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One of my resolutions this year was to read at least two quality books a month. I'm on number four! I think I'll finish it today or tomorrow.

It's Anne Rice's Christ the Lord-Out of Egypt.

When I was in college, during a significant crisis of faith, I got into Anne Rice's vampire novels. They are very graphic and sensual, and I ended up throwing them away in my dorm's dumpster because, for me, I knew they weren't good for my soul. I haven't picked up one of her books since, and I was never quite brave enough to WATCH Interview with the Vampire. So I remember reading a review of this book in World magazine a while back and when I saw it at the library, I snatched it up and then found that an hour had passed without me even knowing it, engrossed as I was in the possibilities of a tale of Jesus as a young boy.

Anne Rice converted back to catholicism after many years of denying God's existence. Though raised a Catholic, she married an atheist and reports that her years writing hopeless literature illustrates her longing and seeking after God.

I'm only half way through the book. I was hesitant to read it at first, wondering if it was heretical to speculate about Jesus' early years. I don't think it is, at least I hope it's not...At any rate, I like it. I really do. We'll see how it ends.

6 comments:

That sounds like a great goal. I find that the only time I'm reading is to the kiddies. I just picked up "A Year In Provence" from the library. Thanks for the tip.

Lyntley@homeschoolblogger.com/lyntley

January 26, 2008 at 7:53 PM  

Hello Lyntley! I hope you like the book. I thought it was a fun read. I'm a lover of all things french (with the exception of fois gras..) After I'm done with Christ the Lord I'm going to read the Thurber Carnival, which should be a funny one!

Now I'm going to read to my middle kiddo, but I'll check out your blog later. :)

January 26, 2008 at 8:15 PM  

I'm eager to read your review since this a book I've considered picking up -- so it rests on your shoulders if I'm to read this or not!

January 27, 2008 at 11:36 AM  

Justin had to read this for his new testament class and he enjoyed it. Hope you do too

January 27, 2008 at 6:47 PM  

Instead of doing a book review post I'll just comment here about it.

I really, really liked it. A lot. It's certainly written from a Catholic perspective (Mary remained a virgin), but Anne Rice has done a tremendous amount of research into what the Middle East was like during Jesus' time. Her author's note at the end of the book was especially interesting, so even if you don't read the book you might just check that out.

She is conservative in her beliefs about the historical Jesus. In fact, as she began her research she expected to find skeptical scholars tear apart the validity of the gospels. Instead, she found their research unconvincing and biased. She said she had never seen historians so outwardly despise the very person they researched and devoted their lives to. Historians don't spend their careers proving that Queen Elizabeth was some terrible fraud.

The story itself is written in first person. Rice is sensitive in her portrayal of Jesus. She certainly knows what it is to be human, and she handles his divinity sensitively and creatively. She decided to incorporate some of the legends of Jesus' boyhood that are found in the "gospel" of Thomas, so that might turn some people off, but I think she did it for literary reasons. She doesn't see the book as scripture.

All in all, I would recommend this to anyone who is a student of the Bible and has good discernment to know what is true and what is fiction. It was fun to let my imagination wonder what it must have been like for the boy Jesus (Rich Mullins wrote a song, remember, that speculated the same things).

January 29, 2008 at 12:38 PM  

I enjoyed the book... although my oldest son kept saying how weird it was to see me reading an Anne Rice book!

January 31, 2008 at 2:38 AM  

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