For all you New Yorker readers out there, I’d like to recommend an interesting (though unsurprising) article in this week’s issue entitled “What Did Jesus Do?”. The premise of the article is a familiar one: to strip away all the tradition and fairy tales of Christian tradition, and get back to who the historical Jesus really was. In typical New Yorker fashion, the author, Adam Gopnik, pays homage to the usual suspects (Richard Dawkins, Bart Ehrman), while also admitting that these guys basically “write the same book over and over” (true).
All that aside, here’s what I found interesting: after taking away all the apparent contradictions and unbelievable parts (the virgin birth, the resurrection, Jesus claiming to be the Son of God), the author, and everyone following his train of thought, hits an impasse. How do you connect the Jesus who one moment preaches a message of death and doom to those who don’t repent with the one who dines with the lowest of the low the next? There’s a pretty wide canyon between the judgment he often espouses and the love that he even more often shows.