History and Theology

Having had to write a few papers as of late, I was not able to keep up with
some of the discussions happening.  I would like to add a few thoughts
concerning the relationship between theology and history, first brought up
in a note from Carl Conrad when he wrote,

> Wouldn't it be more accurate to say, if one must say something like this, that
> the question of the authentic text (of the gospels) is a theological one, but
> the question of the authenticity of sayings attributed to Jesus in the gospels
> is strictly a historical one?

This was then discussed by many.  I would like to make a point in reference
to Christianity's being a historical religion.  The central focus of
Christianity is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.  The truth or
falsity of this focus lies in the historical.  The theology of Christianity
is built around this central ideology.  If one tampers with the history,
one tampers with the theology as well.  And so it is with all the other
statements concerning Jesus.  If they are placed under historical
suspicion, then the theology becomes suspicious as well.  Historical
questions concerning the authenticity of Jesus' statements will necessarily
affect theology.  Thus, I do not think that history and theology can be
separated so, given the historical nature of the Christian religion.
Kevin Cauley