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5/15/2008                                                                                       View Comments

The Pagan Christ



What if it could be proved that Jesus never existed? What if there was evidence that every word of the New Testament is based on myth and metaphor? And what if those revelations extended beyond Christianity, putting into question even the fundamental beliefs of Judaism and Islam?

These are the ideas presented in The Pagan Christ, a documentary based on theologian Tom Harpur's explosive, best-selling book. Using an investigative reporting approach to the topic, the cameras journey from the Egyptian temple at Luxor and the Great Pyramids of Giza to Vatican City and Jerusalem's wailing wall.

What do you think about the ideas presented in this film?

4 comments:

eel_shepherd said...

One thing you can always count on from guys like Harpur, in the early days of their reconsideration of their longterm religion, but before they've decided that they've had enough of it (if they ever do), is the departure from normal English speech. He talks about the recognition of "what you really are" right at the very end of the documentary. This is not the cornflakes. You can go to Safeway, and in the Safeway is a pallet; and on the pallet are a bunch of cartons; and in the cartons is a bunch of boxes; and in each box is a bag; and in the bag is the cornflakes. All you ever get from the Harpurs at the stage we see him at in the documentary is a guy who is ready to talk about the boxes, where he once talked about the cartons. Or he's ready to talk about the bags, where he once talked about the boxes. Forget it. Everyone is entitled to the cornflakes, not the layers of packaging. And Harpur's still talking about the package. For some of us, that doesn't cut it. There's no need to depart from normal speech if you actually know what you're talking about, and if Harpur does know, then he's doing a pretty poor job of conveying it for a person who passes himself off as a communicator. Who he thinks he's snowing, I don't know.

billybee said...

I had a few alarms going off in my brain as I watched this...

....."Your getting sleeeepy, sleeeeeeepy"........

By the time it ended I felt like I'd be suckered into an Amway ambush.

Time will tell......

Ricky said...

Thanks for the video. But, still, Harpur seems to be saying, "I found evidence that the whole tooth fairy thing is a lie. People long ago fabricated a story and exterminated those who didn't go along with the official version. This made me come to the realization that instead of believing in the tooth fairy, we just need to find the fairy in each of us." I'd agree up until the last sentence. If something is completely made up, there's no reason why you should assume something else without evidence. So if there's no Jesus, then is there still salvation? If there is salvation, then does the Old Testament talk about it? Would believing that simply make you a Jew? Anyway, the Egyptians made up Horus (based just on the sun, which they didn't understand), so Christianity's whole premise is based on a misunderstanding. There's no reason to even try to salvage it, unless you're just trying to save face after believing such a blatant lie (which even I once did) for so long.

AugustHovel said...

I get the impression that everyone who commented on this is feeling that his holding on to "Christian values" despite the lack of true history is misleading.

However, he seems to be admitting that it is all an allegory about the subjective experience of self-actualization. He's not even saying it's the only allegory, it's just the one he identifies with most.

His faith is focused on the subjective experience rather than the claim of objective facts, and there's nothing wrong with that. If I find a piece of music, a work of fiction, or a movie inspiring, I'll *know* that it is not reality, but focusing on that fact the whole time ruins the experience and strips it of its value to me. I get the impression that this man is trying to convey his religion has taken on a similar status.

I give kudos for his honesty, his thorough search, and still finding fulfillment in all of it.