The publishers sent over a copy of Dan Wakefield’s The Hijacking Of Jesus a couple of weeks back and yesterday I finally had the chance read it. Wakefield, a journalist by vocation and lay member of the United Church of Christ, has written a good 195 page recap of how groups like the Republican Party aligned - Institute on Religion and Democracy and other Religious Right groups have misused the Bible to further their own partisan political campaigns. He calls in the book for renewed efforts on the part of mainline churches to engage in social activism. Unfortunately, Wakefield seems to blame scholarly groups such as the Jesus Seminar (a group of well regarded Biblical scholars who study the historical Jesus) for some of the problems faced by mainline churches. Study of the historical Jesus, he asserts, doesn’t leave room for more evangelical Christians that are needed for the mainline churches to survive. You’re not going to get me to blame scholars for the loss of membership in mainline churches. Wakefield doesn’t offer any solid research to back his claim (and you won’t find any). The truth is that writers like Marcus Borg and my own professor Stephen Paterson have helped bring many people back to the Christian faith by helping to open of the dialogue about what it means to be a Christian in the post-modern era.