Friday, February 1, 2008

Book Review: The Gospel According to Biff

If there are any Christian fundamentalists reading this, please hit the back button now. I mean it. This is for your own safety.

Of course, what I just said guaranteed that they are still here, but I'll continue anyway. Today, I would like to talk about Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. This is, of course, a novel dramatizing the Jesus story according to the accepted gospels, with the missing years filled in, and some amusing bits about the 13th apostle living in modern-day Manhattan with an angel. In this novel, the missing years between age 12, when Jesus was debating various points in a temple with rabbis, and age 30, when Jesus began his ministry. This novel has Jesus traveling through the East, exploring the paths I mentioned in a prior post with the three Magi who came to see him when he was born. There is, as you would expect, a slight plot twist at the end.

What I like most about the book is that the characters are real flesh-and-blood people like ourselves, including the darker urges that aren't mentioned very often in church. The author also has obviously done extensive research. The most important thing, however, is that if Jesus was a man like us, that means we can (and should) be like him. And isn't that the important thing?

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