I love this picture. I've been showing it in my classes for more than a decade. But why in the world would I -- an activist committed to consistent nonviolence -- appreciate a portrayal of Jesus that is blended with Che Guevara?
Allow me to address the common complaint that as a Muslim Aslan has no business writing a Jesus book. Aslan clearly respects and admires Jesus. That some Christians might find his claims unsettling is, well, tough, because Aslan is doing serious intellectual work.
John 20:1-10 is a precious glimpse into a most plausible historical scenario as to what happened after Jesus' death, and why the temporary tomb into which Jesus was placed was indeed empty, before the various theological presentations involving "sightings" of Jesus began to accrue to the story.
The historical trajectory of theological development ending with the Gospels but beginning with the Jesus of history is rather easy to trace and even more recoverable than the Historical Jesus. Perhaps this could tell us something about the real Jesus.
Christian dogma and devotion, as sincere as it might be, robs the mother who bore Jesus of her humanity. The very concept of an asexual "mother of God" is alien and foreign to Jewish culture and to the Hebrew Bible.
"In the Footsteps of Jesus" is the culmination of a very personal 15-year quest for the historical Jesus. I spent part of that time trying to retrace the footsteps of Jesus and those who followed in his wake.
One may well choose to resonate with the concerns of our post-modern despisers of established religion. But surely the best way to promote any such agenda is not to deny what virtually every sane historian on the planet has come to conclude.
I want to suggest that the country club image for the Christian faith, its salvation culture, no matter how historic and vital to the Christian church's identity, inadequately frames what might be called its true "gospel culture."
While theories vary on who the "historical" Jesus really was, there's general agreement that Jesus was not born in Bethlehem. So why was it so important for the gospel writers to claim Bethlehem as Jesus' birthplace?