Christ Actually

Christ Actually

The Son of God for the Secular Age

Book - 2014
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What can we believe about--and how can we believe in--Jesus Christ in light of the atrocities of the twentieth century and the drift from religion that followed? Here, James Carroll traces centuries of religious history and theology to face this core challenge to modern faith. Carroll's search is a highly personal one, beginning with a crucial received memory of Jesus that separates him from his essential identity as a Jew, and therefore as a human. The divinity of Jesus trumped his humanity, including his Jewishness. Yet if Jesus was not taken as divine, he would be of no interest to believers. Thus Carroll takes the God-man question head-on, restoring its perennial answer, but in a new way. Drawing on a wide range of scholarship as well as his own acute searching, Carroll shows how faith in Jesus evolved in the first place. His fresh reading of the Gospels reinstates the context of the Romans' effectively genocidal war against the Jews, a first Holocaust that profoundly distorted the Christian memory of Jesus. In this retrieval, the great characters in Jesus' story, from John the Baptist and Peter to Paul and the various Marys, come to life in a new context. Far from another book about the "historical Jesus," Christ Actually takes the challenges of secularism seriously. The new fact of the human condition, that we are capable now of bringing about the extinction of our species, must change the meaning of faith. Humans of all stripes continue to long for the transcendent, and it is as a figure of transcendence that Jesus Christ most compellingly stands. Finally, Carroll retrieves the power of Jesus' profound ordinariness, his simple life and his call to imitate him, all suggesting an answer to Carroll's own last question--what is the future of Jesus Christ? This book points the way. --From publisher description.
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, 2014.
ISBN: 9780670786039
Branch Call Number: 232 Car
Characteristics: xiii, 352 pages ; 24 cm


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Sep 19, 2018

I was expecting more, but what I read was disorganized thinking of the kind I grew up with that distanced me from Christianity and religion in general. Thank God, literally, that I took a look past people like James Carroll, who in my opinion, wallows in feel-good guilt, trying too hard to make up for a background he uniformly despises. Too bad that he didn't get acquainted much with Messianic Jews, who could have added a lot to his book. The writer has swallowed whole a lot of unsupported suppositions and theories about conspiracies that devalue the Gospels. I managed to make it back to belief in Jesus by looking at research and reason (and writings about Jewish history by Messianic Jews), which means my belief in Jesus is not religion, it's acceptance of something based on evidence. I thought this book would be something about the fact that Jesus is a thorn for many people in positions of religious authority because anyone can come to Him through logic (wisdom). A book I just love for the education it has given me in accepting various types of evidence as valid, Cold-Case Christianity, was written by cold-case police detective and former atheist, J. Warner Wallace. I wish I had read it in college. It was worth more than most of my classes in teaching me how to think clearly.

Sep 27, 2017

Why are there so few books that discuss the controversy and realities about religion re published in LARGE PRINT?

Even ones I would very much like to read are just too painful when in normal type. King County Library System does a good job, but seems to consider religion to be a topic best left to the normal-sighted.

For example: one can get Richard Dawkins' autobiography (the latter half, anyway) but not the works that made him famous! I would love to be able to read all his books in LARGE PRINT!


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