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Book Report [message #12227] Tue, 18 April 2017 17:13 Go to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 441
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
Senior Member
The doctrine of Christ is a subject I like to read about and study. And being me I'll read anything on the subject. Good or bad. I'm careful and thoughtful but don't mind my beliefs getting a good shaking every now and then.

However this book was not one to do it. Give my beliefs a good shaking I mean. In a nutshell I thought the book was garbage and ended up tossing it out. Basically unreadable.

This was a book I wanted to read for a long time. Maybe because of all the buzz I heard around it I thought he might actually say something worth reading. Even if I knew in advance I wouldn't agree. Like I said I like to read anything on the subject of Christology.

I read the book several yrs ago but it has been on mind for some reason lately. So I thought I would put a note on here.

Anyway the book was called . . . "The Pagan Christ" by Tom Harpur. Its not as bad as it sounds so please don't stumble over the pagan bit. Its basically a regurgitation of liberal doctrine.

Books like that I usually wait until I find them at a thrift store for a $1. The writer has a masters degree in some biblical discipline and ended up as the religion reporter for the Toronto Star. A left leaning national daily here.

He made the point right off that the book was written for the average person not the scholars. OK fair enough if you got something to say bud I'm listening.

I got several chapters in and had 3 problems with it.

1/ He would use several paragraphs or maybe a whole page to say what could have been said in one or two sentences.

2/ He continually made sweeping statements that he never backed up in any way. He went on like that through whole chapters. I mean you don't have to footnote everything but you're not writing for 5 yr olds either. 3 or 4 chapters in I was distinctly not enamored of the book but gamely reading on.

3/ The clincher came here when he actually did give a reference (Nicene Fathers I think) for one of his sweeping statements. I don't recall what he said but whatever it was it really bothered me. After a bit of thought I realized I actually have a copy of that. I went and checked the reference only to find he had totally misrepresented what was said.

After a few more pages I came to the conclusion the book was garbage and threw it out.

[Updated on: Tue, 18 April 2017 17:16]

Re: Book Report [message #12228 is a reply to message #12227 ] Tue, 18 April 2017 17:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 441
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
Senior Member
Just googled a bit here is the blurb from Amazon. I certainly wouldn't call it groundbreaking but because of all the buzz I read it.

After more than 52 weeks on the Toronto Star’s bestseller list and 43 weeks on The Globe and Mail’s bestseller list, Tom Harpur’s groundbreaking book, The Pagan Christ, is now available in paperback.
Re: Book Report [message #12229 is a reply to message #12228 ] Tue, 18 April 2017 18:27 Go to previous message
Mark L  is currently offline Mark L
Messages: 441
Registered: October 2006
Location: Canada
Senior Member
I found this review of the book. Far more comprehensive than mine. Interesting to read. I had to put the link below as I couldn't figure out how to put up an attachment. It gives you a blank page and a pdf file to download.

3. Conclusion
While Harpur’s The Pagan Christ may have sold many copies, and
changed some lives, its core contentions are seriously lacking any scholarly support. Harpur’s book reveals a cavalier approach to evidence and sources that should undermine anyone’s confidence in the claims of the book. In other words, The Pagan Christ neither respects basic scholarly conventions nor provides a fair and reasonable solution to the questions.


https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&a mp;a mp;source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKE wiArp-6-a7TAhXIx4MKHWcbCL8QFghBMAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww. mcmaster.ca%2Fmjtm%2Fpdfs%2FMJTM%25206.7%2520Heath%2520on%25 20Harpur.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHOyWAihPreEIfSyXyCklcPA24zVg& sig2=tkb4hfBQCVJ03pD27mLsLw

[Updated on: Tue, 18 April 2017 18:28]

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