Religion Month Encore
Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World by Brian D. McLaren
Total Reading Time: 3.25 hours
Review: Why can’t we all just get along? No, seriously, why not? Rev. McLaren makes a passionately persuasive argument that it is imperative to ameliorate the horrible hostility among religions and the religious/nonreligious. He advocates a position that he himself admits is radical and subversive: that we can share our faith without requiring conversion and in return we should gratefully receive the treasures offered by other faiths without feeling the need to convert. It would be a complete paradigm shift from the current religious atmosphere of “I’m right and you’re going to hell.” It’s completely necessary and we can do it without losing all that is good about our respective beliefs, without losing our Christian identity. Because guess what? That’s how Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed would do it.
Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus J. Borg
Total Reading Time: 1.75 hours
Review: Part lesson on the historical Jesus & part lesson on how accepting a different image of Jesus than the one taken literally from the Bible can help move “beyond believing in God to being in a relationship to God.” And I definitely think that the world would be a better place if more people had a relationship to God rather than simply believing in God. Although I wholeheartedly acknowledge that a relationship to God takes more courage & faith than just believing. Still, I wish more people would meet the Jesus I just read about especially those who think they already know him.
Note: For the next month, I’ll be reading books about religion. My father has generously given me some good suggestions and I’m looking forward to it. So here it goes…
The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction About Jesus by John Dominic Crossan
Total Reading Time: 4.75 hours
Review: I was immediately struck by Professor Crossan’s impressive academic vocabulary. However, if you’re scared of words like paradigmatically, eschatological or asceticism, you might want to think twice about this book. I imagine this book is a lot like sitting in one of Professor Crossan’s lectures. I tried my best to keep up with the profound nature of his religious academia and I hope I retain even a small amount. Although, I’m pretty sure, as a preacher’s kid, I find this stuff overly fascinating. Case in point: I’ve grown up hearing the term “apocalyptic eschatology” over and over, so much that when I read (and finally understood) it here, I had a nostalgic reaction which I’m guessing most people wouldn’t.