Sunday, June 03, 2007

What Jesus Meant by Garry Wills

Wills has an interesting perspective on who and what Jesus was. He believes, as his foreword states, that Christ was not a Christian.

. . . he is not just like us, he has higher rights and powers, he has an authority as arbitrary as God's in the Book of Job. He is a divine mystery walking among men. The only way we can directly imitate him is to act as if we were gods ourselves - yet that is the very thing he forbids. He tells us to act as the last, not the first, as the least, not the greatest. And this accords with the common sense of mankind. Christians cannot really be 'Christlike.' As Chesterton said, 'A great man knows he is not God and the greater he is the better he knows it.' The thing we have to realize is that Christ, whoever and whatever he was, was certainly not a Christian.

Wills offers some thought provoking analysis of what the Gospels really have to say about Jesus. His is an anti-establishment view. He claims that religion killed Jesus, that Jesus was opposed to religion as it existed in his day and that he "did not found a church."

Don't read this book if you don't want to question your preconceptions.

1 comment:

Susan Kelly said...

This book sounds very cool. Hans K√ľng, a progressive Catholic theologian, asserts that Jesus did not intend to start a religion. At all. Now I haven't read his book, but he is on the proverbial reading list.

I have a hunch he's got a dense style, which keeps writers down on that reading list.