Monday, June 22, 2009
Pastor's sermon this week mentioned the musical Jesus Christ Superstar as doing something radical in its depiction of the human side of Christ. I think we'd all agree that popular culture has done its best to portray that side of Him in literature and film in the past fifty years.
Gibson's Passion and Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ both focused on the physical incarnation, with minimal interest in the divinity. Conspiracy theorists of all kinds have postulated the survival of Christ's descendents through Mary Magdalene. The blockbuster Angels & Demons is just one of the many versions of that theory, and the film Dogma poked all kinds of fun at religion in general, while fitting into the same category with its idea of a "last scion."
But the most hillarious (and completely fictional) story of Christ is the novel Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. I have recommended and given the book to many people since I first read it, and it has received universal acclaim.
Much like Rufus complained in Dogma about being left out, Lamb begins from the premise that Biff is an unknown disciple. He refers to Christ as Josh, and chronicles their adventures for the "missing" childhood that the Gospels tell us so little about. I won't ruin any of the plot for you, but suffice it to say that it's full of laughs (and a few lessons) and would be the perfect summer read for a hammock or the beach, or the couch on a rainy day.