Jesus Potter

Jesus Potter

All in all, I think I’d rather see a vampire movie. An Evangelical production company led by pollster George Barna is making a movie out of Anne Rice’s novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. Here is the production company’s own description of the effort:

In Anne Rice’s Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, we are taken on a journey with the Holy Family back to their home town of Nazareth in Galilee, where the boy Jesus will grow and learn under the care of Mary and Joseph. At seven years old, Jesus is a curious child, wise beyond his years, yet troubled by the secret of his own identity, which has been kept from him all his life.

Rice paints this most exceptional and unique boy as sincerely and tangibly human - more human than we’ve ever seen him. His quest is entirely genuine as he struggles each day to know why he is different - to know why he is able to do extraordinary things. Throughout, Jesus interacts with his jealous older brother James, his offbeat uncle Cleopas, his closest friend - Little Salome, and a wise, dogmatic Rabbi Berekhaiah.

The backdrop is rich in historic authenticity. Its detail in the settings and Jewish practices are frequent, to help create a world so full of culture and spectacle, we feel we are actually there. But it is the boy’s spiritual journey that is most compelling. He understands that if he can somehow obtain the knowledge of the events around the time of his birth, he will know who he really is. It is a daring, speculative work, but backed by the Scriptures and tradition to give us a glimpse of a Jesus we never knew.

Think about that description for a moment: The young boy who doesn’t know about his special gifts because it’s been kept from him by his parents/guardians. The boy who will become a “savior” for his people. The bratty brother. The understanding female friend (and love interest?). The offbeat adult who befriends him. The wise, old mentor. This is Jesus as Harry Potter! Not to mention it apparently dredges up the old Gnostic Gospel tales of the boy Jesus “accidentally” performing miracles.

This is Jesus as Harry Potter!

If you thought the Mary of “The Nativity” came across as a barely disguised version of the 21st-century sulking teen, can you imagine what they will do to Christ?

It’s natural to wonder about those hidden years of Christ’s life and to speculate about what he was like as a boy and a young man. I know that I liked the flashback scene in “The Passion of the Christ” that shows Jesus building a table and interacting with His Mother. But a whole movie? I think it’s a really bad idea, no matter how noble the intention.

Especially if you’re making a “Jesus as Harry Potter” film.

(P.S. Click through to the link below for Barna’s explanation of “spiritainment.” Ergh.)

[Thanks to Carl Olson for the link.]

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  • I read the book and did not find it objectionable.

    It does include happenings (I will not call them miracles) that Jesus does not control. 

    Little Solome is decidedly not a love interest.  She is a hcild as well.  There is certainly affection, but nothing that even resembles puppy love.

    It seems to be a reasonable speculation about how a truly human Jesus might try to come to grips with abilities and a destiny few adults could cope with. 

    Now what Hollywood does with it…

  • It is utterly inconceivable that the Mother who received a message from an angel and conceived though a virgin, would not tell her child.  The story of the finding of the child in the temple shows that he was fully aware who he was: “do you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?”

    There has been a huge investment in trying to persuade us that Our Lord experienced a gradual realisation;  it is as appalling a heresy as Arianism and the other early christological heresies.

  • I didn’t like the book. I didn’t think it dangerous in that it was so fluffy and not particularly well-written, but i found it odd that Rice wrote it after a strong ‘conversion” that prompted her to read the Gospels and explore the Catholic writers and saints. What is weird is that her novel doesn’t seem to reflect her research, but illuminates her own imagination.