"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wSunday, February 20, 2005

HOW MUCH IS THAT DOGGY...: This time I have about half a good excuse for not updating sooner: I was attacked by a dog Friday night. The story should run on the Spectator website next week.

Meantime, I just hate it that Kathy Shaidle beat me to linking to my own Christianity Today review of Michael J. McClymond's Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazareth. It began:

For the last few years I've threatened to write a book titled The Jesus I'll Never Know. It would be a response to the tendency in the wider world of U.S. Christianity to personalize the Son of Man—and tame him in the process.

As the vulgar Eric Cartman character of the South Park cartoon memorably put it, Christian tunes often sound like love songs that swap in "Jesus" for "baby." Likewise, in the M. Night Shyamalan movie Wide Awake, Rosie O'Donnell played the role of Sister Terry, a baseball-cap-wearing nun who assigned her young students chapters in the workbook Jesus Is My Buddy as homework.

The point of my book would be that the closer we get to the Gospels, the more we realize that these four witnesses to Jesus' life and ministry intentionally placed some distance between the reader and the wonder-working preacher from Nazareth. Of Jesus' childhood we know little. We get a quick peek at him as a young man, going at it with scribes in the Temple (foreshadowing the fireworks to come); then we see him fully grown, being baptized by John, proclaiming the kingdom of God, teaching, healing, casting out evil spirits, calming stormy waters, and hurtling himself toward his own demise by refusing to make nice with Jerusalem or Rome. [more]

No book deals yet. Also, because GetReligion was moving to a new host this week, I put in fewer appearances than usual. I wrote the Obligatory Valentine's Day Post and followed that with a bit on PBS and an update on what's become of poor Terri Schiavo.

posted by Jeremy at 5:55 PM