Bill O’Reilly is a very popular, albeit very polarizing figure in American politics. I think it’s also safe to say Mr. O’Reilly is a very effective communicator. However, as is often the case, one’s greatest strength can also prove to be one’s greatest weakness. Mr. O’Reilly may have taken that notion to another level last Sunday, while touting his latest book during his most recent appearance on 60 Minutes.
Mr. O’Reilly’s new book is entitled “Killing Jesus”, the third in a popular trilogy including “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy”. In it, he examines Jesus’ crucifixion from a cultural and historical perspective, carefully avoiding religion and faith. But is this possible? Can Jesus be examined in the same, secular fashion as two American presidents?
O’Reilly identifies himself as a Roman Catholic. Having once been a Catholic myself, I know the Church teaches the Bible is the inerrant “Word of God”. However, O’Reilly claims the Bible cannot be taken literally, using several examples in the Gospel’s depiction of Jesus’ death as justification. Apparently, according to Mr. O’Reilly, one is able to pick and choose a version of the truth that suits a particular agenda. In this case, book sales.
What perhaps irked me the most about this interview, was O’Reilly’s claim that he was led by the Holy Spirit to write this book. Could this be the same Holy Spirit that inspired the writers of the original Gospels?
I think not.