One blog I follow regularly is Vridar – a blog which explores the origins of christianity (among other things). I find this to be very informative and entertaining:
As a survivor of catholicism I seem to be drawn into debates about religion (especially christianity as that’s the religion that most impacts me personally, socially, and politically).
Not being a believer I suppose I should not waste my time on something which I don’t ‘believe in’ – but OTOH it seems I am still interested in it – how does something which I consider to be so wrong-headed get a grip on the minds of so many people?
Lately the controversy engaging me is the debate between ‘historicists’ and ‘mythicists’ on the origins of christianity: was the story of Jesus really based on a real person who became mythologized or simple a character of literature who became historicized? Ultimately I suppose it matters very little – even if there were an obscure preacher who was elevated to a god it is the legends that grew up around him it is only the ‘myth’ part which has had an impact on history. It is the ‘Son of God’ who matters – no one much cares what a run-of-the mill street-corner preacher might have said 2000 years ago.
But I do find it interesting to consider whether a real person is required to act as the catalyst for this religious movement. That’s why the debate is engaging – how do these cults spawn, metastasize, and spread.