extent, by molding Christian lives on the basis of the premodern mythic Christ, not on the life of the historical Jesus who has been missing quite a long time.  As demonstrated by the European and American mainline churches, that may be probably dead institutionally in a generation or two, globalization challenges the Korean Christians to choose between death and life, between to be withered up as literal fundamentalists' understanding of mythic Christ and to be active disciples of the radical historical Jesus who has been substantially recovered by recent "Jesus Renaissance."  Therefore, to overcome the crises of intellectual and moral credibility of Christianity as well as to meet the challenges of globalization, it is urgently necessary for the seminarians to learn the recent academic researches on the historical Jesus, and to apply the spirit of Jesus to their ministries, first, in order to reconnect intellectually the confession of the dogmatic Christ to its root, the original experiences of the unique qualities and powers of God in the life of the historical Jesus, and second, to establish morally and politically alternative egalitarian communities that the historical Jesus envisioned and empowered as the diametric opposite realities of the worldly empire.  I want to make it clear at the outset that I am not arguing for the necessity to replace the traditional dogmatic Christ with the historical Jesus, but for the necessity to recover the missing Jesus and to make the dogmatic Christ intelligible by putting him on the historical Jesus, tracing back the creative mythologizing processes from the iconoclast to the icon, from "the Gospel of Jesus" to "the Jesus of the Gospels" in the early church.  That is, especially in the post-Christian era speeded up by the challenges of globalization, the best way for Christian mission and evangelism is to be faithful in living out the vision of the historical Jesus (the Gospel of Jesus), rather than to cling to the faith in the premodern dogmatic Christ (the Jesus of the Gospels).  For this purpose, I will confine the scope of the recent scholarship on the historical Jesus to those undertaken by Jesus Seminar (Robert Funk, John D. Crossan, Marcus Borg, John B. Scott, Walter Wink, and John S. Spong, in particular) and by Richard A. Horsley.  


I.  THE CHALLENGES OF GLOBALIZATION PROJECT TO THE KOREAN SOCIETY

     I want to start with a joke circulated in internet:

        The U.N. attempted to undertake a research, and asked the people of the world: "If you have any suggestions to solve the problem of food scarcity in other countries, please tell us your honest opinions."  The attempt turned out to be a total failure, because Africans did not know the word "food," West Europeans did not know the word "scarcity," East Europeans "opinions," Asians "honest," and Americans "other countries."  

     It is nothing but a joke but simply illustrates the characteristics of neo-liberal globalization project steered by the U.S government and MNCs.  With the collapse of the communist system in 1989, the decisive breakthrough towards economic and financial globalization by neo-liberal global capitalism took place.  However, since September 11, 2001, the U.S. militaristic unilateralism has been the major feature of globalization, as demonstrated in the U.S. preemptive strikes and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, violating the international laws, without any material evidences for alleged WMD and any connection with terrorists groups.  The people in "other countries" began to worry about which country would be the next target of the U.S. preemptive strike, North Korea, or Iran.

1. The Political and Economic Challenges of Neo-liberal Globalization to Koreans
     Politically, the globalization project led by the U.S. neo-liberal militarism has threatened the security in the Korean peninsula in two aspects.  First, president Bush's statements of "axis of evil" and "potential preemptive strike" against North Korea, in the Union Address in 2002, revealed the U.S. policy to Korea: refusal to change the Cold-war system into a peaceful relations between the two Koreas.  The U.S. has still refused to conclude a non-aggression treaty with North Korea after half a century of truce agreement, and recently the KEDO stopped constructing the light-water reactor power project, both of which are vital for the survival and development of North Korea.  It is not only because the "North Korean nuclear threat" has been the main excuse for the U.S. to develop the Missile Defense System, but also because the U.S. has maintained the policy of containment against China by the U.S.-Japanese-Korean military alliances in order to rule the north-eastern Asia.  
     Second, the U.S. has strongly demanded the Korean government to dispatch its military forces (12,000 troops) to Iraq, with a threat to relocate the U.S. forces deployed in Korea into other countries.  The globalization headed by the U.S imperialism has thus threatened the peace and security of the Korean peninsula as well as that of the world, and tried to use people from "other countries," including Koreans and Japanese, as its mercenaries.
     Economically, Korea became recolonized by the neo-liberal globalization project, with IMF's structural adjustment programs for liberalization, deregulation, and privatization for the benefits of TNCs and speculative financial capitals since December 1997.  The results of structural adjustment were heavy dependency of the Korean economy on the international speculative capitals, and also disposition of many companies by cheap sales to overseas corporations.  The ownership of the Korean economy has been substantially handed over to the foreigners.  
     Second, Korean society became bipolarized by the widening gap between haves and have-nots, especially because the structural adjustment programs had been carried out by the so-called "principle of flexibility" in the labor market.  While only 5∼10% of the total population took benefits of high interests rate and became ever more richer, 1.67 million workers were laid-off as the victims of structural adjustment programs.  Those who are still unemployed are more than a million, and the irregular workers are more than half (eight millions) of the total workers, and about forty percent (ten millions) of those who are economically responsible are under the pressure of bad credits that has been generally caused for their subsistence.  In these economic situations, families, the basic social units, have been disintegrated.  According to a government statistics, twenty seven children were abandoned everyday by their parents, and thirty-six people committed suicide everyday in 2002.  Like the destitute Galileans under the Roman imperial rule, the majority of Koreans has been crushed and swallowed by "the New Leviathan," called the neo-liberal globalization project.
     From these political, military, and economic perspectives, it is very hard to deny the argument that "today's world is ruled by global capitalism that is controlled by the U.S. imperialism, and globalization is nothing but an expansion process of global hegemony of the U.S. imperialism."

2. The Social and Cultural Challenges of Globalization Project to Koreans
     Socio-culturally, globalization project with its slogan of "unlimited competitions in free market" has reinforced people's feeling of vulnerability and insecurity in their lives, because of general phenomena of massive layoffs, early retirements, bankruptcy, and credit crises, as the results of the "unlimited competition in free market."  It has been a shock to most Korean workers who had been accustomed to a system of life-long workplace and retirement at around sixty.  A statistics demonstrates that the average age for the workers to consider seriously about their retirements is just thirty-six.  More and more workers fell off from the ladders of their dreams.  Politics that has been much democratized is not yet so much a source of hope, but rather a source of disillusionment because of the corruption scandals, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."  In particular, decent jobs had been guaranteed for college graduates, and educating children at every costs used to be the very source of hope for economic security, but today official unemployment rate of the young adults group, including college graduates, is above 7%, -- real unemployment rate is 15%--, twice higher than average unemployment rate.  Under these economic and social conditions, anxiety, alienation, exclusion, helplessness, shame, and despair are widespread in the Korean society, that may be proved by 20∼30% increase of homicide and theft, as well as high suicide rate.  
     Second, social conflicts have been deepened as the economic condition deteriorated.  As WTO forced opening the Korean market of agricultural products including rice, farmers, who were already trapped by heavy debts, are desperate for their economic viability.  Also the blue-color workers as well as the white-color workers are strongly demanding that the government should change the practices of labor relations.  Korean society nowadays seems to be a violent battle ground between the combat police forces and the demonstrators even with Molotov cocktail.  Especially because the military governments for thirty years used to touch off the regional emotion and hostility in order to suppress any ideological debates, public demonstrations were usually carried out by radical students against the military rule.  But under the civilian governments since 1990s, any claims of authority in social relations would be rejected, and many social groups began to assert their demands by public demonstrations.  
     Third, as the sort of casino capitalism of the globalization has swayed the social relations, it may be natural that, in the Korean society where more than half (53%) of its adult members do not have any religious affiliations, more people became worshippers of materialism, fetishism, mammonism, and consumerism.  It seems that the more they feel relative deprivation, the more they cling to the chances of success and prosperity, even by picking up lotteries.  The cultural results are general indifference to their own spiritual life, to other people, and to the community.  These are not just the cultural symptoms of a demoralized society, but a culture of inner emptiness, as a survey demonstrates that the average sense of happiness in their lives is 57.7 points out of 100 points.    


II.  THE CRISES OF KOREAN PROTESTANT CHURCHES AND GLOBALIZATION TREND

     Even though the institutional churches of Korea are still emphasizing national evangelization movement as well as sending Korean missionaries to other Asian countries, it cannot be denied any longer that the Korean Protestant churches are in serious troubles.  Not just the fact that more and more Koreans do not care any longer about Christian churches and there are hundreds of thousands members of "anti-Christianity" internet sites, nor the fact that a few prophetic Christians began to express their guilt and shame of being Christians, especially when Mr. Bush, who confessed that he most respects Jesus, attacked Afghanistan and Iraq, do reveal the real crises of the Korean churches.  Nor the 2003 March first Christian demonstrations and the opposite statements concerning the issue of sending troops to Iraq that showed the unreconcilable division of the Korean Protestant churches: progressive Christian groups demanding the governments of Korea and the U.S. to change SOFA regulations to have judicial rights on the GI criminals, while evangelical conservative groups waving the flag of stars and stripes and begging for GI's staying for security against North Korean nuclear threats, and again, the conservative groups for sending troops to Iraq not to offend the U.S. government, while the progressive groups against it.  I want to focus on more fundamental issues: the rapid decline of membership, and the loss of credibility of the Christians among Koreans.

1. The Rapid Decline of Membership in the Mainline Protestant Denominations of Korea
     First, the so-called "miraculous church growth" of Korean Protestantism since 1960s has been reversed since 1995.  According to a government statistics of 2002 reported by the 17 mainline denominations themselves, the number of Korean Protestant membership has been decreased about 11.6% for five years: from 14.5 millions in 1995 to 12.8 millions in 2001.  It means that the mainline Protestant denominations in Korea have been in rapid decline about two or three times faster than those in the United States which had lost by 1990 about one fifth or one third of the 1965 membership.  The rapid membership decline not only threatens the survival of the local churches, but also reinforces the general attitudes of pastors in ignoring theological disciplines in their ministries and becoming "theological eunuchs in the temple of the Lord."  
     Second, this decline of church membership has been directly related to various criticisms upon the social implications of the Christian doctrines and practices, and the loss of social credibility among Koreans in general.  For example, a best-seller novelist Whang Sok-Young in his recent novel Guests defines Christianity as the scary "guest"(popular Korean word for small-fox) from the West along with the Marxism.  Criticisms upon the Korean Christian churches have been focused on, in particular, her fostering Shamanistic ego-centered mentality and prosperity-oriented understanding of the divine blessings, breeding social autism and exclusive boundarization, and functioning as the production-line of the violent red complex, reproducing anti-democratic patriarchical military culture by imposing premodern mythic worldviews, fostering pro-Americanism and inferiority complex in Koreans, and making Korea into a religious colony of the imperial U.S.  In a word, the Korean Protestant churches have been criticized for, in general, the anti-inclusive, anti-historical, anti-democratic, anti-rational, anti-subjective, and anti-national culture.
     Considering the facts that (1) in the West theologians themselves already began to discuss "the death of institutional church" possible within this generation, and (2) the more competition and speed by the globalization trend should cause more stress in social life, which would make people more preoccupied with enjoying leisures, in particular, with the implementation of five-days-a-week working schedule, and (3) the acceleration of secularization and the convenience of technology in daily life would result in more indifference to traditional religions favoring for substitute religions, and (4) the prominence of rationality and transparency as the global standards would make people reject from their hearts the authoritarian and premodern mythic Christianity, the rapid decline of the Korean churches must be considered with utmost priority among theological issues as the most serious crisis that may lead to the death of the Korean church in near future, or hopefully to its unprecedented reformation in the age of globalization.  However, it is utterly strange to find few theological efforts responding to this ecclesiastical crisis, even though several organizations, some by lay people, have been active to reform the Korean Protestant church since 1993.      

2. The Main Causes of the Membership Decline and the Loss of Social Credibility
     The rapid decline of the Korean churches since 1995 might be primarily influenced by social and cultural trends and, especially, by the social impacts of IMF crisis since 1997, but there should be more fundamental theological reasons for the crises of the Korean Protestant churches.  First, the survey of "Religions and Religious Consciousness of the Koreans in 1997" by Korea Gallup demonstrated that the non-religious Koreans were the 53.1% of the total population(of older than 18 years), and among the non-religious those who left the Protestant churches were 73% and those who left the Buddhist faith were 23.6%.  It also showed that the main reason of the decline of the Korean Protestant churches was the leave of the younger generation and the college graduates.  Second, the most favored religion for the non-religious Koreans was Buddhism(40%), Roman Catholics(37%), and the Protestant Church(22%), which indicates that the decline of the Protestant membership may be accelerated in the near future.  Third, the main cause of the decline and the failure to meet the spiritual need of the seekers must be found within the Protestant churches, since the same survey demonstrated that 79.6% of the subjects answered "yes" to the statement that "Most of the religious institutions are concerned about expanding their membership rather than about seeking the truth."
     Why the younger generation and college graduates are leaving the Protestant churches?  Why the Protestant churches are being criticized and blamed for losing her social credibility?  Immoral practices of some mega-churches, such as transmissions of senior pastorship by heredity and establishments of branch-churches, as well as some ministers' unethical scandals, are surely the causes of membership decline and loss of social credibility.  However, religio-cultural and theological causes are more fundamental, as demonstrated by the above survey results: Korean churches have given impression to the people in general, and to the younger generation in particular, that they do not endeavor to seek the truth.  In a word, the rapid membership decline and the loss of social credibility have been caused by the crises of intellectual and moral credibility.  In other words, the literal preaching of the premodern dogmatic mythic Jesus Christ to modern and post-modern audiences cannot make sense.
     First, from the cultural perspective, as clearly demonstrated at the presidential election of Korea, the younger generation and college graduates, who have been brought up in cyber-culture, tend to be anti-authoritarian, anti-patriarchal, and anti-exclusive,  while the Korean Protestant churches, in general, are anti-democratic, and anti-inclusive to other religions in particular.  Theses negative cultural aspects of the Korean churches are, in part, legacies of colonial theology of the American missionaries and the byproducts of the church growth theology.  But more fundamental theological reason of the premodern culture in the Korean churches is the Christian understanding of Jesus in terms of supernatural divine Son of God with all power and authority
     Second, from the intellectual perspective, the younger generation tend to be  rational and anti-superstitious, while the Korean churches in general are premodern and anti-rational, demonstrated by the literal understanding of the virginal conception of Jesus and his fleshly resurrection.  Preachers' anti-intellectual cliche like "Believing in what cannot be believed is true faith!" is nothing but a nonsense to the younger generation.  Those Christians who are educated in critical thinking suffer from "schizophrenic," as Lloyd Geering points out, by the conflicts between the "fact fundamentalism" of the scientific worldview from schools, and the "literal fundamentalism" of the mythic worldview from their churches.  The schizophrenic phenomenon leads them to be "believers in exile" who cannot find intelligibility of the Christian tradition; and it is quite natural for them to reject the premodern mythic Jesus, which led to the rapid membership decline.  Nowadays, college graduates are 74% of the total population, but Christian churches in general still condemn honest intellectual questioning on their beliefs, and demand "unconditional faith" to the members.  As the faith-development theory of James Fowler suggests, it is vital for pastors to help the young adult Christians transfer from the conventional stage to subjective-reflective stage, and further to conjunctive stage, by critical guidance to the religious tradition.  However, the conservative fundamental Protestant churches cannot cure the schizophrenic, but does function as the very cause of it.  The core of the trouble is the gap between the dogmatic mythic Jesus Christ and the historical Jesus.  In a word, the "believers in exile" are the casualties of the general ignorance of pastors who have demanded sacrifice of reason.  
     Third, from the moral perspective, the younger generation tends to be idealistic and hates hypocrisy, while the Protestants' emphasis on the principle of "salvation by faith alone" may misdirect its members to cheap grace without discipleship, as Bonhoeffer strongly pointed out.  Considering the fact that the honest confessions of the faith is the most fundamental for Christian integrity, both the dishonesty in their confessions of traditional creeds without intellectual assent, and the exclusive concern for their salvation in individualistic terms with Shamanistic orientation of the divine blessings tend to lead Christians to arbitrary egotism and hypocrisy.  Salvation and eternal life have long been understood as an individual goal in spiritualized world, that may give  theological justification for egoistic attitudes.  Unfortunately, it became a common cliche among Koreans that Christians may not be trusted.  The main theological problem here is that the emphasis on the faith in the supernatural mythic Jesus Christ, not on the life of historical Jesus, is likely to lead to cheap grace and immorality.      
     Fourth, from the political perspective, the younger generation seeks to be autonomous and subjective, while the Korean churches in general tend to demand Christians to be passive, servile to authority, and pro-American.  Again, this political tendency of the Korean churches is the direct result of individualistic, passive, as well as depoliticized Jesus.  Bultmannian kerygmatic existential interpretation resulted in utter privatization of salvation, making Jesus domesticated and ignoring all the historical conflicts.  Also in the Apostles' Creed the life of Jesus has been confessed "with an empty center," jumping from his miraculous birth to his suffering, and grammatically in passive verbs.  In other words, Christian confession of Jesus as never being an active agent, but a divine puppet-like figure makes Christians passive.  The modern separation of religion from politics, and Western individualism had further domesticated Jesus, making Christians autistic.
     Thus, the primary theological reason of the cultural, intellectual, moral, and political problems of the Korean churches is the literal fundamentalism of the mythic Jesus Christ and the disappearance of the historical Jesus.  Many Koreans feel hungry to know Jesus with intellectual honesty, as demonstrated by two best-selling books: O Kang-Nam's There is No Such Jesus(2001) and Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy's The Jesus Mysteries(E. 1999, K. 2002), that demonstrates the almost identical accounts of Jesus Christ with the myths of Osiris-Dionysus in the ancient Mediterranean mystery religions.


III. THE EDUCATIONAL NECESSITIES OF THE HISTORICAL JESUS TO SEMINARIANS

     The most urgent tasks of doing Christian theology in the era of globalization are to discern the signs of time in the struggles for maximizing God-given potentials against the imperial violences and exploitations, and to reflect and search for strategies for peace-making according to the spirit of Jesus.  For the tasks, it is vital for Christians to confess their beliefs in Jesus Christ with intellectual honesty and political consciousness.  The recent scholarship on the historical Jesus has provided us with the key to the tasks, especially because Jesus' life and messages for the reign of God are interpreted, by recent studies, in terms of his radical strategies against the globalization projects of the imperial Rome, and every doctrine is to be probed by examining the historical mythologizing process.  The future viability of the Christian churches in the world of globalization depends on intelligible messages, spirituality of resistance, and radical application of the spirit of Jesus into ministries, in order to build an alternative community, as the counter-community of sharing and serving, to the imperial capitalistic order of hostile competition, exploitation, injustice, and indifference.

1. Necessities for Mission and Evangelism
     First, seminarians need to learn the recent scholarship on the historical Jesus in order to preach premodern dogmatic Jesus Christ intelligible to modern and post-modern audiences, especially to the "believers in exile."  Since the early followers of Jesus  confessed their "experiences of God" in the historical Jesus in terms of mythic and metaphoric languages, to understand the mythologizing processes from "the Gospel of Jesus" to "the Jesus of the Gospels," from the historical Jesus to the dogmatic Jesus Christ is the key for the recovery of intellectual credibility of Christian messages.
     Second, the best way to recover the social credibility of the Korean churches is to be faithful to the vision of the historical Jesus.  To form the radically egalitarian  communities of service and to heal the social victims of globalization are the urgent tasks of the Korean churches to recover the essence of the faith community in this world of competitions and exploitations.  Christian evangelism is impossible without recovering the social credibilities of the Christian churches.
     Third, in a religiously plural society, like that of Korea, it is urgent for the Protestant churches to overcome the exclusive crusade mentality to other religious traditions for peaceful coexistence as well as for contributing to the peace-making process in the Korean society.  But the exclusive absolutism has been rooted in Christ-kerygma of the Nicaea-Chalcedon Christology.  Peace between religions may be easily started with "politics of compassion"(Marcus Borg) of the historical Jesus.
    
2. Theological Necessities
     First, Christian theologies must be tools to succeed to Jesus movements.  But traditional Christian theologies, that were based on the Pauline Christ-kerygma of coming-down and going-up of a divine savior, are criticized as docetic, imperialistic, and finally as a "Jewish version of Osiris-Dionysus myths."  The uniqueness of Christianity cannot be any longer based on literal understanding of the mythic Christ, but the life and messages of the historical Jesus.  
     Second, in the globalized "sea of faith"(Don Cupitt), and also in "the river of God" (Gregory Riley), Christian identity may not be sustained by "the religion about Jesus," but "the religion of Jesus."  And the potential source of Christian contribution to "global spirituality" to meet the challenges of globalization is the spirituality of resistance of the historical Jesus.
     Third, not just the challenges of globalization, but also the crises of human civilization with the environmental destructions demand a new soteriology depending not on an external savior, but on internal saviors.  Recent renaissance of the historical Jesus affirms the infinite dignity as well as responsibility of every human being to his/her own destiny and to social and natural environments.

3. Ethical Necessities
     First, Nicaea-Chalcedon Christology, which defines the unique divine nature of Jesus, may give excuses to moral lack of discipleship: I cannot live like Jesus, because I am not the Son of God like Jesus; and I do not need to live like Jesus, because I am saved not by my moral achievements but by faith in Christ's atoning death.  To overcome this discrepancy between beliefs and lives, Christian ethics must be based on the life of the historical Jesus.
     Second, Christianity has been notorious for its genocide because of its imperialistic, individualistic, and unethical spirituality.  To overcome the violent characters of traditional supernatural theism and its atonement theories, it is vital for seminarians to learn the nonviolence strategies of the historical Jesus as "a rebel with a cause."
     Third, Christianity has long been criticized by its slave ethics: teaching cowardice, non-resistance, and submission to the powerful.  To transform Christianity in a post-Christian era, it is necessary to learn the radical egalitarianism based on equal dignity of human beings demonstrated by the missions of the historical Jesus.

4. Political Necessities
     First, to meet the challenges of imperial globalization, it is essential for Christians to hold hope against hope by expecting the divine judgments on the empires.  The very root of the subversiveness of the historical Jesus, as the model for the hope, can be traced to his conviction of the divine judgment on the oppressive exploiting empires.
     Second, Christian spirituality must not be understood in terms of individualistic and unhistorical inner peace, but the spirituality of resistance to imperial powers of global capitalism.  Not as a political-military revolutionary, but as a social revolutionary, Jesus celebrated feasting with social outcasts and strengthened human solidarity, against the rulers' strategies to divide and disintegrate social relations.  
     Third, understanding the Kingdom of God as "the unbrokered kingdom" between human beings and God as well as between human beings can be the starting point to establish an alternative community of sharing and serving as the diametric opposite reality of the imperial order.
     Fourth, to reach out to the people in North Korea for the Korean reunification, the traditional supernatural monarchical model of theism may not be appropriate, because it demands a "spirituality of obedience," as David Griffin points out, especially to North Koreans who have been trained in the atheistic "spirituality of subjectivity."  For this reason, understanding the historical Jesus as "a decisive case of creative self- transformation" may be more accessible to North Koreans.


CONCLUSION

     Faith in God has been primarily born in the struggles for life against the life-destructing demonic forces.  The primary contexts of the biblical faith, from the first book of Genesis to the last book of Revelation, had been the sufferings and the struggles of the people of God against the most demonic life-destructing forces, the worldly empires.  In other words, the belief that the God of the Bible is the God of creation and salvation was born and continuously reaffirmed by God's victories primarily over against the life-destructing empires, such as the Egyptian empire, the Babylonian empire, the Greek empire, the Roman empire, and today's American empire.  
     Today's Pax Americana has been supported by the "Washington Consensus" with the global financial war system and the imperial U.S. military force.  The conventional weapons were replaced by financial bombs of speculative capitals from the Wall Street, and the local wars continues under the name of counter-terrorist attacks.  The goal of globalization of market economy system is nothing but maintaining the imperial American hegemony through exploitation.  Pax Americana is the third millenium version of Pax Romana that was maintained by continuous wars and exploitations in the periphery.
     In a world where the right-wing Christians themselves prove to be the champions of violence and terror, it is urgent for Christians to critically reflect the violent characters of Judeo-Christian tradition, and to heal the victims of globalization by transforming the Christian churches into the counter-communities of sharing and service.
For both tasks, renewed confession of Jesus Christ with intellectual honesty and political consciousness is essential, and the recent studies on the historical Jesus can meet the challenges of globalization and to overcome the crises of the Korean Protestant churches.  
     While the worldly empires continue to rule others by military conquest, economic exploitation and monopolization, political domination, social discrimination and exclusion, cultural competition and indifferences, ideological justification and brokerage hierarchy, and religious hatred and violence, Christian ministries must not be understood as religious business like that of the Jerusalem Temple, but as participating in God's activities of creation and salvation by establishing diametric anti-imperial counter- communities of political self-determination and mutual support, economic sharing and service, cultural compassion and social egalitarianism, joy in open koinonia, critique of dominant ideologies and overcoming violence by militant non-violence, and religious inclusion and cooperation.  So long as we Christian ministers are clear about this great divine goal and social significance of our ministries, first, we can endure all the psychological and economic hardship, especially as pastors of non-self-supportive local churches, and second, we may be more faithful to our vocation, which should results in restoring intellectual and moral credibility of the Christian churches.
     If theologians are not eager to teach this spirit of the historical Jesus to the seminarians, by making course on the historical Jesus as a compulsory course in the seminary curriculum, Korean Protestant churches might be dead institutionally in a generation or two, as proved by the Western churches that had sticked to the dogmatic Christ.

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공지 환경소식 점차 산소가 부족해져 숨 쉬기 어렵게 된다/ 화석연료산업 제어방법 14 한기연 2019.08.28 140
공지 역사적 예수 예수의 파격적인 가르침들은 어떤 경험들에서 생겨났을까? 1 한기연 2019.08.01 190
공지 조직신학 예수초청장/참새예수 - 홍정수 박사의 조직신학교실 (동영상) 6 한기연 2019.07.15 167
공지 조직신학 홍정수 박사 신학특강(동영상) 1 한기연 2019.06.06 147
공지 가정사회소식 양육강식하는 식인사회의 킬링필드 /김훈 11 한기연 2019.05.11 112
공지 기독교윤리 인류의 '마지막 싸움' / 배를 돌리자 24 한기연 2019.01.14 176
공지 가정사회소식 남성, 여성 아닌 제3의 성(간성) 3 한기연 2019.01.11 306
공지 교회사 웨슬리 [표준설교 정신] 이어 받은 기도문들 52개 pdf파일 file 한기연 2018.11.22 568
공지 조직신학 아우슈비츠에서의 하느님의 여성적 얼굴 1 file 한기연 2018.08.18 1299
공지 기독교윤리 빨간 지구 - 온실가스 시한폭탄에 이미 불이 붙었다 36 file 한기연 2018.08.17 308
공지 기독교윤리 벌레들의 나라, 약자들에 대한 혐오와 기독교 파시즘의 망령 39 file 한기연 2018.06.30 396
공지 가정사회소식 미투의 혁명, 혁명의 미투. 남성의 탄생 8 한기연 2018.04.19 267
공지 기독교윤리 <기후재앙에 대한 마지막 경고>(2010) pdf파일 9 file 한기연 2017.12.04 10435
공지 기독교윤리 <기후붕괴의 현실과 전망 그리고 대책> (2012) pdf 파일 file 한기연 2017.11.23 10615
공지 기독교윤리 <생태계의 위기와 기독교의 대응>(2000) pdf 파일 file 한기연 2017.11.10 11645
공지 기독교윤리 기후변화와 생태신학의 과제 (2017) 30 file 한기연 2017.11.04 12162
공지 가정사회소식 노령화: 남은 시간 7-8년뿐, 그 뒤엔 어떤 정책도 소용없다/ 장덕진 10 file 한기연 2016.04.26 19213
공지 역사적 예수 기후변화와 대멸종 시대의 예수의 복음 5 file 한기연 2015.11.12 19013
공지 기독교윤리 회칙 "찬미받으소서"의 신학적 의미와 사목 과제 15 file 한기연 2015.10.06 21258
공지 역사적 예수 홍정수 박사가 말하는 예수 르네상스 (강의 동영상) 한기연 2015.04.01 25649
공지 기독교윤리 세월호참사 - 앉아서 기다리면 또 다시 떼죽음뿐 133 file 한기연 2014.04.18 37974
공지 기독교윤리 기후붕괴의 현실과 생태대를 향한 출애굽 - 녹색의 세계관과 생태주의 인문학 아카데미 29 file 한기연 2013.11.12 34018
공지 기독교윤리 기후붕괴 시대의 교회의 역할 17 file 한기연 2013.08.24 34538
공지 역사적 예수 역사적 예수와 예수 살기 / 하늘이 낸 참사람들 11 file 한기연 2013.03.13 34410
공지 기독교윤리 엘리 위젤, <하나님에 대한 재판> 서평 1 file 한기연 2012.07.12 6800
공지 기독교윤리 크리스천 파시스트들과 한국 교회의 평화운동 자료 33 한기연 2012.04.24 57368
공지 조직신학 하나님이 계시냐고요 / 담임선생님 예수 / 홍정수 4 한기연 2012.04.11 89456
공지 기독교윤리 기후붕괴와 대멸종 시대에도 하나님은 전능하며 예수는 구세주이며 교회는 거룩한가 / 김준우 31 file 한기연 2011.12.12 97665
공지 역사적 예수 동정녀 탄생을 믿는다는 것 / 김준우 12 file 한기연 2011.10.23 62354
공지 조직신학 나의 종교경험 -> 나의 복음 -> 나의 신학을 일관성 있게 한 마디로 정리하기 4 한기연 2011.08.21 124985
공지 실천신학 대안교회의 가능성 / 한성수 1 file 한기연 2011.08.02 128894
공지 기독교윤리 핵위험 사회 치닫는 대한민국 1 73 한기연 2011.03.28 174306
공지 조직신학 감리교 종교재판의 전말/ 동작동 기독교와 망월동 기독교 6 file 한기연 2010.11.22 141997
공지 역사적 예수 역사적 예수 담론의 종교문화사적 의미 / 김준우 4 file 한기연 2010.11.14 145059
공지 역사적 예수 신학생들에게 당부하는 말씀 7 한기연 2010.10.28 129353
공지 기독교윤리 2015년까지 모든 석탄 화력발전소를 폐쇄하라! 14 file 한기연 2010.10.02 165950
공지 조직신학 예수, 그는 우리에게 대속자인가 선생인가 / 홍정수 2 한기연 2010.04.12 155451
공지 조직신학 생명과 평화를 여는 2010년 한국 그리스도인 선언 1 한기연 2010.03.29 145025
공지 PBS Frontline: From Jesus to Christ _ The First Christians (1) 1 한기연 2010.03.27 150448
공지 역사적 예수 김기석의 종횡서해 <첫번째 바울의 복음> 한기연 2010.03.18 6903
공지 역사적 예수 사영리와 사생리 / 나는 왜 역사적 예수에 관심하는가? / 그분을 찾습니다 / 한인철 5 한기연 2010.02.24 153726
공지 역사적 예수 예수목회란 무엇이며 왜 필요한가?/ 홍정수 13 file 한기연 2010.02.19 168066
공지 기독교윤리 두달만에 - 북극 지역 빙하의 크기 변화 2009/9 22 한기연 2009.09.19 182365
공지 가정사회소식 소득 5분위 배율 비교 25 file 한기연 2009.09.13 182984
공지 역사적 예수 역사적 예수 연구 서적들 읽는 순서 추천 4 file 한기연 2008.12.03 179233
공지 기독교윤리 세계/교회/신학의 물적 토대 - 신학의 출발점 9 file 한기연 2008.09.01 180453
공지 북극해의 해빙 속도와 기후변화, 한반도 가뭄과 사막화 위기 19 file 한기연 2008.05.14 201611
공지 역사적 예수 교회개혁을 위한 25개 신학논제 - 김준우 5 한기연 2007.10.20 182231
공지 실천신학 목사 개(dog)론 / 축도유감 / 그 안타깝고 아쉬운 오르가즘의 하느님 / 한성수 3 한기연 2004.08.30 146604
공지 실천신학 생명의 양식으로서의 성만찬/ 혼인주례자 상담체크 리스트 1 file 한기연 2003.09.30 29503
» 역사적 예수 The Historical Jesus to the Challenges of Globalization 2010 file 김준우 2004.05.31 267938
1044 기독교연구소 한국기독교연구소 브로슈어 file 방현섭 2008.03.13 166890
1043 기독교윤리 기후재앙에 대한 "마지막 경고" 26 file 한기연 2010.06.11 163474
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