“You might want to notice that in the most recent issue of Christianity Today, the April issue that arrived to me just days ago, in the cover story, Scot McKnight says, ‘I can count on one hand the number of historical Jesus scholars who hold orthodox beliefs.’ A fascinating statement. But the moment you begin to entertain the notion that there’s a distinction between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith, you have already bankrupted the faith.
“Adolph von Harnack, another one of the most important figures in modern liberal theology, made an argument that I have actually heard some evangelicals paraphrase without understanding the toxic source and the disastrous meaning. Harnack said Christianity is like a seed or a kernel that is surrounded by a husk, kind of like a coconut. And he said that the kernel is authentic meaning, but the husk is this … he called it the acute Hellenization of doctrine, it’s this elaborated doctrine, it’s creeds and confessions and propositional statements and Scriptural claims concerning Jesus Christ, Gospel, salvation, fall, eschatology. Long before Bultmann, Harnack said what we must do to rescue Christianity is to pay attention to salvaging the seed and let the husk go. Do you buy into that? You’ve already given it all away.”