A Challenge to Scholar Michael Licona: Do You Deny the Perceptible Presence of Jesus Within You?

I Have Jesus In My Heart - God Pictures

I sent the following email challenge to NT scholar Michael Licona today.  Last December, on Bart Ehrman’s blog, Dr. Licona and I had a discussion regarding his belief in the evangelical Christian teaching called “the testimony of the Holy Spirit” or stated another way, the evangelical Christian belief that one must “ask Jesus into your heart” to be a true Christian believer.  Does Dr. Licona believe this teaching?  His answers at that time on this issue appeared to me to be evasive.  Let’s see if he will respond and give a clear, concise answer:

Dear Dr. Licona,

I hope you and yours are well during this difficult time.

I have a challenge for you: Would you be willing to come back onto the Bart Ehrman blog and clearly state whether or not you believe in the evangelical teaching of the testimony of the Holy Spirit, specifically answering this question:

Dr. Licona: Do you perceive the presence of the spirit of Jesus within you?

Whether you believe that this belief does or does not affect your scholarship on the Resurrection is irrelevant. The relevant question is: Do you believe in the evangelical teaching of the real and perceptible presence of Jesus within you or not?

Thank you

 

 

 

 

End of post.

 

3 thoughts on “A Challenge to Scholar Michael Licona: Do You Deny the Perceptible Presence of Jesus Within You?

  1. “A person can simply acknowledge that they do, in fact, have the HS – and yet, not necessarily ever “perceive” or “sense” or “feel” anything at all. Having the HS is first and foremost a statement of fact. And, it need not be anything beyond that.”

    Yes, that would be an acceptable response from a Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, or Lutheran. It is NOT an acceptable response from a Southern Baptist or similar Trinitarian evangelical Christian.

    You have answered, “no”. Thank you. But do realize that by the standards of most evangelicals, your lack of perception of the presence of Jesus within you is a very worrying sign that you are not a true believer.

    Like

  2. A person can simply acknowledge that they do, in fact, have the HS – and yet, not necessarily ever “perceive” or “sense” or “feel” anything at all. Having the HS is first and foremost a statement of fact. And, it need not be anything beyond that.

    That is a perfectly acceptable response from a Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, or Lutheran Christian. It is NOT acceptable for most Southern Baptists and like-minded (trinitarian) evangelicals. In their belief system, the lack of perception of the presence of “Christ” within you is a telling sign that you are not a TRUE Christian.

    Like

  3. And that is why I call evangelicalism an emotional roller coaster. If you are a Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Methodist, or Presbyterian, you can point to your baptism as the moment you became a Christian. Not so with evangelicals. In their belief system, one becomes a Christian when one makes a conscious decision to believe in Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior AND sincerely and fully repents of all sins. Baptism is an objective act. You were either baptized or you weren’t. Sincerely believing and repenting is subjective. Did you truly believe? Did you fully repent? That is why so many evangelicals have been “born again” multiple times, just to be sure that they “did it right” the first time.

    If Michael Licona believes (like you) that it is not necessary to perceive the presence of Jesus within him, then he needs to clearly state so and stop pervericating.

    When and if he does so, he will then be promptly condemned by every Southern Baptist/evangelical in the country as a liberal. (And that is why I would be willing to bet good money that he will refuse to answer the question with a clear answer.)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s