Item description for The Messiah Formerly Known as Jesus: Dispatches from the Intersection of Christianity and Pop Culture by Tom Breen...
Overview A hysterically funny foray into pop Christianity An entertaining gem of religious satire. Witty and insightful...Breen helps clarify Homer Simpson's eternal dilemma: "Angry God? Loving God?
Publishers Description Acclaimed "Internet Theologian" Tom Breen has written a satirical, tongue-in-cheek exploration of pop Christianity. Whether pondering why there are so many Christian rock bands but so few good Christian rock songs or providing helpful tips on writing hip translations of the Bible (hint: lose the boring parts and constantly mention celebrities), Breen offers whip-smart, non-stop fun, along with a side-splitting send-up of our contemporary obsessions.
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Studio: Baylor University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.04" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.49" Weight: 0.48 lbs.
Release Date Jan 31, 2008
Publisher Baylor University Press
ISBN 1602580197 ISBN13 9781602580190
Availability 0 units.
More About Tom Breen
Tom Breen currently works as a reporter for The Associated Press. As "The Internet Theologian," his online musings about faith have been read by literally dozens of people, or, possibly, by one person with dozens of LiveJournal accounts. He lives in West Virginia.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Messiah Formerly Known as Jesus: Dispatches from the Intersection of Christianity and Pop Culture?
Faith and Scholarship in the Age of the Internet Theologian Jul 15, 2008
There are a lot of great things about this book that most of the other reviewers have already noticed: it's very funny; it's very smart; it's a difficult book to put down. I want to add that the book makes a timely and excellent addition to a vibrant tradition of religious satire that articulates a deep respect for belief and the institutions through which it is channeled while at the same time allowing itself to be critical of different elements within religious practice. The Internet Theologian is really the ideal persona for this kind of satire because he is capable of being shockingly correct on central questions of morals and ethics and of being gloriously wrong about popular expressions of these questions. This is really a wonderful book--a "Praise of Folly" for the Internet age.
Not the One Star Book I Was Hoping For May 13, 2008
Quite honestly, I was extremely disappointed that this book was so funny, having just completed a book myself called "A Comedian's Guide to Theology." (Shameless plug provided by Thor Ramsey, author of "A Comedian's Guide to Theology.") All I can say is that this book is a hysterically funny foray into pop Christianity. And if you don't believe me, just read the back cover where it says, "This book is a hysterically funny foray into pop Christianity."
Most unnerving of all, though, is that once again I am proven not to be "groundbreaking" after all. Curses to you, Tom Breen, and your excellent comedic talent.
Laugh out loud funny Mar 25, 2008
Breen's book is simply great. Sooo funny. He talks about everything from fundamentalists to popes with great rap moves.
He mentions Thomas Jefferson's "'I trust ...that there is not a young man...who will not die a Unitarian'" (p 32) and adds, "Ha! Good call, Mr Inventor-of-the-Dumbwaiter. Boy, apparently you could design Monticello, but you couldn't count! Seriously, nothing against the Unitarians, but could Jefferson have been more wrong? What a schmuck!" (p 32).
And here is his comments about Christians and sex: "It's technically true that Christians are not allowed to have sex. Scientists are not entirely sure how they managed to grow to the point where there are over two billion of them; it certainly isn't the music. Perhaps they have some deal worked out with the Hindus" (p 43).
And about those obnoxious Jesus-was-a-myth types who argue"that Jesus was a canny invention by either a)St Paul, b)Josephus, c)a Roman aristocratic family or d)shadowy New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw" (p138-9).
A great book for your atheist friends. One they might actually read.
Jesus, Lord of NPR Listeners??? Mar 12, 2008
Is the Bible really a well-written and reliable document that should be taken as literally as possible, and if so how does one reconcile the dragons? Why are most theologians are incapable of expressing themselves intelligibly and what does that mean for the future of Christianity? What was singer Billy Ocean really trying to tell the world about the meaning of life and death? And why, for the love of God, does Christian rock music always have to be so terrible and embarrassing to listen to?
If you are the sort of person who reads reviews on the Internet, and if any of these seemingly odd questions intrigue you, reading Breen's The Messiah Formerly Known As Jesus will delight you. Unlike so many of his peers, Breen manages to never underestimate his audience while using a writing style so free of pompousness and intellectual arrogance that the reader is genuinely entertained and engaged in the writing. In fact, in this book Breen spends a considerable amount of time poking fun at the stereotypical academic scholar while all the while running laps around them when it comes to useful substance.
As a certain reflection of Breen's own mastery of popular culture, Christianity, history and sociology, perhaps the best thing about this book is that there is something for just about everyone. Based on the writing, Breen is neither a partisan nor a zealot, which allows him to rationally examine a variety of religious and cultural topics with a refreshingly open-minded mentality.
witty book about modern Christianity Feb 18, 2008
The author made me wonder about my own religious values, learned through the Old and New Testament, in a new way that is applicable while not in conflict with popular cultural activities. He answers many blind questions about the practicality of Christianity in secular life. Are our general beliefs about holidays, sports, and music aligned with true Christian values? And if not how do we demonstrate right alignment with secular culture as Christian believers? Is this even possible to accomplish? The author teaches the ignorant believer, without resorting to hard facts and persuasion, the not-so-evident intersection of mainstream culture with Christian pop culture exists.