The Bestselling Jesus
A review of Killing Jesus, by Bill O’Reilly
By James W. Miller and originally posted at www.pastorjamesmiller.com
The Last Temptation of Christ witnessed lines of moviegoers and waves of bookbuyers when it was released, largely because Christians threatened to boycott it. The Passion of the Christ made over $611 million dollars from the hands of the passionately faithful and the militantly opposed. Zealot, a book that depicted the historical Jesus as something less than the Messiah of God, raced to the bestsellers lists this year, though critics say it offered no new twist on the historical retelling of the life of Jesus. Bill O’Reilly’s new book, Killing Jesus, is not bound for that kind of glory, for one simple reason: it doesn’t say anything controversial.
Released on September 24th, Killing Jesus, by O’Reilly and cohort Martin Dugard, hovered around #4 on the Amazon bestseller list in the days leading up to it. By the end of the first day, it was still at #3, standing behind the latest Stephen King and the fourth installment in a young adults science fiction series. Then on his evening Fox TV show he proclaimed that his book is creating controversy, and that some people think he’s “going to hell for writing it.” Who are these critics? A few unnamed letter writers. O’Reilly had a priest and a pastor on the show. He told them he was getting a lot of heat from evangelicals. The pastor told O’Reilly that evangelicals “ought to love this book.” O’Reilly replied that “the anti-Christian people” don’t want anyone to read this book. The priest told O’Reilly that people won’t like the book because it defends the Bible’s accuracy. O’Reilly assured the audience that the book is footnoted with the facts. The ordained yes-men assured him he was right. “I learned a lot,” said the priest.
Finally made it to #2.