An extraordinary discovery and groundbreaking gift to Western readers!
I loved this book for its vision and passion and found the negative review I saw totally off base. Amos Smith is clearly writing from the point of view of a pastor and deeply reflective student of Jesus and ancient mystic Christianity, rather than an academic scholar removed from the subject. The author speaks with deep passion about his discovery in the writings of the ancient Christian mystics of a unique spiritual truth with the power to transcend our limited conceptual dualistic tendencies to require Jesus to be either Divine or human in conformity with the limits of our intellectual mind’s capacity to hold something that is profoundly beyond conception. How could the Divine mystery of the “at once God and human” nature of Jesus not challenge and fundamentally rock our limited concepts? The critical reviewer resorts to name calling in a manner that makes me wonder if perhaps it is this fundamental challenge to our dualistic conceptual frameworks that is making him bristle. It is easy to label as “slick” a well-articulated point of view that we simply disagree with.
The negative review labels The Jesus Paradox a “21st Century Gnosticism”. The Jesus Paradox is the author’s reference to “Miaphysite”, the root mystical theology of the Oriental Orthodox tradition from Ethiopia, Egypt, Armenia, etc. So then what of the millions of members of the Oriental Orthodox tradition, are they “21st century Gnostics”? There are plenty of great books such as “The Roots of Christian Mysticism” by Oliver Clement about the Christian mystics of the Patristic era. A close analysis of these writings was clearly not the main point of this book. The author’s groundbreaking main point in this book, is clearly to recover the root mystical theology of Miaphysite: the Jesus Paradox, the transcendent wisdom of ancient Christian mysticism. Making the mystical theology of The Jesus Paradox accessible to Western readers is an extraordinary gift!
I hope that Amos Smith does a Ted Talk on The Jesus Paradox, for this is an idea that truly matters!