Starting this book, I didn't expect a Christian story, or even a book extolling the virtues of Christianity. I know Pullman is an atheist, and expected this book to reflect that. What I did expect, from such a highly acclaimed author, was a well written story and some deep issues to ponder. I was sorely disappointed!
The characters are undeveloped and unlikable, and nothing makes any sense! Jesus complains that he never hears from God, yet he comes out with all these "profound teachings" about the coming Kingdom and how we should behave. Where does this "wisdom" come from? There never is an explaination.
One minute, Pullman is having Jesus perform miracles, and then saying they don't exist. The Christ character is a spineless wimp with no other ambition in life than to do what others tell him to do, never think for himself, but always whine about the outcomes.
Clearly Pullman has a grudge against Christians. He uses this book as an outlet for his rantings against church corruption, and his frustration about not being able to understand Jesus' teachings.
I have strong faith in God, and I love exploring the teachings of His Word. I am encouraged by Paul to test everything. A faith that never doubts, that never questions is a dead faith. It believes (and does) whatever it's told and never explores anything for the deeper meaning and therefore, never grows stronger. Perhaps the Christ character would be a metaphor for dead faith in a better book. I had hoped to find something interesting to ponder and discuss in reading this book. I found nothing but a poorly written thesis on how stupid and gullible Christians are.