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BethR

Anne Rice writes novel about Jesus

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I know it sounds improbable. Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, supposedly tells the story of Jesus's early years, "in his own words," says Rice.

I don't know what else to say.

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I wonder if she'll do a crossover and have Lestat show up in the desert...

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San Francisco Chronicle is extremely skeptical about Rice's new novel, and about its source material. Consider yourself warned.

Thanks to Thunderstruck for the link.

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Here's a story about Rice, her newfound faith, and the novel about Jesus (first of a four-part series)...

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Wow... Part of me is encouraged by this news. The amazing grace of redemption strikes again! Whoohoo!

But the skeptical part of me is watching for yet another celebrity faith flame-out. Or a work of art to tainted by hubris or a dark past to be of much good.

Time will tell...

B

PS-> I see in this post I'm "Not such a newbie" anymore... how nice smile.gif

Edited by Bill Moore

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Hmm, very interesting.  I may read this, but I really hope she doesn't go Margaret Starbird on us.

In case you're wondering, as I was, who Margaret Starbird is and why we hope Anne Rice doesn't go there...

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In case you're wondering, as I was, who Margaret Starbird is and why we hope Anne Rice doesn't go there...

Even before Dan Brown, you have no idea how many people I've met that believe Starbird word for word. Most of them were middle aged women who practiced some various mutation of neo-paganism. Since The Da Vinci Code I've met dozens of others, most who don't know who Starbird is, but preach her view of Christ more fervently than Peter the Hermit.

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And she's used legends of the boy Messiah's miracles from the noncanonical Apocrypha: bringing clay birds to life, striking a bully dead and resurrecting him.

Interesting.

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The more I think about it, the more I am surprised this has not been done. If Rice does not go kooky, and if it is well written, then this series of books has the possibility of being hundred of years from now how Christ is perceived before his public ministry. I don't know if it will go over that well, but Dante and Milton still effect how we see Hell and Satan, though they may be dead wrong.

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The more I think about it, the more I am surprised this has not been done.  If Rice does not go kooky, and if it is well written, then this series of books has the possibility of being hundred of years from now how Christ is perceived before his public ministry.  I don't know if it will go over that well, but Dante and Milton still effect how we see Hell and Satan, though they may be dead wrong.

Paste Magazine gave it a 2 out of 4, called it a questionable fictionalization of a 7-year old Jesus who just suddenly discovers he has supernatural abilities but doesn't know quite what to do with them.

And for fun, he kills and then resurrects another kid.

Yeee!

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I certainly hope that it doesn't become another Da Vince Code-like flash point for the culture wars. That just gets tiresome after awhile.

This is not exactly the first novelization about the Bible. It's just getting a lot of attention.

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Clint M wrote:

:

And for fun, he kills and then resurrects another kid.

Yeee!

That's not "fictionalization", if by "fictionalization" we mean "something that Anne Rice made up". Those particular miracles are in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. (Actually, I think it's possible that Jesus kills at least one person miraculously without raising him, in that gospel.)

The bit with the clay birds is also from Infancy Thomas, and it has been filmed at least once before, in a flashback in the American version of Roger Young's Jesus (1999), starring Jeremy Sisto and Gary Oldman.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Slightly off-topic: Madeleine L'Engle wrote "The Sphinx at Dawn" in 1982, which is a fictionalized account of Jesus time in Egypt. I don't remember much about the book, having only seen it once. It was a picture book for children, if I recall correctly. "Dance at Dawn" (1969) is another one that she wrote concerning the same time period in Jesus' life.

So this is not entirely unexplored territory....

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Isn't it funny to read this stuff from the gospel named after the disciple who is famous for having doubted anything he didn't see with his own eyes. Was Thomas there for Jesus' childhood? Why is it that the gnostic gospels throw in that stuff about Jesus was killing other kids, when the canonical gospels depict other kids getting slayed because fearful authoritarians were out to kill Jesus?

The initial analysis is disappointing to me. I wonder if Rice or any other author understands the spiritual disiciplines. Murder seems antithetical to Jesus' adult activities of prayer, fasting, study, meditation, simplicity, solitude, submission, service, and worship. It makes me realize how much the disciplines need to be taught and practiced.

Edited by Michael Todd

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FWIW, I don't think Infancy Thomas is a "Gnostic" gospel -- you might be confusing it with that OTHER Gospel of Thomas, which is a collection of Jesus' sayings, some of which sound a lot like sayings in the canonical gospels, some of which sound very Gnostic indeed.

And as far as killing people goes -- I dunno, Jesus did curse the fig tree, and early Christians did die for disrespecting the Body and Blood of Christ and for lying to the Holy Spirit. It is not ENTIRELY outside the realm of possibility that Jesus killed people during his earthly lifetime as well, though I'm not aware of any plausible examples of him doing this, and I admit that it seems out of character if we look at his earthly ministry to the exclusion of the rest of the Bible.

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Hmm. Cursing the fig tree as a sign of the withering of Temple Judaism is equivalent to the murdering of a human child?

Peter?

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CrimsonLine wrote:

: Hmm. Cursing the fig tree as a sign of the withering of Temple Judaism is equivalent to

: the murdering of a human child?

It was the closest I could think of to Jesus killing anything.

Well, apart from all those fish, before and after his Resurrection. But he wasn't ANGRY then; or, to put it differently, he wasn't PUNISHING those fish. smile.gif

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Despite the enigma of the fig tree, which I've seen interpreted every which way, murder puts Jesus in the same category of Cain, a fallen man. It contradicts the Sermon on the Mount, and in my opinion, it assumes that Jesus is exactly like you and me. He is supposedly special because He was not born through the seed of a man, which is corrupt. Jesus is the only man to have been born with a complete spirit.

I thought that this is one of the major dogmas of Christianity: man is fallen. Jesus was not like other men, for He was not fallen. If Rice put this in, then it is my suspicion that she either does not agree or understand the full meaning of this doctrine. Children behave the way they behave, because they are self-conscious, self-focused. Frivolously striking a child only to resurrect him, paints a horrible picture of how one views God; God is capricious. According to this view, Jesus is not special, for He is merely supernatural, with the same behavior patterns of a fallen child. He's Superman; Nazareth is Smallville. Jesus would not slay another person, for He was born with a spirit, which unless He sins, remains God-conscious, God-focused. But, I'd love to hear why Rice put this in there.

Edited by Michael Todd

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Michael Todd wrote:

: . . . murder puts Jesus in the same category of Cain, a fallen man.

But not all acts of killing are murder. Did the Holy Spirit (or whoever) "murder" Ananias, Saphira, or those other early Christians who disrespected the Eucharist?

I could cite plenty of examples from the Old Testament where God's actions arguably match your definition of "capricious", etc. But it seems it is fairly easy to assume that the Father is the only Person of the Godhead who has ever killed anyone, so I cite these New Testament examples precisely because they show how things happened within the Body of Christ, and so soon after Christ himself was bodily resurrected and left his Spirit with us. I do not say that these actions are "capricious", but I do think they caution us against assuming that Jesus would never kill anyone, and I think we have to be very careful in defining what sorts of violence might be consonant with Christ's mission and nature and what sorts might not.

: He is supposedly special because He was not born through the seed of a man,

: which is corrupt.

FWIW, I believe this is Western, Augustinian theology, but not Eastern Orthodox theology. The Augustinian belief that the "stain" of sin was passed on through sperm is one of the reasons the Catholic church invented the doctrine of "immaculate conception", to explain how Mary could be sinless despite being conceived by her father's sperm. The Orthodox have a very high view of Mary's purity, too (though there is some debate over just how high it should be), but since they tend to define sin as an ABSENCE (of God or whatever) rather than as a PRESENCE (of a stain or whatever), they have never felt the need to come up with anything like that. Jesus himself, by being God in the flesh, fills the void that creates that absence in our lives.

: He's Superman; Nazareth is Smallville.

Heh. I have always said that the Infancy gospels were motivated by the same impulse that led to the creation of Superboy. smile.gif

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it seems it is fairly easy to assume that the Father is the only Person of the Godhead who has ever killed anyone

FWIW, in Catholic theology (and FAIK Orthodox as well), divine actions are always predicated of the whole Trinity; whatever is done by God is done by the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. That is one reason why it is bad theology to try to rename the Persons of the Trinity with functional titles such as "Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier" -- because creation, redemption and sanctification are all works of the whole Trinity.

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FWIW, I believe this is Western, Augustinian theology, but not Eastern Orthodox theology. The Augustinian belief that the "stain" of sin was passed on through sperm is one of the reasons the Catholic church invented the doctrine of "immaculate conception", to explain how Mary could be sinless despite being conceived by her father's sperm. The Orthodox have a very high view of Mary's purity, too (though there is some debate over just how high it should be), but since they tend to define sin as an ABSENCE (of God or whatever) rather than as a PRESENCE (of a stain or whatever), they have never felt the need to come up with anything like that.

This is not actually "Western theology" per se, but Western theology according to the Eastern Orthodox. smile.gif

The traditional scholastic Catholic view, held for instance by Thomas Aquinas, is that original sin is precisely the absence of original grace, the divine life originally enjoyed by Adam and Eve; and that sanctifying grace, by restoring us to that life, abolishes original sin (though not its disordering effects upon human nature).

The language of original sin as a "stain" or a positive blot is purely metaphorical. (Whether or not Augustine believed it was something more, I don't know.)

Furthermore, since the doctrine of the immaculate conception wasn't fully hashed out until much after Aquinas (in fact, Aquinas didn't believe in the immaculate conception, in part because the theology wasn't there yet), it's hardly plausible that the doctrine was somehow necessitated by theologians laboring under some pre-scholastic conception of original sin as a positive "stain" (if indeed that was the pre-scholastic view).

Edited by SDG

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Heh.  I have always said that the Infancy gospels were motivated by the same impulse that led to the creation of Superboy.  smile.gif

My thoughts are that Jesus was superspiritual, rather than supernatural.

Regarding Superman, what has always been curious to me is a dream I once heard some saint having, I think it was Bernard of Claivoux. He dreamt that three figures, each robed in the base colors: red, blue, and gold (yellow) appeared before him. The red figure represented the Son, the blue was the Holy Spirit, and the gold was God the Father. In the midst of their talk, a figure robed in green attacked the discussion. The figure in green was Satanic. The Son dispersed the figure in green. Green is synthetic, created out of blue and yellow, and the figure in red made the figure in green flee.

This made me think about other things that are green, such as how in the Matrix, the false world was tinted green. Also, what is the color of Islam? What colors did Superman wear? The base colors: red, blue, and yellow. What color is the kryptonite that weakens Superman?

I don't know what any of it means, but that is something I thought of one day, and I just had to tell it to someone. Enjoy!

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