Monday, May 21, 2007

B.H. Streeter on Albert Schweitzer

B.H. Streeter said this about Albert Schweitzer's Quest for the Historical Jesus:

Modern lives of Christ, whether written from a radical or from a conservative standpoint, have been too modern. The pseudo-Romantic Christ of Renan, and the "beourgeois Christ" of Rationalistic liberalism are quite as far removed from the actual historica figure as the personified abstraction of scholastic logic or the sentimetnal effeminacy dear to Christian Art. But if we agree with Schweitzer here, yet it is not without a feeling that he himself cannot quite escape the charge of modernizing, and that thiks own boldly-outlined portrait is a little like the Superman of Nietzsche in Galilean robes.

Cited from John M. Court, 'Burnett Hillman Streeter,' ExpTim 118.1 (2006): 21.


Michael Barber said...

Colin Brown, my mentor at Fuller, has some great thoughts on Nietzsche and Schweitzer's Jesus which emerged from reading this quote.

Look for Brown to discuss it in an impending new book on the topic.

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

This is a far cry from N.T. Wright's claim that Schweitzer came closer than most to getting Jesus "right."

Brant Pitre said...

Great quote, Mike!
Although I am forever in debt to Schweitzer for his insistence on the importance of eschatology (rightly or wrongly understood), Streeter's point seems quite accurate when you get into Schweitzer's theology of Jesus. The main difference being of course, that Nietsche despised the kingdom of heaven in favor of the kingdom of earth, while Schweitzer's Jesus at least sought to bring the former to pass.