Bultmann forgets about Christ. Rudolf Bultmann is probably the twentieth-century’s leading Protestant theologian, though some would give that title to Karl Barth. It hardly matters. The point is that Bultmann has been remarkably influential.
Perhaps his greatest influence has been on how to think about the kerygma (κήρυγμα), the message of the gospels. Bultmann is not subtle.
We cannot use electric lights and radios and, in the event of illness, avail ourselves of modem medical and clinical means and at the same time believe in the spirit and wonder world of the New Testament. (New Testament and Myth, loc 107)
Miracle healings, walking on water, lots of bread and fish, heaven as up there—all that is part of the myth. How to distinguish the myth from the message without adopting Thomas Jefferson’s Deism, in which God becomes a distant watchmaker, someone who created the world, and has since stepped away? * How can kerygma still live?
Kerygma: the experience and the message
What remains is faith, and faith begins in wonder. Not in miracles, but in the experience of the sublime, “the beginning of terror that we are still just able to bear.” (Rilke) Kerygma is not just, or even primarily, about the message of the gospels. It is an encounter with God. Not with Christ, for Christ is a historical reality (Ladd, p 96). Kerygma is a pre-verbal encounter with the wholly other (Congdon, pp 23-24, 74). It can happen in an encounter with beauty, or in the experience of being alive after a close encounter with death. Boundary or limit experiences they are often called.