Regarding "Five Myths About Jesus" (Oct. 6 Forum) by Reza Aslan: Every so often, someone publishes a book or an article redefining Jesus. Most recently, Mr. Aslan, a Muslim scholar, has published a book about Jesus titled "Zealot," which suggests that Jesus was part of a radical group dedicated to the overthrow of the Roman government.
Mr. Aslan's book has received wide publicity, largely as a result of his live interview on a major television network. The book rose quickly to the top of The New York Times nonfiction best-seller list.
Who was Jesus? Was he God visiting Earth? Was he a God-man walking among us for a few years? Was he a spiritual giant who had the most perfect connectivity with God anyone has ever known? Was he a human being with great wisdom and compassion? Was he little more than a popular Galilean peasant? Was he essentially a "mystery" which none of us can ever completely comprehend?
I do not pretend to be a Jesus scholar, but I do know this: He does not ask me to subscribe to a strict theological definition of his nature. He does not require me to toe the line of dogmatic purity. He simply sets the pace -- as the pioneer of faith -- for who I am called to be and how I am called to live. He presents an image of a new kind of kingdom which God envisioned in creation.
Perhaps the late Albert Schweitzer put it best when he reached this conclusion: Each of us must determine in our own experience who he is.
I am good with that answer. And I am comfortable inviting others to live out that answer as well.
Senior Minister Emeritus
Christ United Methodist Church
First Published October 12, 2013 8:00 PM