James Carroll's article starts out with noble intentions: "By finding a new way to read and hear this story [of Jesus' crucifixion we can] overcome the suspicion that Christianity is inevitably a source of Jew-hatred." But Carroll doesn't go on to talk about how we are all guilty of crucifying Christ or the reasons Jesus died. Instead, he attacks the Bible: "Many, if not most, of the details around the Gospel rendition of that event are more like fiction than 'fact.'" If you think that's bad, read Carroll's conclusion: "The church proclaims the Jew-hating texts of the Gospels not against the Jews, but against itself, the clearest signal yet of its need, too, to be forgiven." In other words, the only way to not be a Jew-hating Christian is to throw out the Gospels.
A much better article in The Boston Globe looks at Ann Wroe's new book, Pontius Pilate. "Without his climactic judgment of Jesus, the world would not have been saved," Wroe writes. "Without Christ's death—pronounced by Pilate—there would have been no Resurrection, no founding Christian miracle." The Globe gives the American editor of The Economist high marks for the book, which is more a compilation of historical speculations about Pilate legends than a strict historical account of Pilate's life itself.
Sexually active youth should 'contracept themselves to the eyebrows' says New Zealand Catholic bishop
To be perfectly honest, ChristianityToday.com Weblog is unaware of any reproductive function of the eyebrows. Perhaps Roman Catholic clergy really are out-of-touch sexually. On a more serious note, that a Catholic bishop would encourage birth control (As Rt. Rev. Patrick Dunn, Catholic Bishop of Auckland, did in the Sunday Star Times newspaper) is raising a ruckus (see also The Daily Telegraph's coverage).
Dara Singh, the main suspect in the murder of Australian Baptist missionary Graham Staines and his two sons in India's eastern Orissa state is already in police custody, but police have now arrested Abhi Ram Mohanta, who they say also played a key role in the murders.
Canada's United, Anglican, Presbyterian and Catholic churches are warning that lawsuits against church-run schools will result in "a greater risk of a political and social backlash against aboriginal peoples, which in turn would cause further damage to the fabric of Canadian society." They say the churches are being "aggressively pursued" by the government in Ottawa, reports The National Post.
William Hague stopped by Spring Harvest, an annual three-week Easter celebration attended by more than 50,000 British Christians, on his campaign trail. About 8,000 showed up for the speech and gave Hague what the Times called "a rapturous reception." Conservative Christians may play a key role in the upcoming general elections, the Times reports (could the power of the Religious Right be on the rise there as it wanes on this side of the pond?) "People often divide into two camps," Hague said in his speech, "those who focus on so-called personal moral issues and others who campaign on so-called social morality. I think that distinction is artificial. I do not believe that it is a distinction that can be found in the teachings of any of the great world religions. Jesus called us to serve the lonely as well as the hungry; the prisoner as well as the homeless; and the orphan and widow as well as the sick."
At a youth convention called "Stand Up!" in the Pontiac Silverdome, former President Gerald Ford joined Christian rock bands in encouraging teens to follow Jesus. One qualm with the Detroit News article, however: "Most of the kids who heard Ford speak Saturday weren't even born in 1974, when he took over the oval office," says the article, headlined "Ex-president Ford appeals to Gen-Xers to follow Jesus Christ." If they're teens today, they ain't Xers.
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