Isn’t what Dawkins says here due to the power of The Jesus Story?
You may not be a Christian, nor even religious. Perhaps you’re even an atheist.
Whatever, just watching this film with an open mind may give you the best political perspective ever!
I’d just finished my hike and turned on the TV to see what films would be showing this evening. Guess what!
The Greatest Story Ever Told was just beginning on TCM as I flipped the switch.
I’d never seen it before, though I’d read the book many years ago.
I’m not going to comment about the merits of the filming itself, though I found it compelling.
I am speaking of the story of the life of Jesus and the message he brought to the world. It has a lot to do with why the message swept the world so rapidly and is still spreading.
What If It Isn’t True?
Well even if it isn’t, the truths of its messages make it easy to see how the story has captured the minds of millions in all cultures, in all of history, worldwide and those in all levels of social position, education and intellect.
The story is why I am a Christian.
The errors of Christians are rampant, to be sure. But, that is because of the dark side within the human psyche.
It is not due to the messages of the parables, beatitudes, events and the story-line of this great drama.
The only critic of Christianity I find convincing is the Indian historian, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who said, “The reason so many Christians are leaving the churches isn’t due to lack of faith, but because to the churches’ lack of spirituality.”
That spirituality is woven heavily within this film. Less so from pulpits of various denominations that I’ve observed. Oh some, but they’re more the exceptions.
I personally had to find my spirituality in the woods and in Eastern philosophy. And oh yes, in a few Catholic monasteries.
No matter your faith, lack of faith or indifference to faith, you cannot fail to gain something heart-penetrating from open-mindedly watching this film.
Or, perhaps, just about as good, would be reading Fulton Oursler’s excellent book of this same title, The Greatest Story Ever Told.
Look at the film’s star-studded cast:
Max Von Sydow, Dorothy McGuire, Robert Loggia, Charlton Heston, Robert Blake, David McCallum, Roddy McDowall, Sidney Poitier, Carroll Baker, Pat Boone, Van Heflin, Sal Mineo, Shelley Winters, Ed Wynn, John Wayne, Telly Savalas, Angela Lansbury, Martin Landau, Jose Ferrer, Claude Rains, Richard Conte and many more.
If you are an author or playwright, you can easily see how impossibly difficult it would be to create a story as compelling as the life of Jesus.
It has such a depth of meaning and so powerfully deals with so many aspects of life — spiritual, moral, political, family, neighbors, even enemies.
I don’t know any author who has written anything close to the multi-dimensions of Jesus’ story. And this film is not just that story, but the beginning of the story in the Old Testament’s years earlier, foretelling so much of how the story would unwind in the life of Jesus.