The country’s population of self-professed atheists is now two. Journalist Robert Wright has penned “The Evolution of God,” an allegedly scientific look at the human origin of religion and supernatural belief. A few years back, I bought and then returned Richard Dawkin’s “God Delusion.” I know better than to buy Wright’s book, so I’ll quote a review from another site:
Turning to Christianity, Wright again emphasizes the Darwinian gradualness of the evolution of this new religion. The earliest of the canonical gospels, Mark, presents a Jesus who seems more a typical apocalyptic prophet than the Word Incarnate: Jesus makes few proclamations of his divinity, preaches the coming of a Kingdom of God, and often performs miracles discreetly. Wright also stresses that the Christian doctrine of universal brotherly love likely did not derive from Jesus but appeared later, probably with the apostle Paul.
Thanks for the four-one-one, Bob. Except that the Gospel of Mark refers to Jesus as the “Son of God” three times (1:1,3:11,15:39) and as the “Son of Man” 14 times. Mark says in 13:26, they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. Jesus explicitly self-reveals, using language from the Book of Daniel 7:13: I saw One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, He received dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him.
And then there’s this gem from Wright’s publisher: Jesus didn’t really say, “Love your enemies,” or extol the Good Samaritan. These misquotes were inserted in scripture decades after the Crucifixion.
Of course, what Wright doesn’t tell his readers that there is zero historical evidence (archeological, literary, etc) to support this claim. Wright simply quotes from assorted Jesus Seminar scholars who vote, using colored beads, on what Jesus said based on their own personal, and non-scientific judgment.