Last month we had our first Blog Book Club (the BBC) and it was a smashing success. The feedback has been tremendous. There were three sessions, the first two to discuss two different books (one by me, one by someone who did not like the one by me!) and then the third a Q&A with me to address the issue.
So we’re gonna do it again! The format will be slightly different. This time for the first meeting, participants will read the first book about Jesus EVER to become the #1 Bestseller on the New York Times Bestseller list, Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. The second meeting (two weeks later to give you time to read) participants will read my book about Jesus, which advances a very different, contrary understanding, Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium.
Neither book is responding to the other. I wrote mine before Reza wrote his. They simply have different understandings of who the historical Jesus was, in rather striking and important ways. The HEART OF THE MATTER: was Jesus a political revolutionary who wanted a military solution to the Roman presence in the Holy Land (Reza’s view)? Or was he an apocalyptic prophet who was opposed to violence who thought that God himself was going to restore Israel to its rightful place (my view)? Hot topic, lots to talk about!
The third week (two weeks later) I will join the entire group and we will discuss all the issues together.
Are you interested in participating in this BBC? We are doing it both because it will be a heckuva lot of fun and on an unusually important topic, AND in order to raise some funds for the blog. Every penny will go directly to the charities we support helping those in serious need.
So why not join up! The BBC is open to everyone who wants to come for a minimum donation of $30 (even if you come to only one of the sessions). With two provisos. FIRST, we are asking for, not requiring a contribution. If you simply can’t afford it but would love to participate, come anyway. SECOND, we are setting $30 as the minimum suggested donation. If you think it’s worth more please feel free to go above and beyond, to your heart’s content. We both adore and encourage generosity, as way to achieve the summum bonum (!).
The BBC meetings will happen over Zoom. The first two will be moderated by two experienced moderators, my blog assistant Diane Pittman and blog volunteer Lance Boyer, who first came up with this entire idea. I will be running the third myself.
We will be figuring out ways to accommodate however many people sign up, so that you can have a chance to say what you want, if you want, and to listen to what others have to say, no matter how many decide to give it a go (that’s easier on Zoom than live since we can set up break-out rooms, and so on).
For those who decide to come, we will be giving further information about how the sessions will work. Among other things, though, at the BBC:
- Participants are welcome to come to as many of the sessions as they like — hopefully all three, but hey, we all have lives…
- We will have volunteers summarize the important features in advance to get everyone on the same page
- We will have moderated interactions among participants for the first two sessions.
- I will run the third as a discussion/question-answer session on anything connected with the books.
- All sessions will last about 90 minutes (you can obviously leave at any point).
- We will allow participants to stay on longer if they choose just to shoot the breeze, chew the fat, or chew the breeze.
If you are interested in participating, THIS IS ALL THAT’S REQUIRED:
- Click the following link to register (not here as a comment on the blog): Register here
- Indicate the amount you are willing to donate
- Make the donation on the blog site itself (just go to the site, to the bottom of the landing page, and choose one of the two options for making the donation)
- Diane will send you a link to the meetings
- Start reading
The following is the schedule.
Meeting 1: Saturday November 6 3:00 – 4:30 pm (Eastern)/ Discuss Resa Aslan, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
Meeting 2: Saturday November 20 3:00-4:30 pm (Eastern) Discuss Bart Ehrman, Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium
Meeting 3: Saturday December 4; 3:00 – 4:30 pm (Eastern) Discussion of both books with Bart Ehrman
I very much hope you can join in the fun!