As has become customary during Christmas and Easter for national news magazines, Newsweek has a cover story on the holiday subject matter.
Newsweek’s Holy Family Values shines the spotlight on the Jewish culture during Jesus’ birth and how His life and teachings as carried out by his followers dramatically changes the morality of Western Civilization.
The feature by Lisa Miller is the clearest and best when she is focusing on the era and not the Man. Her detailing of the time period and how it shaped Jesus’ early life are bright and informative.
Her take on Jesus Himself is, not surprisingly coming from apparently an outside perspective, less focused. She seems content to never stray too close to an devout version of who Jesus is, lest she catch something. She even goes so far as to call Jesus “rude” and as preaching a connection between “sexual asceticism with spiritual salvation.”
Playing it safe, she interviews Elaine Pagels and the standard assortment of theologians from Vanderbilt and Duke, never venturing too close to a scholar who just might hold a more literal reading of the Gospels.
But seeing as how I don’t get my information about Jesus from Newsweek, I found the piece informative on the issues surrounding the birth of Christ.