- The Washington Times - Friday, June 2, 2000

New Age Jesus?

"That CBS scheduled its 'Jesus: The Epic Miniseries' for the pivotal May sweeps ratings period says a lot about the network's confidence in the film.
"The $24 million project comes highly touted by many members of the evangelical community … Unfortunately, CBS' 'Jesus' ultimately disappoints in its storytelling, history and theology, repeating past egregious errors and going on to invent its own. Though the look of the film is authentic enough, the screenplay tries too hard to be hip and politically correct, translating Jesus into terms agreeable to the cliches of contemporary culture …
"[Actor Jeremy] Sisto's Jesus is just one of the boys a New Age, sensitive guy whose messiahship emanates from his identity as a miracle-worker guru. His preaching seems incidental, and when he does bother, it's more like a support group Q&A; session in which he banters with the crowd.
"The biggest problem with 'Jesus,' though, is its huge muddle about the meaning of the Incarnation. The film hardly quibbles about Jesus' divinity, the miracles and the Resurrection, but it seems to have no idea of the purpose of Jesus' coming.
"This Jesus has nothing new to say or be, largely because of the absence of both his scriptural words and conflict over his teaching. So bad is this that the Devil has all the best lines."
Roy Anker, writing on "Desperately Seeking Jesus," in the May 22 Christianity Today

Domestic tranquility

"According to a recent survey … 68 percent of 3,000 married and single women said they'd ditch work if they could afford to."And a Cosmo poll of 800 women revealed the same startling statistic: two out of three respondents would rather kick back a casa than climb the corporate ladder.
" 'It's no fleeting fantasy these women honestly aspire to the domestic life, and many will follow through with it,' says Jane Buckingham, president of Youth Intelligence … .
"According to Buckingham, being a housewife has been elevated to a cool, creative pursuit. 'Home is safe and controllable, and women want that power in their lives,' she observes … .
"Time to nurture relationships not money seems to stand as the new millennium's ultimate status symbol … .
"How do guys feel about their partner's domestic drive? Of the 500-plus men we polled, a whopping 70 percent said they'd be more than happy to have their spouse keep house. Typically, they said they'd be proud to be able to support their wife so well."
Judy Dutton, writing on "Meet the New Housewife Wannabes," in the June issue of Cosmopolitan magazine

Incoherent outrage

"The politics of mass protest is the politics of the id. It is, by its very nature, the enemy of democratic persuasion… .
"All this came to mind watching the coverage of the protests during the meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington this April. The protests … were long on outrage and short on coherence.
"The enemy is 'globalization,' but it's not clear what alternative the protesters have in mind. Their declared ideal 'a system that is democratic, that values the environment, and that puts the needs of the world's people before the profits of transnational corporations' amounts, as David Frum notes … to 'the anarchist equivalent of Dick Morris sound bites.' …
"With the passing of the late, unlamented Soviet Union, people aren't much interested in socialism anymore or if they are, they hesitate to say so out loud. That would appear to leave capitalism, in some form or another, as the only game in town.
"But that seemingly inexorable political logic does not register with today's protesters. If they can't credibly be pro-socialist, that does not prevent them being vehemently anti-capitalist."
James Nuechterlein, writing on "The Politics of the Id," in the June/July issue of First Things

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