Philip Pullman’s new novel, “The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ,” is indicative of where culture is today. That is, to say, almost thoroughly corrupt.
Pullman, drawing covering fire from the odious scholarship of folks like the Jesus Seminar and John Shelby Spong, can now approach mainstream thought by penning yet another book that re-imagines the most significant person in history.
Perhaps it’s partly because I know winter is coming, and in a few short weeks, the wind will be howling outside my window, but I see Pullman’s latest effort here as a harbinger of things to come. Truly, something wicked this way comes.
It is part of the same package of atheism that is spreading over our country. On the Sept. 4 edition of “Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees,” Democrat strategist James Carville, long an enemy of conservatives, expressed his frustration over people who think biblically.
“The truth of the matter is, they have got people in this country that don’t believe that Obama was born in the United States,” Carville said. “[We] have got people in this country that believe that the Earth is 5,000 years old, all right? There’s nothing that you can do about that. You have to live with it. They have to go on.
He continued, “You cannot run a country based on birthers and creationists. You have to run a country based on trying to inspire kids. And that’s what these guys have got to learn to do.”
For Carville, the belief in the historicity of Genesis is lunacy, as is the effort to find out whether the current U.S. president is the current U.S. president.
Within conservative thought, there are widely divergent views on a variety of topics, yet liberals lump us all together as backwoods Tennessee fundamentalists. Ironically, this cartoon character was born from more liberal deceit. The play “Inherit the Wind” bore little resemblance to the real Scopes Trial in 1925, in which legal lions Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan sparred over the Bible and evolution.
From that time to this, liberals have steadily gained ground in the culture. The ground they prepared has now produced a harvest of books like Pullman’s. And notice the title! Today’s cultural climate accepts the hippy Jesus, the Jesus who empowered feminists and preached pacifism.
That same culture thoroughly detests the Christ. We have a whole host of self-proclaimed messiahs today, but the reality of the Messiah is repugnant to our atheist-leaning society.
There is a definite leftist agenda being aggressively published today. Even as I type this, Yahoo’s piece about Obama’s controversial speech to public school students is itself cloaked in extreme bias:
“The speech that sparked an uproar,” Yahoo reported, “turns out to have a straightforward and nonpartisan message.”
This leftist bias – pushing Obama’s agenda – is part-and-parcel of the effort to remove the Bible from American culture. Leftist group-thought is designed to fill the void.
The point I’m trying to make is that the publishing industry, always a battleground between liberal and conservative thought, is now liberal and mainstream. We are being fed a very steady diet of leftist thought masquerading as truth-seeking.
Pullman has stepped into a long line of writers who feel compelled to tell us what Paul was really thinking when he wrote most of the New Testament. He feels compelled to tell us that the one-time anti-Christian zealot obscured the “real” Jesus and it’s high time we realized it. Pullman’s publisher says that the author “strips Christianity bare and exposes the gospel to a new light.”
Of course he does. That’s the point.
The concept of the Christ is, as we’ve been told by New Testament writers, the great stumbling block for the world. People don’t like the idea of a sovereign God, and so we are seeing and will see a plethora of books seeking to reinvent Jesus. For the wider world, the Jesus who said he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6) is definitely a scoundrel.
That’s one of the reasons that leftists are publishing so widely today their view that biblical Christianity is harmful because it is exclusive. It’s why Philip Pullman can publish ideas that are heretical to the faith. It’s why Carville can blithely dismiss the worldview embraced by many millions of Americans, including those at the Creation Museum he so loathes.
An example of what I’d call counter-culture thought today is found in an article written by Jonathan Sarfati of Creation Ministries International.
In a lengthy, devastating answer to Spong’s “Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalists,” Sarfati laid bare the holes in leftist arguments.
It’s just sad that many more people (I assume) have read Spong’s horrid books than have read Sarfati’s article (“What’s Wrong With Bishop Spong?” written by Michael Bott and Jonathan Sarfati).
The media works day and night to marginalize conservatives, and that includes conservative Christians. We can expect many more books and publishers pushing an anti-Bible view in modern America.
As I’ve said before, and will continue to say, those of us who embrace traditional American values had better get used to underground publishing … wherever you may find it.