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The God Who Wasn’t There?

21st June 2006

GodNotThere.jpgThe other day I watched the straight to DVD documentary by Brian Flemming, The God Who Wasn’t There (Buy from Amazon.ca | Buy from Amazon.com). The promotional blurb promised that what Bowling for Columbine did to the gun culture and Super Size Me did to the fast food industry, this film will do to religion. This is what the official website says about the film:

In this provocative, critically acclaimed documentary, you will discover:

  • The early founders of Christianity seem wholly unaware of the idea of a human Jesus
  • The Jesus of the Gospels bears a striking resemblance to other ancient heroes and the figureheads of pagan savior cults
  • Contemporary Christians are largely ignorant of the origins of their religion
  • Fundamentalism is as strong today as it ever has been, with an alarming 44% of Americans believing Jesus will return to earth in their lifetimes
  • And God simply isn’t there

Dazzling motion graphics and a sweeping soundtrack propel this uncompromising and taboo-shattering documentary that Newsweek says “irreverently lays out the case that Jesus Christ never existed.”

While I am not going to bother to provide a thorough review, I figured I’d offer up a couple impressions. First, I was underwhelmed. My faith remained intact after viewing. In fact, I thought that I could do a better job raising questions about the Christian faith and the biblical accounts of Jesus contained in the gospels. It is clear that Brian Flemming was a very, very, very conservative Christian (I daresay a fundamentalist) who really seemed to react to his upbringing rather than seriously consider some of the historical problems scholars throughout the centuries have had with the biblical witness. Second, despite its facile and sometimes silly interpretation of the gospel accounts, the documentary was pretty well done. It looked professional and had its entertaining moments. I enjoyed the use of clips from Jesus films throughout, especially the characterization of Jesus Christ Superstar, The Last Temptation of Christ, and The Passion of the Christ as “the singing Jesus, the horny Jesus, and the bloody Jesus.”

If you see it at your local video store you may want to rent it, otherwise I wouldn’t bother with it.


One Response to “The God Who Wasn’t There?”

  1. Scott Says:

    The Blog That Wasn’t There!

    A Post Beyond Belief!