The Gospel of Truth? Says Who?

You know a major Christian holiday is just around the corner when you see the mainstream media newsweeklies putting Christianity on the cover.  It's also no surprise that such “coverage” has little to do with news, and lots to do with attacking orthodox Christian beliefs.  The December 18, 2006 cover story of U.S. News and World Report -- “Why Some Old Books Are Stirring Up a New Debate About the Meaning of Jesus” – is just more of the same. (Interestingly, when you go to the online version of the story and click on 'Related Links' you are taken to similar articles written April 7, 2006 – right before Palm Sunday and Easter.)

This cover story takes a look at the re-emergence of the debate about the Gnostic gospels (the gospels of Judas, Thomas, Mary and the Gospel of Truth), their role in and effect on modern Christianity, and relevance to the current culture wars.  While author Jay Tolson does devote more than the obligatory paragraph to the traditional Christian (and therefore anti-Gnostic) viewpoint, the article is shot through with bias.

Here's a look at some of the loaded language the author used in this piece:

            “… self-styled correct believers against so-called heretics”

            “… soldiers of orthodoxy”

            “… thanks to the recovery and scholarly interpretations of a trove of Gnostic gospels”

            “… Gnostic perspective as a liberating antidote to close-minded dogmatism”

            “… Gnostic Christians and their orthodox foes”

All that within just the first three paragraphs!  Later on he derides the early Christian leaders who condemned these doctrinally unsound books as “heresy hunters.”

Though Tolson quotes prominent defenders of orthodox Christianity, he concludes “The Gnostic perspective is unlikely to wither even under such forceful attacks.” In his view, these “intellectual” and “progressive” texts, which deny the miracles and teachings of the authentic Gospels, will most likely continue to influence our contemporary culture wars indefinitely.  Why? Because they teach not that spiritual truth is found in God's revelation, but that “the truth lies within.” That's the Gospel according to U.S. News and World Report.