I've been taking an Intro to the Bible class to fulfill requirements for my minor and today we had to watch a film about "Searching for Jesus" with Peter Jennings. This class has been rough because its entirely based on scholarly opinions rather than actual facts and the witness of ancient Jews and ancient Christians. The film itself presents the opinions of men like Marcus Borg (who I don't consider to be a Christian) and N.T. Wright. Thankfully they didn't add the idiot Bart Ehrman to the mix, and its a good thing they at least allowed N.T. Wright to be in the video because he is the one voice of reason among the so-called scholars.
The video challenged many traditional ideas about Jesus, such as the idea that he was born in Nazareth rather than Bethlehem, that the story was an adoption of pagan stories or that he was actually illegitimate, that his "kingdom of God" preaching was purely political and aimed at Herod Antipas and against the Roman Authorities rather than theological, or that the locations in Bethlehem and Nazareth can't really be the original sites because there is no evidence for it...
Some of the interesting points was they asked people what they thought Jesus looked like and you had many Protestants who were saying blue-eyed, etc... Some Arabs were saying tall... Yet they were showing icons which showed him with brown eyes (irony?). They then asked scholars who said dark-complexion, bearded (since shaving was a luxury), short... N.T. Wright simply said that if you were to go to Bethlehem and walk outside and see the sun-baked worker with a turban on and his eyes shut against the sun and dirty from the sand, that is the closest we could come today. What bothers me, is that they don't realize or mention that icons aren't realistic depictions, and in fact, they are far more "realistic" to the true Christ than western art often was because the noses, eyes and heads are distorted to portray symbolism, even if we know a Saint's nose was wide and flat, it will still be depicted in iconography as long and thin.
They also suggested that the parables of Christ were purely political and aimed at the Romans and also against Herod Antipas.
After taking this class and having to listen to opinions like this, I think I've just come to the conclusion that non-Christians (this includes so-called Christians who don't accept the Nicene Creed) should have absolutely no business in Biblical Scholarship and I almost feel like other Christian groups need to start excommunicating members who are abandoning Christianity instead of letting them continue to be members while espousing heretical and atheistic views.