Friday, February 13, 2009

Jesus in an Age of Terror

What's there to say about James Crossley's new book? Not much. Misguided in every aspect of its intention, actually misguided at its core, this resolute display of polemic masks ambitions the author will never realize. His targets? Media hounds, bloggers, and academics, all who supposedly share a lot in common despite their opposite politics. If you're a biblioblogger who has stereotyped or attacked Arabs in any way, if your reporting of hot-button items (like the Temple Mount) even remotely smacks of partisanship, or if you've refused to openly condemn Anglo-American foreign policy given half a chance, then you've probably taken a hit or two in this book.

Take the insufferable Loren Rosson. You can get a pretty good idea as to how he is critiqued in his own review for the Nashua Public Library. Loren's review is kind enough, but then why shouldn't it be? His politics are almost as bad as Crossley's, so it's hard to understand the fuss between them. Crossley doesn't like stereotypes? Too bad. If he spent a considerable amount of time living abroad in various areas he'd feel differently. Loren respects those he stereotypes? Good. He can go back to Africa and stay there.

It burns me to see liberal multiculturalists set apart in debate, when underneath the smoke-and-mirrors they're essentially on the same page. I've complained about Loren and the Context Group in the past. Crossley is no better. He shoves reality into the dirt and pounds it to within an inch of its life. When the screed is over, we're left feeling raped, having endured 199 pages, ultimately, for what? A crash course in Political Correctness 101? How to be good little anti-Zionists? To be impressed by the way Crossley scores points against countless bloggers, while going to bat for (of all people) Jim West? To learn that the "Jewish Jesus" isn't so Jewish that he doesn't feed supersessionist interests? (Bill Arnal already taught us that.) Patronizing nonsense, all of it, but bound to find favor in circles that send me running to the nearest office of the Euston Manifesto.

Skip this crazed monstrosity and read a cheap spy novel instead. I couldn't get through it without interludes of exercise and fresh air, and I'm still feeling soiled.

13 Comments:

Blogger Mark Goodacre said...

Thanks, Leonard. You should blog here more often. Now I am really tempted to read this book.

2/14/2009  
Anonymous steph said...

Well, somebody's toes have been trodden on. This appears to be ever so slightly misleading and doesn't actually engage with what the book in question is about. I think you'll enjoy it, Mark.

2/14/2009  
Blogger Mark Goodacre said...

Thanks, Steph. Well, I look forward to it. I've been waiting for it to be released over here in the US, but suspect I may have to get a UK copy.

2/14/2009  
Anonymous steph said...

I don't think you'll regret paying the extra postage.

Are you coming to Aberdeen this year Mark? (or even the Lincoln one?)

2/14/2009  
Blogger Loren Rosson III said...

Well, somebody's toes have been trodden on.

If you mean me, Steph, I actually enjoyed the book. No problem with trodden on toes. But Leonard is another story.

2/15/2009  
Anonymous steph said...

No, I meant Leonard. It is his bad tempered review, not yours - or is he joking? It is so bizarre it really sounds like a prescription for compulsory reading. I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

2/15/2009  
Blogger Loren Rosson III said...

It is so bizarre it really sounds like a prescription for compulsory reading.

Interesting point. Maybe in the end, that's a good thing.

2/15/2009  
Blogger andrewbourne said...

I am unsure why you disliked the book in essence it attempts to establish the assumptions that undercut the biblioblogging world. A recent example re Jim West`s interview with NT Wrong re `fisting` there was an overwhelming attack on NT Wrong for the use of the word. Why? Because of the challenge to underlying assumptions within the Biblioblogging world of what is acceptable and what is not. My view is that Crossley has done the Biblical Studies a great service in attending to point underlying Orientalist assumptions latent and the underdeniable Israeli bias in many Bibliobloggers. Loren perhaps rather Crossly rather has not set upon enough toes.

2/15/2009  
Anonymous steph said...

A very good thing. While I still don't think it was your intention - you did well Loren.

I don't know what Andrew's last sentence means. Is something missing?

2/16/2009  
Blogger Leonard Ridge said...

Steph,

I think Andrew might be suggesting that Loren needs to be stepping on more toes as Crossley has. Meaning, given that Loren's political leanings are similar to Crossley's, why hasn't he taken more bibliobloggers to task? (Am I right, Andrew?)

I agree that Loren's apolitical facade is infuriatingly duplicitous. No doubt he wears it for "professional" reasons, but I'm of the mind that candor is generally preferable to deceit. Crossley seems aware of the problem in his book, when after criticizing Rosson at length, he concludes: "Rosson may well agree with the sentiments of my argument but, to the best of my knowledge, it does not come through on his biblioblog." (p 110)

2/16/2009  
Blogger andrewbourne said...

Yes Leonard you are right I meant to say that more toes should be stepped upon. In a recent post re Nt Wrong there was a recent controversy over a use of a sexual term that upset some bibliobloggers why were they upset because they were taken out of their comfort zones which all Biblibloggers need to as in doing so the radical nature of Jesus` message is heard agin in the 21st world

2/16/2009  
Anonymous steph said...

Apolitical?! Come on Loren - sorry - "Leonard". Your sympathies and enthusiasms don't strike me as particularly apolitical.

2/17/2009  
Blogger mhelfield said...

I really enjoyed this review. It is refreshing to hear accurate information for a change. Thank you Leonard!

1/10/2013  

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