1. Leonhard Ragaz argued the Sermon on the Mount is no utopia or fantasy. It is realistic.
    It is to be fulfilled here and now. The kingdom is a political and social matter. He sought to use the Sermon to develop a comprehensive plan for social reform. He labeled the Sermon on the Mount “the magna charta of Christian socialism.” He saw that the Sermon assumed involvement in kingdom, but he thought the speech of Jesus is full of paradox and is not to be followed legalistically. The Beatitudes proclaim a transvaluation of values. There is no literalism here, but principles and symbols. Jesus abolished the law in order to fulfill it. He thought the Sermon is an indictment of religion; for him God and religion are mutually exclusive. He sought proclamation of the kingdom through Christ. He was not an absolute pacifist and thought that one can do the opposite of Jesus’ statements without contradicting the intention. He progressively disassociated himself from the church and concluded that God cannot be where religion is and hates everything associated with it.
  2. Albert Schweitzer argued Jesus presented only an “interim ethic,” an ethic only for his disciples in the short time before the kingdom dawned, about which dawning Jesus was mistaken. The historical Jesus remains a stranger and an enigma. He has no authority over our knowledge, only over our will. Moral criteria are abolished. The kingdom is upramoral.
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