Emmanuel Carrere is the classic apologist in this nonfiction account of his own personal spirituality and that of the apostles Luke and Paul, the articulate, impassioned writers of part of the New Testament. The initial part of the book concerns Carrere’s own roller-coaster experience moving from agnosticism to becoming an impassioned follower of Jesus Christ. However, his rationalism, at times his own worst enemy, diminishes to a state of disbelief, which he believes is the perfect place to recount the lives of Saints Luke and Paul whose mission is to spread the Word of the Kingdom of God.
So what is different in this exegesis that others have not already said? Carrere takes us into the Greek and Roman world, a population amenable to Christianity because of their belief in mythology, a belief that the world was coming to an end and needed a total credible remake. Jesus Christ spoke to those possibilities, and Luke and Paul knew how to convert the gentiles with this radical teaching of transformation, death and resurrection that the Jewish believers of their time had difficulty accepting. The logic at times disappears. For example, why would Paul allow himself to be beaten to a bloody mess before telling his Roman captors he was a Roman citizen? In other places as well, this burst of ego interferes with his presentation of events but doesn’t diminish the overall effect of the Word he speaks.
Simple in places, rigorously heavy with logic in others, this is the story of Greek and Roman belief, a religion for all men and women awaiting a new kingdom. Very interesting historical nonfiction!