Generous Orthodoxy  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Deepak Chopra knows?

Virginia Heffernan, a media reviewer for The New York Times, recently did a quick run-through of some of the newest self-help books. One of them is The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore, by Deepak Chopra. She describes the phenomenally best-selling Chopra as "a medical doctor and proponent of mind-body treatments [who] preaches with the authority of a healer, mystic and celebrity on virtually everything including love, sleep, weight, money, reincarnation, heaven, peace, yoga, desire, physics, addiction and success...."

She continues, "I don't really get The Third Jesus. Even its title is a head-scratcher. With the first Jesus still pretty hazy to most people, the idea of a third one--an arbitrary idea of goodness that might be wrested from Christianity--is not even an interesting mystery."

She quotes from Chopra: "One Jesus is historical, and we know next to nothing about him. Another Jesus is the one appropriated by Christianity. He was created by the Church to fulfil its agenda. The third Jesus, the one this book is about, is as yet so unknown that even the most devout Christians don't suspect that he exists."

And then she says, archly: "Let me guess: Chopra knows."

That's a good zinger, isn't it?

We need to be working overtime to combat this very widely disseminated idea (see The Da Vinci Code) that the Church made up its Lord to suit its "agenda." Is crucifixion an "agenda"? We need to say it every hour on the hour: there would be no Church if our crucified Lord had not been raised from the dead. Are we saying that? I don't think so, or Jesus Christ would not be "pretty hazy to most people."

Why is Deepak Chopra appearing at the National Cathedral in November?