by Neil Godfrey
Father Levi, introduces himself as a priest of the Church of Ireland on his blog, The Way Out There. Father Levi writes
The truly odd part of this story, for me, is that apparently Fr Brodie has held these views since the ’70s but has only now chosen to make those views public.
and from there raises a number of issues. He concludes:
Those who already do not love the Church will decry any action taken against him as bullying, suppressing scholarship, denying him his right to speak freely, etc.
However, it will send message to the world that un-orthodox views are not to be tolerated within the Church, which is surely a good thing. People are already confused enough about what the Church teaches without others muddying the waters with this kind of material.
Returning to the Irish Central, this is more interesting for the comments posted than the original article:
One “peadarm” writes:
This [that Jesus did not exist] shouldn’t be a remarkable proposition – as Brodie says, much of the words and deeds of the gospels are drawn from the OT. Often word for word from the Greek of the Septuagint. And from the earlier epistles of the NT. They’re very much literary rather than oral constructs. Nor should it be particularly controversial – though realistically Brodie was brave to ‘come out’, I understand that he continues to believe in a mystical Jesus as a manifestation of God, without any need for a literal historical person matching the description in the gospels.
Brodie . . . disclosed that he did not believe Jesus is a myth.
Unfortunately it gets little better on this site. After the obligatory jokes about whether or not Thomas Brodie really exists or not, we run into stuff like this:
How much research did he do or perhaps rather what kind of research did he do? Maybe we should ask his definitions of “research” and “evidence”?
Then there’s Father Ray Blake’s Blog who sees hope for the future since Brodie’s downfall was the responsibility of the young rising up against their elders:
It was the Irish Dominicans themselves who decided his views where unacceptable and he should not to continue teaching under their auspices It was the kids who did it, the power base has shifted, the younger Dominicans are taking control and simply expecting orthodoxy and questioning its absence.
If you are looking for something good in Ireland then take a look at the Dominicanss. There are 16 young men in the studenate and 6 very sound and orthodox young men in the novitiate. Orthtodoxy attracts orthodoxy, where there is real teaching there is groeth
Pray for Fr Broder to receive the gift of faith, pray for the Irish Dominicans.
The same refers to his earlier post that is much more clear-cut. Brodie has sinned against the Holy Ghost and is surely on his way to the place of fire and pitch-forks:
Heresy is an attack on Truth,
I am convinced that heresy is the sin against the Holy Spirit that cannot be forgiven. It is after all the Holy Spirit who leads us into Truth. It is Holy Spirit that co-authors scripture, that keeps the Church free from error and validates Her sacraments. He underwrites the Church’s teaching authority. He both draws men to Christ and opens their hearts to him. Heresy is a denial of all the Holy Spirit does. Toleration of heresy leaves us orphans who are incapable of crying out “Abba, Father”. It strikes at the very heart of Christian unity. It undermines Faith obviously, but it also undermines Hope and Charity because it obscures the person of Christ.
No wonder the Holy Father said to our Bishops, “It is important to recognize dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate.”
Heresy and heretics are the enemies of Christ and we really must pray for the Grace to recognise them for what they are and to learn to hate them for the terrible damage they do to the Church’s ability to make Christ knowable. They are our enemy and the enemies of the Church. We can be tolerant of any sin because with the truth of Christ we can recognise it but heresy tends to make truth obscure to the point where good becomes evil and evil becomes good.
Then there is Clerical Whispers where the standard story is repeated, along with this line:
Father Brodie claims in the book that many of Jesus’s acts were a rip-off of the Hebrew Bible or, in some cases, of earlier texts.
Is that really news? Surely every commentary, every scholar who has penned or typed a word on the gospels, has repeated this trite claim in one form or another. Does anyone seriously dispute the call of James and John was a re-write of Elijah’s call of Elisha?
But let’s not forget our good old friend RationalSkepticism and comments such as the following:
It has always puzzled me why anyone thinks the New Testament is based on oral traditions, when it is obvious it is based on literary texts, primarily the Hebrew Bible. The xian sect I was brought up prided itself on looking for these connections – as evidence it is the word of god and the Hebrew Bible foreshadowed the coming of Christ. And they were utterly correct, but looking the wrong way down the telescope! The New Testament is a creation from the Hebrew Bible, Apocrypha and some other stuff like Mark’s use of Homer!
The walls of Jericho they are a tumbling down!