Harsh? Maybe...but even as I explain this idea to you, you don't have the ability, capacity, or motivation to REALLY take it to heart and see it for what it is, for it would require you to admit your sheepishness and blind faith, and might even bring the walls of your life crumbling down. Scary.
Now I'm not going to rewrite the whole book here, but I will quote a brief passage from the formerly linked review that I think sums it all up nicely (emphasis is mine)...
Harpur, formerly the religion editor of the Toronto Star and author of many books on faith subjects, believes that originally, there was one primal, central myth which emerged Undoubtedly in Egypt. All the other ancient sacred stories flow from there.Does that interest you if you're a christian? It should. It should very much. To this day, I have a saying that resonates in my mind. It was spoken by Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas.
The big difference between the Jesus legacy and other mythological traditions like that of the Egyptian god Horus, was that devotees of the other religions never viewed their divinities as historical figures or their sacred stories as actual facts like Christians did.
The Pagan Christ is forthright in declaring that counter to precedent, Christianity launched a hostile takeover of the ancient salvation myths. Many early church fathers, in an attempt to declare exclusive rights to this mythological Jesus, made him an historical biblical person.
Once these ancient antecedents to Jesus were assimilated into what became Christianity, the pagans and their mythological sources were declared heretical. Since heretics and their books were determined to have no rights, they and their writings were viciously tracked down and eliminated by those who claimed to stand for the newly defined "orthodox" Christianity.
Inertia. Fellow blogger how to live dot org has put that word into my mind. (These are my thoughts about the word.) If inertia is what drives your life, you might as well not be living. You're a robot. Christianity is inertia driven. Most religions are. Christianity isn't bold; it's just purported to be. Pastors and preachers are gifted speakers who are trained to pass on the message. You'd think they would understand the message in it's entirety before passing it along, but, like "ordinary folk" christians, they too are lead by blind faith.
The history of religion is fascinating. The parallels between Jesus and every other idol or god worshiped throughout history are astonishing, especially if you're someone who believes that Jesus was a real man who really lived and really died and really performed miracles and was really resurrected. Really.
Today's christianity is based on the lies of early priests and teachers. Jesus may have been a real man in history, but I don't think it's likely. I certainly don't think it's at all possible that he did everything that is ascribed to him in the gospels. If he did, we should consider him a clone of the Buddha. And Horace. And Dionysis. And Mithras. And Osiris. And Baal. And Krishna. And Thor. And others.
The good thing about Harpur's book is that it identifies christianity as a myth that has been retarded into a fact, and then goes to explain how even the myth is valuable, and how the "Christ within" is still a real and important concept. This book will not demolish your christian faith, but it may change the way you look at it.
I won't say any more as far is in this post. I'd love to discuss, but more than that I'd love to see people read Harpur's book. I think we got our copy at Barnes & Noble in the Christian section. You can find a link to it in the "Books We're Reading Now" section in the sidebar on this page. I plan to fully review the book soon, and I believe Jared does as well.