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"The body of Jesus rotted in the tomb, if it was not eaten before then by vultures and jackals."
With comments like these, Nashville theologian Gerd Lüdemann
has ignited an international controversy
By Rob Simbeck
The whispers are those that go with fame. "There he is,"
says one student, pointing across the courtyard. "That's Gerd
Lüdemann?" asks another. The venue is the convocation picnic
kicking off the new semester at Vanderbilt Divinity School. The people
pointing and craning their necks are about to spend the year in
preparation for the ministry or a degree in biblical literature, or in
pursuit of some self-defined goal. The man they are regarding with a
touch of real wonder used to teach here. He is still a visiting
scholar who maintains a home in Nashville, researches in the
Vanderbilt library and speaks both locally and across two continents.
He is acknowledged to be one of his generation's great intellects,
a painstaking and accomplished biblical scholar and historian with an
international reputation. He is also in many ways the epitome of the
likable professor. He has a rumpled, sloe-eyed demeanor that bears a
vague resemblance to that of Garrison Keillor. He's a
conversationalist nonpareil, a sought-after dinner companion, a great
ballroom dancer and a man who once delighted in taking his four
daughters to Opryland.
He is famous–or notorious, depending on one's
predisposition–for saying what every liberal biblical scholar
has heard and what a not insubstantial number believe: that many of
the claims of classical Christianity, including its cornerstone, the
Resurrection, are pious fluff that simply don't hold up in the face of
modern historical research and post-Enlightenment sensibilities. They
are, to take it a step further–and Lüdemann always
does–part of what he calls "The Great Deception."
It is possible to believe as he does and yet flourish in
modern-day liberal theology. Lüdemann, in fact, is adamant that a good
percentage of his colleagues do just that, dissembling so that they
may keep their jobs and careers. It is not possible, though, to drive
the point home as baldly and forcefully as he has for nearly a decade
and escape unscathed. Few of his colleagues believe in the physical
resurrection of Jesus, but hardly any take that belief to its logical
conclusion, at least not publicly. Lüdemann does.
"The body of Jesus," he has said many times,
"rotted in the tomb, if it was not eaten before then by vultures
That utterance alone was not enough to jeopardize the job he has
held since leaving Vanderbilt–a professorship at Göttingen
University, a German institution long synonymous with the best of
modern-day biblical scholarship. But his statement that what passes
for modern Protestant thought is "bankrupt" has embroiled
him in a tempest that is beginning to spin little twisters across the
West. He maintains that theology as practiced by present-day Christian
churches is as dead as Jesus when he was taken down from the cross.
"The hallowed precincts of church and theological tradition
often stand directly opposed to the human sense of truth," he has
said. "If no bridge can be built here, then all is up with the
credibility of theology and the church, and for all their apparent
splendour, both are heading for rigor mortis."
What is needed, he says, is fearless and rigorous historical
investigation, unencumbered by creed or edict and followed to its
conclusion, no matter what the cost or consequence. Perhaps not
surprisingly, Lutheran church officials in Germany decided a few years
ago that a man with such views should not be instructing would-be
ministers of the gospel. Since 1994, they, Lüdemann and the university
have been involved in a complex dance of charges, public statements,
court dates and faculty votes that have left Lüdemann a member of the
theology department but with restrictions that have reduced his clout
and university standing considerably.
Lüdemann considers himself a "non-theist," which he
defines as one who "lives as if God does not exist and has no
personal relationship to God. Yet he or she has an open mind and does
not want to close the door for new discoveries." Lüdemann adds
that while he lives without God and expects no afterlife, he considers
himself "a spiritual person, a spiritual secular person."
For years now, his battle to teach as a non-theist in a Christian
setting has been a rather remote matter, the stuff of university
debate and the German-language press. All that may be about to change.
The April issue of the journal Religion, which is to theology what
Nature is to science, will feature a symposium on the Lüdemann case
that will become the core of a book called Faith, Truth and Freedom:
The Expulsion of Professor Gerd Lüdemann From the Theology Faculty of
Göttingen University. The dean of Göttingen and world-class academics
from Europe and the U.S.–including Vanderbilt Divinity School
professors Amy-Jill Levine and Douglas A. Knight, and former
Vanderbilt Divinity professor and Jesus Seminar founder Robert
Funk–will weigh in on what some see as a pivotal showdown over
academic freedom and the very nature of theological inquiry.
There is no doubt the Lüdemann case has touched nerves across the
U.S. and Europe. It raises many questions, including whether an
otherwise qualified non-theist can teach the Bible and whether
historical research done under the influence of a church can be called
a legitimate academic undertaking. It has renewed concerns over the
fact that there are unspoken litmus tests that an academic must pass
to teach in an American theological institution–one had better
not be too liberal in a conservative institution, nor too conservative
in a liberal one.
Should this seem like a hermetic debate, of concern only to
intellectuals and church officials, it is worth noting that academic
theology often has profound real-world effects. Martin Luther's
objections to various church abuses, undertaken in an academic
setting, helped set in motion events that forever changed the face of
Western Christianity. Work on discovering the "historic"
Jesus, led for the past two centuries by German theologians, has had
profound effects throughout society, as well as in the universities.
And this current controversy provokes questions about the very
legitimacy of Christianity at a time when mainstream Protestant
denominations are seeing membership diminish and conservative
denominations are swelling.
Some see in Lüdemann's saga occasional echoes of Luther, although
such comparisons are best made cautiously. Luther overthrew tradition
for the biblical text, although he saw instances where reason
superseded the text. For Lüdemann, reason and historical research are
paramount, overthrowing tradition, text and, ultimately, Christianity.
The contention surrounding him is sure to raise the profile of a man
who has come to symbolize either steadfast integrity or
spotlight-seeking recklessness, depending on who is doing the talking.
"We had only two books at home," Lüdemann says of his
childhood in postwar Germany, "a Bible and a dictionary. Much of
my ambition is rooted in our family situation with no car and no
culture, looking up to others who had nicer places to live and spoke
He was born July 5, 1946, in Visselhövede, a town of 5,000 in
Lower Saxony, the third and youngest child of a laborer in a
conservative Lutheran household. "Our family did not have enough
education to be able to be liberal," he says. His mother, who
knew many of the Psalms and much of the Lutheran catechism by heart,
"saw to it that our father took the Eucharist once a year, while
she, by herself, went to church quite often. What I remember about my
going to church as a child was that the pastor was always in black and
that I did not remember or understand anything."
At a time when just one in six Germans attended high school, he
would be the first in his family to do so. He was a dedicated chess
player, taking as a model Bobby Fischer, the American who, in 1958, at
the age of 15 became the world's youngest ever Grand Master. Then, in
May 1963 during a tent mission, 16-year-old Lüdemann had a conversion
experience. "From then on I led a youth group and decided to
become a pastor and/or a monk," he says. He began reading the
Bible intently, while at the same time beginning what he calls "a
passionate reading of Voltaire's works." Perhaps not
surprisingly, he underwent "strong emotional turbulences."
Photo: Eric England
The intellectual rigor he brought to his studies served him well
in college, where he no longer attended church. "I got so engaged
in the world of biblical studies," he says, "that I decided
that it sufficed."
He was demonstrably dedicated. Vanderbilt's Douglas Knight, who
had an office near Lüdemann's when both were graduate students at
Göttingen in the early 1970s, says, "He virtually lived there. He
was devoted to working on his degree, preparing for his career. He was
a remarkably conscientious and hardworking student. He became fluent
in New Testament Greek and worked easily in other languages. He
devoured materials about the history of the first and second
centuries. Even then, he was a hard-nosed, card-carrying historical
After stints at McMaster and Duke, Lüdemann interviewed at
Vanderbilt in 1979. Although there was pressure on the Divinity School
faculty to hire a woman if possible, the 32-year-old Lüdemann was
clearly the best of the candidates, and he was given the appointment.
Already a rising star in the field, Lüdemann received an offer to
teach at Göttingen shortly afterward, prompting Vanderbilt to give him
tenure and name him associate professor. Despite some tension between
Lüdemann and others in his field–he could be blunt and unsparing
in his criticism of New Testament scholars with whom he
disagreed–he was a welcome addition to the faculty and
"Gerd and I became very close in those years," says H.
Jackson Forstman, who was dean of the Vanderbilt Divinity School at
the time. "We watched their children grow up. He was an excellent
colleague to many of us, and he was one of my favorite conversation
partners. I thought it was important for any faculty to have one or
more members like him who could take any informal conversation and
turn it into something where people were talking to each other about
Lüdemann took to Nashville as well, making friends throughout the
community and speaking to any number of groups, including the June
Ramsey Sunday School class at First Presbyterian Church. Eugene
TeSelle, professor emeritus of church history and theology at
Vanderbilt, and his wife, Penny, helped the Lüdemanns find a house in
the Hillsboro-Belmont neighborhood near Brown's Diner. Lüdemann played
Santa Claus for children at a Catholic church in the city's Germantown
section, and he was someone students and faculty enjoyed talking to
over coffee and pastries.
Göttingen eventually offered him another post in 1982, this time
with a full professorship and an invitation to develop and head an
institute. Lüdemann's wife and daughters were reluctant to leave a
Nashville they had come to love, but his path was clear. He was 36,
with a chance for a full professorship and all the perquisites at a
world-class university. "I was greatly distraught to lose
him," says Forstman.
Still, his ties and those of his family to Nashville are strong
enough that he still maintains his house here. He spends much of the
time that he is not teaching in Nashville, researching, speaking and
maintaining his connections to Vanderbilt and the community.
Gerd Lüdemann's journey from born-again German schoolboy to
non-theist Bible scholar was well under way by the time he taught at
Vanderbilt. Knight, who co-taught a course with Lüdemann, says,
"I remember him saying privately, 'What if Jesus' body decomposed
instead of being resurrected?'"
Lüdemann, in recalling the conversation, adds, "I knew that I
would be spelling it out publicly some time."
In the meantime, his output was plentiful and well received.
Lüdemann's early writings on the New Testament and early Christianity
brought him international recognition, as did a commentary on the
historical value of the Acts of the Apostles. His later work, on the
Resurrection, heretics and the virgin birth, moved him to the edges of
liberal thought. He was convinced, along with many liberal scholars,
that much of what is attributed to Jesus in the New Testament involves
later church doctrine put in his mouth by the writers of the
gospels–a process Lüdemann calls "pious but
Assessing that work, TeSelle says, "It's good scholarship,
and what he says is not essentially different from what most New
Testament scholars are saying. He doesn't have any particularly
different data or methods or necessarily even conclusions when you
look at them one by one. It's that he finally puts it together in a
different way, and he looks for the dramatic."
The drama increased with his output.
"I have come to the following conclusion," he wrote.
"My previous faith, related to the biblical message, has become
impossible, because its points of reference, above all the
Resurrection of Jesus, have proved invalid and because the person of
Jesus himself is insufficient as a foundation of faith once most of
the New Testament statements about him have proved to be later
interpretations by the community. Jesus deceived himself in expecting
the kingdom of God. Instead, the church came; it recklessly changed
the message of Jesus and in numerous cases turned it against the
mother religion of Judaism."
The culmination of Lüdemann's mounting argument came with the 1998
publication of The Great Deception: And What Jesus Really Said and
Did. It includes his "Letter to Jesus," a dramatic farewell
in which he combines post-Enlightenment knowledge with an outline of
his own interior struggle as he sheds himself of his ties to Jesus.
"In 1994 I still had no problems with the Apostles'
Creed," Lüdemann says of the central Christian statement of faith
recited in many Protestant churches, "and was happy to say I
confess [my faith] with the fathers without realizing that I no longer
believed in what my fathers believed in. My historical works had their
own dynamics and had to carry me where I ended up in 1998. It was only
a matter of time."
The process was dramatic, very public and, according to his
longtime friend, Vanderbilt German professor Dieter Sevin, inexorable.
"I wonder whether he really could have prevented some of his
difficulties by being a little more reserved," Sevin says.
"It would have been easy to, but that is not his personality. He
is not and does not want to be diplomatic after struggling intensely
with an issue; he wants to get his point across no matter what the
Lüdemann has not been shy about doing so. In 1994, the scholar
sent a copy of his forthcoming book The Resurrection of Jesus–in
which he argued that Christ's body was as mortal as anyone else's, and
that Christ's appearances after the Crucifixion were hallucinatory or
visionary–to Werner Harenberg, a journalist he knew had done
work on similar subjects. Harenberg's story in the Easter edition of
Der Spiegel made Lüdemann a public figure, at least in Germany, and
began the attacks to which he and his work have been subject since. In
1994, the Protestant Council of Lower Saxony began calling for his
removal from his university post. By 1998, his faculty colleagues were
agreeing. The university renamed his chair, giving him dominion over a
shadow department and taking an assistant from him. Lüdemann sued, and
twice the German courts said the school had every right to do what it
It has not been an easy road. Lüdemann is now teaching classes
students have no reason to take–the area in which he teaches
doesn't offer a major, and students would be hurting their advancement
by getting close to someone who is a thorn in the university's side.
Lüdemann is paying the bulk of his own quite sizable legal costs,
selling a life insurance policy to help do so. With the exception of
his sister, no one in his family shares his views. He has long been
the object of the animosity of the church. Friends and colleagues have
sometimes been hostile to his approach, if not his reasoning.
They were problems he could in many ways see coming, but
Lüdemann's colleagues agree that he is a man for whom the truth cannot
be otherwise, someone willing to follow where it leads. "Gene
TeSelle once told me that one has to be open for ambiguities," he
says. "I guess not when it comes to the question whether Jesus
was raised from the dead in view of the many forgeries in the
Still, he did not set out on the course lightly. "He has
agonized over it," says Vanderbilt Divinity New Testament
professor Amy-Jill Levine, who served as a confidante while Lüdemann
researched and wrote The Great Deception (which he dedicated to her)
and other works. "Our conversations were long. He did worry about
the fallout. He asked me personally about the difficulties of being a
non-Christian [she is Jewish], about how I can negotiate this
Once the battle was joined, though, Lüdemann was not about to
retreat, no matter the volleys fired by the church. "They have
contributed to my becoming more and more forthright and in some cases
even offensive, if that is the right word," he says. "These
reactions, which continue to the present day, have demonstrated that
the Protestant church and its theology are bankrupt, which, in light
of the biblical record, does not surprise me at all."
Despite the cost of the resulting attention, even his friends
concede that Lüdemann seeks it out. Sevin says, "I think, yes, to
some extent he enjoys or at least appreciates his notoriety, partly
because that way he thinks he can start a discussion. It is difficult
to get your ideas out in the world, and he thinks that these issues
need to be discussed on a broader level."
As for charges that he enjoys the notoriety, Lüdemann says,
"If it means that, when approached by reporters etc., I frankly
answer their questions, the answer is a definite yes. If it means that
I regularly approach journalists and on purpose exaggerate things, the
answer is no.
"Had not Jack Neusner [who put together the Religion
symposium and edited the book] offered an opportunity to speak
publicly about the whole mess," he adds, "I would have been
willing to stay quiet and wait for the decisions of the courts."
One key purpose of the magazine's forthcoming symposium, says
colleague Knight, is "to come to the defense of a fellow academic
who has been mistreated by a system that has tried, if not to silence
him, then at least to move him off to the side." Knight and
others are convinced, though, that there is at bottom something much
more profound at stake.
"If there are conclusions that you are institutionally
forbidden from adopting at the cost of your career," says
Neusner, research professor of religion and theology at Bard College,
"then you don't enjoy academic freedom, and the field you are
studying doesn't belong in the academy."
"The problem is that, damn it, it's a state university,"
Knight says of the German institution. "The church can have a
million confessionally driven seminaries [where a declaration of faith
is essential] if it wants, but to place one inside a state university,
where all other professors and students are expected to think freely,
is like declaring a safe zone in the middle of a free-for-all. What is
academic freedom if it doesn't apply to all? Does religion require
special protections not afforded other fields of thought?"
"If the truth is not open-ended," says Robert Price,
professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute,
an Amherst, N.Y., educational project affiliated with the Council for
Secular Humanism, "it is hypocritical to pretend to search for
it." He adds, "Great universities like Göttingen...seem
enamored of becoming indoctrination mills, glorified Bible
The German university system, which mixes church and state, makes
the matter more complicated than it might be in the United States.
Göttingen dean Reinhard G. Kratz, in a paper for the symposium,
maintains that the church can require professors in such a setting to
serve its interests, and that Lüdemann's actions made the school's
withdrawal of his right to instruct ordination candidates a mere
Many of those contributing to the symposium agree that there are
split interests and rights. "It seems appropriate for Professor
Lüdemann to practice his scholarship in a way that doesn't involve a
responsibility for preparing people to minister to those of a faith to
which he no longer subscribes," says Stephen B. Presser, a
professor of legal history and business law at Northwestern
University. "Professor Lüdemann's right to academic freedom ought
to be viewed as guaranteeing him no more than a place in his
university, but not on the faculty of theology."
"All I have claimed," counters Lüdemann, "is that
the pursuit of theology as an academic discipline should not be tied
to the confession [of faith], and that if it is, it is not a true
academic discipline. As long as theology remains in the university, it
has to research and inform, not reveal and preach; to bring people to
maturity in matters of religion, not lead them astray into servitude
toward an old superstition, no matter how modern it may claim to
While William Shea, professor of American Christianity at St.
Louis University, grants that Lüdemann is "a professor who will
not dodge and weave," he adds that "he is now paying the
price. You do not say goodbye to Christianity and expect applause from
Christians. Compassion perhaps, applause never."
Vanderbilt Divinity professor Levine is not convinced there will
be a great deal of fallout from the case in the United States. In
their own books, former priest John Dominic Crossan and retired
Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong make the points Lüdemann makes, and
often reach wider audiences. "Gerd's situation might have had a
greater effect if he formally represented a particular denomination in
a clerical manner rather than in an academic manner," Levine
says. "Since he doesn't, it becomes easier, then, to dismiss him
as one more peculiar academic."
Yet this case is relevant to America, in that theologians here
have found their jobs in jeopardy for the same reasons that Lüdemann
has. "There have been many cases involving confessional
schools," says Knight, "where a conservative church has seen
to the firing of faculty members who don't hold to the party line.
That has happened entirely too much in the last two decades in our own
country for us to feel indifferent toward what is occurring now in a
major European university."
There are parallels in liberal American institutions as well,
Levine points out. "Those schools which profess the ideal of open
inquiry also often do not want faculty who are too Christian,"
she says. "Church membership is fine, but active proselytizers
for a particular brand of (usually Conservative) Christianity are less
Shea, who teaches at a Catholic institution, adds that such
constraints, chilling though they are, should not be a surprise.
"The university, after all, is the bastard child of the church
and the Enlightenment, neither of which has proved hospitable to
skepticism of its premises," he says.
The list of colleagues who disagree with Lüdemann's methods is
long, even among those who are fond of him. Former Vanderbilt Divinity
School dean Joseph Hough, who calls him "one of my favorite
dinner partners in Nashville," says he is "a fine historian
but not much of a theologian," arguing, among other things, that
he is "too much of a literalist."
"I don't think he's being very helpful or useful," Hough
says. "Pushing a vote on whether Jesus' body rotted [as Lüdemann
did at a meeting of the Jesus Seminar, a biannual theological
summit]–to me that's sensationalism, which detracts from his own
very considerable talents."
"I don't agree with his approach to New Testament studies at
all," says Neusner. "I think that he has allowed historicism
to run absolutely rampant. He thinks that historical facts are the
centerpieces of a religious system and worldview, and I have taken the
view that critical history has very little to say about religious
But if Lüdemann's fellow theologians disagree with him and
sometimes regard him as someone too eager to seek the spotlight, they
don't for a moment doubt his intelligence or his intellectual motives.
"When I was in Germany [in 1995]," Neusner says, "he
would ride by train once a week or so all over Germany to speak in
churches on problems of New Testament studies he was working on. He
was very devoted to the religious public of the country, sharing his
ideas, insights and analyses, and the people wanted him. He was not
perceived as a destructive personality or as someone out to get
attention for himself. There was a great deal of dedication on his
part to the intellectual life of the churches. He wanted Protestant
Christianity in Germany to be intellectually mature as he saw it. I
thought he was wrong in many things, but in terms of his motivation
and activities, I had only admiration and respect."
"He did not invent this issue," says Knight. "It
goes back to [German theologian Rudolf] Bultmann and others before
him. But Gerd asked the question in a very radical form and stayed
with it even in the face of church opposition. He is saying, 'If we
say it among ourselves, why don't we say it out loud?' "
"I once heard him say something rather astonishing to
[renowned theologian] Marcus Borg," says Price, "that even
though he did not believe in the Resurrection, he still prayed to
Jesus in a sort of imaginative way. I knew then that this was not a
guy with an ax to grind, that he is someone who actually wishes he
could believe in Christianity."
Lüdemann, in fact, expresses frustration with the answers he got
as he bounced his concerns off colleagues. "After 1994," he
says, "I encountered increasing opposition from the official
church bodies, and had strange conversations with colleagues both in
Germany and in Nashville, the upshot of which was that the questions
that I raise regarding Jesus' death and non-resurrection, and the fact
that much of the early gospel tradition does not go back to Jesus but
to the interests of the early communities, had long been solved. When
I asked how they had been solved, they fell silent or changed the
subject. All in all, I got the impression that some lacked the
seriousness which is required to be a theologian or just did not want
to be bothered. Political correctness was probably also involved and
possibly a wisdom that I just did not and still do not have. Thus I
felt terribly lonely and continued my rocky journey, keeping always in
mind that yes is yes and no is no. "
Alone in his quest Lüdemann may be, but at least a few of his
peers are willing to offer their resounding support for his right to
inquire, to challenge and to teach. It is upon such freedoms, after
all, that Western culture prides itself. "I've been asked, 'Would
you have tried to have him dismissed [if he had stayed at Vanderbilt
and achieved this notoriety]?' " former Vanderbilt Divinity
School dean Forstman says. "Absolutely not. You're going to take
a lot of phone calls, and members of the board of trust and
influential donors probably wouldn't be pleased with his presence on
the faculty, but this is absolutely sacred to me. Freedom of speech is
sacred to a university, and it's protected by tenure. Once a person
has won tenure–and it is difficult to win it–I would not
have dismissed him."
Hough is obviously somewhat impatient with his colleague, a man he
nevertheless genuinely likes and calls "a delightful
person." "Most of his colleagues would not believe some
things in the same way that they believed in them at the Nicene
Council. It's impossible for them to do so because cultures change,
thought patterns change, the concept of the world has changed. One
establishes one's continuity with that tradition, by understanding how
that tradition continues to speak to the present. All religions change
over time. They are human attempts to express in the cultural forms
available the reality of the experience of faith. He's saying unless
you believe things literally the way they did, that there's nothing
Still, Hough thinks it important for a voice like Lüdemann's to be
part of the discussion. "I would gladly have Lüdemann as a
colleague on a theological faculty," he says. Then he pauses, and
adds, "Of course, I wouldn't want everybody to be like him."
All content is © 1995-2002 Nashville Scene unless otherwise noted.
A "vacuous" conclusion
"Fearless and rigorous historical investigation" is the
one thing I guarantee you Gerd Lüdemann has not done in arriving at
his claim that "The body of Jesus rotted in the tomb, if it was
not eaten before then by vultures and jackals" (Cover Story, Feb.
28). There is nothing new about his skepticism. Better thinkers than
he (e.g., David Hume) have argued his position over the centuries. His
is a skepticism that can only be sustained by ignoring historical
facts and basing arguments on such subjective and vacuous grounds as
"the human sense of truth." It is when we allow a man to
ignore hard evidence and logic that we end up with people who believe
the earth is flat and the moon is made of green cheese.
Now that we know what Professor Lüdemann doesn't believe (i.e.,
the resurrection), how about an article asking him exactly what does
he believe, along with the empirical evidence that supports his
To protest too much
As a believer, it doesn't anger me that Gerd Lüdemann describes
the resurrection of Christ as "The Great Deception" (Cover
Story, Feb. 28). In fact, the amount of time and energy spent by such
a brilliant theologian attempting to dispel this "myth"
speaks more to its validity, in my opinion, than your average
statement embracing its truth. It's always the fundamental beliefs of
Christianity–i.e. the resurrection, the virgin birth, beliefs
that are unquestioned and core to the true Christian–that
repeatedly come under attack. If they didn't really matter, they would
find other things to criticize. When's the last time you read an
article about Scientology being a bunch of crap? Would anyone care?
But I do agree with Lüdemann's view that theology as practiced by
present day Christian churches often stands "directly opposed to
the human sense of truth." And thank goodness. After all, it's
not the human sense of truth that we as Christians are interested in.
Mr. Lüdemann will continue to try to convince us, and himself, and
some he will convince. But to the true believer there really is no
controversy. This is just another case of someone trying to limit the
power of God. He's powerful, but not that powerful, right Mr.
Not a new idea
Isn't Gerd Lüdemann saying the same thing Thomas Paine said in
Common Sense (Cover Story, Feb. 28)? What's all the hoopla about? His
information is at least 225 years old.