Friday, December 14, 2012

A Polite Bribe. . .

A clip from The Tennessean newspaper and a column by Bob Smietana tell the story of St. Paul, not the tired old story of Scripture and tradition but a new story.  Hmmmm... you know what that usually means.  Then this from the website of the film.  Did Christianity Begin with "A Polite Bribe"?Read More
Upcoming Screenings Co-Hosted by World Renown Scholars Bart Ehrman, Gerd Ludemann, and James Tabor...
  Hmmmm... Bart Ehrman.  Well, that certainly attests to the orthodoxy of this film.

The point of the film is to expose a missing fact that colors the relationship of St. Paul to the early church in a new hue -- the collection of Paul for the Church at Jerusalem?  Well, that was a bribe, a polite bribe, but a bribe nonetheless.  It was, according to this film, a manipulative attempt for St. Paul to gain support for his Gentile cause.  Gerd Ludemann says that people have an idealistic perception of the early church and instead he points to the flaws, foibles, and failings of these human beings in conflict over Jews and non-Jews in the Kingdom of God.  Rob Orlando, the filmmaker, said his goal is for Christians to think less of Jesus in Christianity and more of St. Paul, whom he believes is the driving force to shape the face of Christianity. 

Once again we are confronted with doubts over certainty, speculation over truth, and the suspicion that the document that claims to present Christianity may not be giving us either the full or the accurate picture of this Christian faith.  I am sure it is an interesting movie.  I am sure that it will be hyped by a particular crowd among the "scholars" but I hope that few people will get their Christianity from the doubts and uncertainties of a few scholars who are not sure they believe anything all that much, much less Christian history and the Scriptures themselves.

Take your own look but read my warnings first -- this is not your grandpa's St. Paul.

Thirty years after the death of Christ,
the future of the Christian church teetered on faulty ground. Two factions, the Apostle Paul’s Gentile Churches and the Judean Church lead by Jesus’ own brother James…
Both groups had clearly emerged with very different visions for the mission. And were headed toward a final showdown- A mutually destructive fracture that would have ended the Church in its infancy, if not for one man.
Now for the first time, learn how one man’s vision kept the early Christian movement together. How one man, defied the very followers of Jesus himself… and in the end left his homeland to conquer an Empire.
Learn the story the church would never tell.
A Polite Bribe.


Dr.D said...

Isn't Bart Ehrman the pride of the LCMS, as I have always heard?

Fr. D+

Anonymous said...

Um, why are the 'scholars' so credulous with regard to this story of a bribe and so incredulous on other points?


Anonymous said...


Thanks for taking an interest in our film. If you would like to discuss the film or interview the Director for a more in depth dialogue about the research and/or scholars used, please let us know.

I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the integrity and level of research behind the film that uses a host if diverse voices.

Write to

Ted Deutsch
Associate Producer
A Polite Bribe

Dixie said...

Bart Ehrman needs our prayers. I heard him speak once and he said the reason he could not believe in Christianity was because of all the evil in the world; pain and suffering endured by good people. I believe the root cause of his devolution was bad theology. I would have a hard time loving the God he knew, too. He has made several courses for the Teaching Company and every so often I write to the company telling them that as a non-Christian he has no ability to teach on Christianity with accuracy and authority. (If I wanted to learn about the Muslim faith, I surely wouldn't study under an Orthodox priest.) But, so far my appeals have gone unnoticed and he gets authoritative billing as a lecturer for Christian topics.