Friday, March 17, 2006

A Contrarian's Christ? Meet an ornery Scot!

David Gates of Newsweek gives us a take on Garry Wills's new book "What Jesus Meant". Mr. Gates writes that the work,
... should affront most of his fellow Christians—right from the foreword, which argues that Christ was not one of them. The megachurch set won't care to hear that "Jesus did not come to replace the Temple with other buildings, whether huts or rich cathedrals." The Christian left, committed to good works, won't care to hear that Jesus "does not work miracles from humanitarian motives." The Christian right, cozy with secular power, won't care to hear that "if they want the state to be politically Christian, they are not following Jesus." Pope Benedict XVI really won't care to hear that he, "like his predecessors, is returning to the religion that Jesus renounced, with all its paraphernalia of priesthood." What parishioner of any denomination wants to hear that the Gospels are "a deep threat to the institutional church," since Jesus opposed "just about every form of religion we know"?

You can read more about the book at Powell's or Amazon or B&N or ... Please buy it via Captain Plaid (click through buttons to the left on main blog) so I'll get a cut. We can hardly find this type of view in our stale and static doctrines around here. I really would like to see a Unitarian Universalist Church close enough for it to have a community feel. I often ponder going to the local Episcopal church as they are possibly the closest thing we've got. Until I quit hearing so much literalism (and especially rank fundamentalism!) I'll seldom darken the door. Bhuddism is attractive in some ways as well. And then again Vonnegut's Bokononism might work just as well. Eclectics unite? Peace ... NOT War!