22/10/2009

Jesus Rediscovered (by Malcolm Muggeridge)

I only vaguely remember Malcolm Muggeridge, as a TV personality in the 1980s. I was impressed with the first book of his that I read - Christ and the Media - so when I saw another of his books on a second-hand stall, I snapped it up.

'Jesus Rediscovered' is the kind of book that was probably fairly radical in its day. However, reading it forty years after publication, it seems not only severely dated, but long-winded and - in places - somewhat tedious. It's mainly transcripts of talks he gave in various church or college settings in the 1960s, and while none of them is long, I didn't find any of them particularly interesting either.

In Muggeridge's talks, he attempts to find the real Jesus, without the trappings of the church. This is something which many people are doing in the 21st century; yet his attempts seem very out-of-date, and his description of the church of the era bears little relation to the problems of churches today. Some of his theology is rather dubious, too; he seems to assume that nobody believes in the Virgin Birth, for instance, and discounts many of Christ's miracles.

There are a few gems, so I'm glad I did eventually finish it. The interview with the author in the final section is quite revealing and makes good reading - but I found I couldn't manage more than a few pages at a time, and frequently didn't feel like picking it up at all.

Long out of print, but may sometimes be available second-hand.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 22nd October 2009

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