American Jesus

American Jesus 

American Jesus "How the Son of God Became a National Icon" is the title of a new book about Jesus, the greatest person who ever lived. 

It is true, America and Jesus can be said to be joined at the hip, so to speak, and it is true, one might go on to say, because both want it that way. But America is not the only country that has claimed this special divine status the deity over the course of human history, yet it is the most promenent one to do so, certainly in modern times. And we might add that all in all it is a good thing. 

Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of the Christ rivaled the most successful Hollywood blockbusters, raking in nearly $370 million in domestic, gross box-office revenue. 
This film portrays the last twelve hours in the life of Jesus, and is only the latest effort to bring Jesus into the center of American's life. 

More than 80 percent of Americans call themselves Christians, and 75 percent say that Jesus is God or the Son of God, and that he was resurrected from the dead. It is reasonable to ask, how did Americans come to adopt Jesus as their own? And what difference does it make? What explains the resilience of Jesus as a central subject of history, religious devotion, culture, and even infatuation and imagination. 

One Caveat (warning) is that this book is a product of Academia, and is written by a confirmed academic. So, take his research for what it is worth, (trust but verify) but keep your own counsel. The Author Stephen Prothero is an Episcopal theologian- professor, (need we say more) and the book drips with cynicism, if not outright disbelief. 

Yet, indirectly it makes a great case on behalf of both America and Jesus, but directly it hews pretty much to the beliefs of its author and his church, which not coincidentally correspond to those of most of the educated elites of America and the world, whatever that might mean. 

All in all it is a useful book for Conservative Believer public policy advocates. 

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