Today I am posting a new book called Recovering Jesus. And it really is dangerous, particularly to me.
“Woe unto him,” wrote Will Durant, “who teaches men faster than they can learn.” At first that may sound incredibly presumptuous, but it really isn’t, because the “faster than men can learn” part isn’t properly attributable to me, but rather to Jesus: I’m just calling attention to what he said and did.
The dangerous part of what I’ve done is to ignore all of the traditions and authorities – including “apostles” – who have told mankind who Jesus was and what to think about him. That is, I’ve taken a raw look at Jesus… and only at Jesus.
The truth is that mankind has never been able to take this man directly; he was simply too much. And so they adapted him to their psychological comfort level. (Humans are shockingly creative when assembling facts to meet a compulsory conclusion.)
That said, we’ve come a long way in the past 2,000 years, and I believe that many people are ready to take this man straight. I wouldn’t put this into the world if I felt otherwise.
For anyone with a traditional view of Jesus, there will be difficult passages in this book. I’ve tried to minimize any discomfort, but that’s not entirely possible with material that’s out of sync with strong and sensitive expectations.
So, I’ll ask two things of you:
First, please feel free to put the book down if you find yourself getting upset by it. I don’t need angry readers and it isn’t good for you either.
Secondly, please pass it around to inquiring Christian minds. The odds are that this book will have minimal effect for a significant number of years. Opinions on Jesus don’t turn easily. But I am convinced this is an important line of inquiry, and I’d like to get it started rather sooner than later. Christianity now embraces well over two billion souls. And so any improvement in Christianity will spawn serious second-order effects. And, being convinced that Jesus is qualitatively better than Christianity, I’m of the opinion that a clearer view of him is in our best long-term interests. Thanks.