John Dickson–How Reza Aslan's Jesus is giving history a bad name

The most disappointing thing about the fanfare accorded to a book like Zealot is not that it will undermine the Christian faith (it will not); even less that it poses a challenge to the consensus of working scholars (it certainly does not). It is that it chips away at the public’s confidence in history per se.

For a brief moment, Reza Aslan will be heralded as a breakthrough author. In a month or so, some other theory, equally unsubstantiated and certainly contradictory, will get the same kind of airtime. Such works are generally ignored by working scholars, who tend to be suspicious of anything that bypasses the peer review process.

The general public, however, over time experiences breakthrough fatigue – an increasing contempt coupled with a decreasing curiosity toward any new claim about the man from Nazareth. The net effect is a weary scepticism that we can know anything about the historical Jesus or about history at all.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Christology, Religion & Culture, Theology

3 comments on “John Dickson–How Reza Aslan's Jesus is giving history a bad name

  1. Pb says:

    when I became a Christian, I thought it important to learn more about Jesus by joining the quest for the historical Jesus. After many years, I believe it is at the end a fool’s errand. Reading the three leanghly books by John Meier convinced me of this. We have limited sources and there are no new ones in sight. Much scholarship involves a German distinction between the Jesus of history and the historical Jesus. These concepts are confused with the real Jesus. The search is comparable to the search for my historical wife or my wife of history. Two thoughts remain. The historical Jesus looks a lot like the “historian.” And as Jerome said, “To be ignorant of scripture is to be ignorant of Christ himself.” The present author is proof of this.

  2. Br. Michael says:

    Jesus of the Gospels is the historical Jesus.