Helen Maltby's Reviews > The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman
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's review
Jul 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, christianity, fiction, historical-fiction, kindle, philosophy, religion, set-in-middle-east
Read from July 14 to 19, 2011 — I own a copy

I did enjoy this, despite being warned by some people that I wouldn't. I liked the fact that it was written in the style of the gospels (1st century biographies were quite different from today, apparently).

It certainly had some interesting ideas and stuck fairly closely to the account of Jesus' life that is told in the gospels - with a few major differences obviously!

I certainly don't believe that Jesus set out in his ministry to create the Church and Christianity as it exists today, and this idea does come out in the book. There were some digs at organised religion and the 'establishment' and despite being a Christian myself, I found myself agreeing with some of it. But I'm not one for dogma and doing something because my religion tells me to - if that makes sense.

Someone asked me how it affected my faith. It didn't. I think that if a simple book like this can destroy your faith then it wasn't very strong to begin with. And that goes for any book and faith in anything.

Would I recommend it? Yes. Would I recommend it to Christians? Absolutely. Despite Pullman being an atheist it does contain some very profound ideas that a Christian can take on board and learn from. Isn't that what faith should be? A journey where you learn along the way, taking on board new ideas, and shifting out the ones that don't feel right? Okay, some people might not agree with me, but as I said, I'm not one for dogma really.

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