My latest post is now live:
Reza Aslan has become famous for what has quickly become dubbed “Fox News’ Worst Interview” about his new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. I agree with Robert Long’s assessment at The American Conservative that the interview is motivated by bulverism, which attempts to show why a man has come to the incorrect position before demonstrating that he is incorrect. Bulverism in general accounts for a significant portion of religious reporting and indeed for any interesting subject that gets pulled into the culture wars. The problem is that few journalists will be able to offer serious criticism on such a divisive subject, so they resort to either a blanket acceptance of radically controversial claims or an ad hominem refutation. My frustration is compounded when I realize that while there are countless scholars defending the orthodox position, it’s only the new outlandish theories that generate news stories. After all, “they were right all along” doesn’t make for a good headline.
I haven’t had the chance to read the book yet, but judging from what he said during his NPR interview, I’m not sure that it’s a worthwhile contribution to the field. Unlike our friends at Fox, however, I’ll give you some of the reasons why I think he’s wrong.
Read the rest over at Fare Forward: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/fareforward/2013/07/what-the-church-can-learn-from-the-reza-aslan-affair/