||The "Real" Jesus: Why Reza Aslan is Right! (…and Wrong)—Jesus, the Reign of God, and Objectivity
For those who are not familiar with Dr. Reza Aslan (like his Fox News interviewer, apparently), he is a religion scholar 1 who has published several books on terrorism, Islam, and radical Islamic fundamentalism.2 I became familiar with Aslan when he appeared twice on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, once in 2009 to promote his book How to Win a Cosmic War and again in 2010 to promote a different book: Beyond Fundamentalism. Both books deal with religion, globalization, and terrorism.3
Recently, Aslan has returned to The Daily Show, this time to promote his new book on Jesus, but not Christianity.4 At the start of the interview, John Oliver (the interviewer) says:
"Let's be clear, this book is about Jesus the man, not so much Jesus the Christ."
To which Aslan responds, nodding his head in the affirmative:
"It's about the historical Jesus, not the Christ of faith."
The tricky thing about evaluating Aslan's take on Jesus is that so much of what he says is exactly correct. But in the fine details, Aslan makes many critical errors that are both historical and theological. In this post, I'd like to give Aslan credit for what he gets correct, while also pointing out the mistakes he makes and offering a possible reason why he's made them.