Has Christianity ever needed a historical Jesus?

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by Neil Godfrey

I saw this sign hanging in front of a small town church today and those responsible for it might be proud to know that it prompted me to delve into some deep thoughts over what it’s all about.

Is not that sign what the gospel is all about? Is it not about effecting a new life in believers, having believers die to their “old” selves and being raised “with Christ” living in them?

Is not this as mythical a Christ as anyone can imagine? Or if one does not like that “m” word, as “spiritual” a Christ as can be imagined?

Isn’t that what Paul preached about? Galatians 2:20 And his message had power to transform himself and his fellow believers without any need to such a Christ to have died and been raised again “in the flesh”. Would not Paul even think that one who has begun in the spirit would be going backwards by believing in the flesh — or in a Jesus who did all this in his own flesh and body? Galatians 3:3

When Albert Schweitzer called for a Christianity grounded on “a metaphysic” and not on a historical event, I wonder if this is close to the sort of Christianity he had in mind.