Commemoration of John & Henry Venn, Priests, Evangelical Divines, 1813, 1873 Here [in the Gospels] is something that the layman can hold on to, quite apart from the vagaries of critical scholarship, for it is a portrait unaffected by the authenticity of any particular saying or story. Such an encounter with the historical Jesus is, of course, not the same as Christian faith in him. Even Caiaphas, Herod, and Pontius Pilate encountered him in this way. Christian faith is still a matter of decision -- either this Man is God's redemptive act, or he is not. Nor is the historical Jesus the object of our faith. That object is the Risen Christ preached by the Church. But the Risen Christ is in continuity with the historical Jesus, and it is the historical Jesus which makes the Risen Christ not just an abstraction, but clothes him with flesh and blood.