Today I want to highlight a recent two-part interview with Tom Wright. In it he talks about his two most recent books: Simply Jesus, and The Kingdom New Testament: A Contemporary Translation.
Here’s an excerpt from Part 1:
DAVID: … The U.S. is distinctive among nations for the strength of our religious passion combined with our strong assumptions about freedom of self-expression. In our sheer religious intensity, Americans are a lot like Iranians. But, in our outspokenness, we’re a lot like Scandinavians. We’re a unique people. So, is there any particular error in our loud American expressions of Christianity that you’d like to address at the moment?
TOM: Within Western culture in general—and American culture in particular—the Superman myth about Jesus is massive. We all enjoy Superman, Spiderman—and now Captain America once again. We love these superhuman figures who arrive, usually as outsiders, often with a secret identity—and it’s only these superheroes who can save the world. We can’t do anything much as humans; only a Superman can save our world. Not surprisingly, a lot of people equate Jesus with Superman, a figure who swoops down—most likely with violence as he sets things right—and then he zooms away again taking people with him on his strong arm. But that notion isn’t truly Christianity. That’s more like Gnosticism. It’s certainly an escapist form of religion that says the problems of this world can’t be resolved, so we must hope to flee on Superman’s arm…”