A revisionist view, to be sure, full of big questions and persuasive answers. A worthy companion to Elaine Pagels’s Beyond...

A SERIOUS WAY OF WONDERING

THE ETHICS OF JESUS IMAGINED

A profoundly engaging essay in Christology, honoring Jesus’ humane divinity and divine humanity.

Essayist and novelist Price (Noble Norfleet, 2002, etc.) has been a civilian, non-churchgoing student of theology for most of his 70 years, and he has little use for the semiliterate What Would Jesus Do and the archliterate Jesus Seminar variants of exegesis afoot today. In their place he proposes a mostly commonsensical view of Jesus, though one that requires a leap of faith all the same: namely, acceptance as fact that Jesus really did rise from the dead. “No moment of history has been the bone of more contention,” he writes. “Who, though, questions that Socrates of Athens taught in a quizzical manner; that Alexander the Great was eventually an alcoholic or that the Emperor Caligula was barking mad? For which of those items do we have firmer historical evidence than for Jesus’ potential survival—in some uniquely perceptible form—of death?” It’s possible not to make this leap and still enjoy the portrait of Jesus, and of Jesus’ ethical views, for, as Price offers it, it is a loving and altogether generous one. Writing apocryphally, in the biblical sense, Price suggests, for example, that Jesus would never have dreamed of condemning homosexuality per se; instead, only those “who cause these little ones who believe to stumble”—that is, child molesters—are singled out for the fire-and-brimstone (or, rather, saltwater and millstone) treatment. For Price, Jesus’ central ethic can be distilled to this: “God loves us; we must love one another.” And, though he discerns some contradictions in the teachings, and perhaps a few misreadings of God’s big plan (whence Jesus’ plaintive final words), Price finds no false notes whatever in Christ’s open-armed behavior toward the people he encountered in his short lifetime—behavior that your run-of-the-mill fundamentalist would likely not care to emulate, or even endorse.

A revisionist view, to be sure, full of big questions and persuasive answers. A worthy companion to Elaine Pagels’s Beyond Belief (p. 290) and other recent proposals of a kinder, gentler Christianity.

Pub Date: June 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-7432-3008-6

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2003

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THE WEIGHT OF GLORY

The name of C.S. Lewis will no doubt attract many readers to this volume, for he has won a splendid reputation by his brilliant writing. These sermons, however, are so abstruse, so involved and so dull that few of those who pick up the volume will finish it. There is none of the satire of the Screw Tape Letters, none of the practicality of some of his later radio addresses, none of the directness of some of his earlier theological books.

Pub Date: June 15, 1949

ISBN: 0060653205

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1949

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REFLECTIONS ON THE PSALMS

Internationally renowned because of his earlier books, among them tape Letters, Surprised by Joy, Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis making religion provoking, memorable and delightful is still more latest Reflections on the Psalms. Though he protests that he writes learned about things in which he is unlearned himself, the reader is likely thank God for his wise ignorance. Here especially he throws a clear lightly or not, on many of the difficult psalms, such as those which abound with and cursing, and a self-centeredness which seems to assume' that God must be side of the psalmist. These things, which make some psalm singers pre not there, have a right and proper place, as Mr. Lewis shows us. They of Psalms more precious still. Many readers owe it to themselves to read flections if only to learn this hard but simple lesson. Urge everyone to book.

Pub Date: June 15, 1958

ISBN: 015676248X

Page Count: 166

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1958

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