It practically never fails. It’s nearly a universal theorem: the closer one approaches a holy time in the Church, the greater degree of crazy you see on the Internet. You can set your liturgical clock by it. So, as we are about to enter Holy Week, you can bet that some really stupid stuff about Jesus, the Resurrection, and what those early Christians really believed will be written.
It’s already started.
Over at the Huffington Post, that august repository of blithering opinions on parade, comes this story from earlier in the week: On Bone Boxes and the Brother of Jesus
The “bone box” refers to the ossuary of James that was discovered in 2o02, which had inscribed upon it “James the son of Joseph brother of Jesus”. The discoverer had been charged with forgery, and after a decade-long trial, those charges were dropped. Not enough evidence to convict. Still – it’s a story that just won’t die. And it helps feed the notion that Jesus had siblings. Ho hum. This isn’t even original stuff. Still, it’s not Holy Week yet. There’s time yet.
And at the bastion of Catholyc faithfulness – the National Catholic Distorter – is a review of Daniel Maguire’s new book CHRISTIANITY WITHOUT GOD: MOVING BEYOND THE DOGMAS AND RETRIEVING THE EPIC MORAL NARRATIVE.
A lower-case god and a revolutionary vision “Christianity without God” sounds a bit like an oxymoron to me – like “Islam without Allah”, or “Atheism with God”. The gist of Maguire’s book?
Maguire contends the Exodus liberation event, historical or not, is a radical, revolutionary and conscious vision of an egalitarian, communal society based on distributive justice, “the first ideologically based sociopolitical revolution in the history of the world.”
The prophets, at personal cost, irked Israel when it found implementing the vision “too demanding.” Jesus, picking up the prophet’s baton, continues the Exodus liberation vision, speaking truth to the new pharaoh, Pilate, the Roman Empire’s man.
Maguire maintains that god is better left lower case, because “God” is “a slippery mutant,” more subjective than objective. God or gods are the medium for tribal needs. “Scratch a god and find a need,” he writes.
Humph. More like “Scratch a Catholyc and find his god”. I’ll bet there’s nothing really new or revealing in Maguire’s book. It’s most likely repackaged “Christianity without the cross”. Probably no mention of personal sin, that we are in need of a savior, that Christ wasn’t divine, yada yada yada. An old heresy described in new terms.
Just in time for Holy Week. Imagine that.
We’re nine days from Easter. The nutjobs are coming – please God, can they at least be original?