Is Jesus Really Laughing?
I ve been loaned a book by a good friend of mine called The Laughing Jesus, written by both Timothy Freke, a philosopher and international public speaker exploring gnosis ; and Peter Gandy, an internationally respected authority on the ancient Pagan Mysteries and early Christianity (back jacket flap). Although I agree with my critics that I should wait until I ve read the book in total before critiquing it, I must agree with others that it is totally allowable to critique it along the way.
I already have major problems just from reading the first pages. Example:
But the original Christians didn t see Jesus as an historical man who suffered for our sins . They viewed Jesus as the mythical hero of a symbolic teaching story, which represents the spiritual journey leading to the experience of awakening they called gnosis , or knowing (p. 4).
Not that I don t believe we need to critically examine our assumptions, traditions and beliefs we ve inherited from the past. But I hope they spend considerable time and effort to prove that! It s a huge, sweeping statement that flies in the face of centuries of research, study, and writing. I recognize the recurring and growing influence of gnosticism, so I feel it is urgent for me to read and understand these guys, their books, and their influence. Let s see what happens, so stay tuned!