Bogus Scholarship and the High Fashion of Attacking Christ the Lord

Screen shot 2011 04 22 at 11 58 32 AM

The Washington Post published an opinion piece by Reza Aslan, the Muslim writer-about-Jesus.

I’m not going to go into the this-guy-is-not-a-Christian-he’s-a-Muslim stuff because I don’t think it really matters. You can find the same garbage he writes in this opinion piece on the Discovery Channel, National Geographic and other places all over television every Christmas/Easter.

These are the same lies that are trotted out by Christian bashers all over the internet. You can find them repetitively blah-blahed any day of the week at certain portals right here on Patheos. There are also the hyper modernist Christians, such as the Jesus Seminar, who put this stuff out there, feeding the attacks against Our Lord from within.

Mr Aslan lines up the same old bogus arguments in a list of five, labeling them the “Five Myths about Jesus.” These “myths” are, for those who don’t want to click on the thing: Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Jesus was an only child (Mary is ever virgin), Jesus had 12 disciples, Jesus had a trial before Pontius Pilate, Jesus was buried in a tomb. Each of these is a myth, according to Mr Aslan.

His reasons for these opinions of his are as flabby and obvious as his motive: He’s not a Christian and he wants to tear down Christianity.

The really great thing in all this is that it points out quite eloquently the fact that Christianity is different by far from other religions, specifically Mr Aslan’s faith. Can you imagine if Mr Aslan had written a similar opinion piece about Islam? What if he had decided to debunk the Prophet Muhammad?

The question here wouldn’t be whether or not those “intolerant” Muslims decided to criticize Mr Aslan’s objectivity or say that he was wrong in his assertions. Rather, the question would be where Mr Aslan would hide to keep from being killed.

Christians have been roundly criticized for criticizing this Christ basher. They have been called bigots for pointing out that, as a Muslim, Mr Aslan just might have an agenda in his “scholarship.” They have, as usual, been labeled bigots and intolerant extremists for standing up for their faith.

On the question of the inevitable calls for death and beheading of anyone who dares to say even one criticism of the Prophet Muhammad, there is a “tolerant,” oozy silence.

But the facts are the facts. Christianity is radically different from any other faith on this planet. There is no other empty tomb. Every good thing we believe today about the value of the individual human being and the individual human life has its foundation in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

The fact that the Church is under such attack in the Western world today is a direct consequence of this one thing: Christianity teaches that every human being is made in the image and likeness of God and that there are certain moral requirements and consequences attendant to that fact.

We may not kill with impunity. This teaching raises the ire of those who wish to kill through eugenics, euthanasia, abortion, embryonic stem cell research.

We may not degrade other human beings. This teaching raises the ire of those who wish to degrade through pornography, prostitution, egg harvesting, surrogate pregnancy.

We must use our sexuality as a mutual, life-giving gift between a man and a woman united in the sacramental covenant of Holy Matrimony. This teaching raises the ire of everyone who wants to live outside this boundary.

These things, and not the veracity of the Gospels, are the source of the popularity of the attacks on Jesus.

Mr Aslan is just riding the wave of anger against anyone who tells our nihilistic, narcissistic culture that there are moral limits on what they may do. They are using him with their phonied up “tolerance” to attack what ails them, which is anyone who says their sins are sin. He is using them to attack a faith other than his own in the name of a phonied up scholarship.

This is standard stuff for us Christians. We have to put up with being attacked, defamed and now, blatantly discriminated against as part of our faith.

But we know something that these people refuse to believe: Jesus Christ is the Lord of Life, and those who persist in following Him to the end will live forever.

 

 

For a different take on this same article, check out Joanne McPortland.

  • FW Ken

    Isn’t this they guy who was raised Muslim, became a Christian, then reverted to.Islam? Of course he had an agenda. That’s psychology 101. But never fear, these “scholars” have a very short shelf life. This is his 15 minutes of fame, then they will move on to the next scurrilous thing.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      I wish. I am not talking about Aslan, who is hardly worth the trouble, but one of the classics of the English language went through the same path – first converted to Catholicism, then reverted and became a furious enemy of Christianity. I am talking of the historian Gibbon, probably the strongest single influence against Christianity and Catholicism in the English language. He taught generation upon generation to sneer – that invaluable set of mind without which so many educated people would be in danger of being attracted to the colossal intellectual edifice of Catholic theology, the immense artistic and literary heritage of the Catholic religion, and the immeasurable amount of positive and visible good wrought by Catholics in the name of their faith. Gibbon, alas, was a great writer and a formidable collector of facts, which means that his influence will go on and on.

  • AnneG

    And, Dr Aslan is a professor of creative writing. I’ve only read a little but it isn’t very creative what he’s trying to pass off. Hans Küng even got there before him. Lord, Have Mercy.

  • FW Ken

    Perhaps some words from an actual scholar:

    What you say about Jesus is not worthy of your scientific rank. You question whether, after all, we can know anything about Jesus, suggesting that we can know nothing about him as a historical figure, and so I can only invite you to become a bit more competent from a historical point of view. In this regard I recommend especially the four volumes that Martin Hengel (an exegete from the Protestant Theological Faculty of Tübingen) published together with Mary Schwemer: this work is an excellent example of historical accuracy and very broad historical information. In the face of this, what you say about Jesus is reckless talk that should not be repeated. That there has been too much exegesis written that lacks seriousness is, unfortunately, an indisputable fact. The American Jesus Seminar you have cited on pages 105 ff only confirms again what Albert Schweitzer noted in his Geschichte Leben-Jesu-Forschung (The Quest of the Historical Jesus) — that is, that the so-called “historical Jesus” mostly reflects ideas of the authors. These flawed historical works, however, do not compromise the importance of serious historical research, which has led us to true knowledge about the figure of Jesus and confidence in proclaiming him.(…)

    http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/dear_pope_dear_professor

    Did I mention the scholar is also the pope emeritus? :-)

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Aslan is a fraud. He’s no scholar of Christianity. This was a hobby for him and he wrote a book on his opinions. Big deal. Why he gets a platform I don’t know. Why don’t they go to real scholars? Even ones that run counter to Christian beliefs are better than a muslim who happened to have an interest in rejecting Christianity.

  • ATM

    Key point here is that it is absolutely impossible to prove anything scientifically to the point that you are 100 % sure. The atheist do not have a leg to stand on. They would base society on survival of the fittest. In that system no one is created equal, there are no human rights. Humans in their eyes are no more than a bag of water and chemical reactions, no more significant than any other cosmic dust. For the atheist Morality is social Darwinism where the most barbaric succeed. They complain that the system that Jews, Christians, and Islam have created allows to many people to survive who in their opinion are unfit to live, then they suggest that society eliminate human life that does not pass their specifications. So why should one believe in a merciful God. The answer is simply because the alternative is unthinkable.

  • perpper

    Did he choose the name Aslan intentionally to provoke confusion among Christians?


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