Nevertheless, Moore's Gospel reflects more the moralistic therapeutic deism detailed by sociologist Christian Smith in his book Soul Searching than the Gospel as recorded in the Scriptures. Here's a passage from chapter twenty-eight, where Biff helps Joshua write the Sermon on the Mount:
Here's the gist of almost every sermon I ever heard Joshua give.
You should be nice to people, even creeps.
And if you:
a) believed that Joshua was the Son of God (and)
b) he had come to save you from sin (and)
c) acknowledged the Holy Spirit within you (became as a little child,
he would say) (and)
d) didn't blaspheme the Holy Ghost (see c),
then you would:
e) live forever
f) someplace nice
g) probably heaven.
However, if you:
h) sinned (and/or)
i) were a hypocrite (and/or)
j) valued things over people (and)
k) didn't do a, b, c, and d,
then you were:
I'm not necessarily saying this stuff isn't accurate, but it is sterile, and vanilla, and nondescript. Moralistic therapeutic deists, as Smith describes them, worship a grandfather-god who likes people who are nice and enjoys being nice to children, but who otherwise generally stays out of the way; Jesus the Son of the MTDeity did what he did and his relevance ended there. The Holy Spirit is our own spirits super-sized. Heaven is, if nothing else, "someplace nice."
Smith's research was on the religiosity of American adolescents; his book was published five years ago, which means the first official MTDs are now entering the workplace; some of them are considering marriage; some of them are having children, telling those children stories about Jesus the Son of MTD, and dreaming of living happily ever after in someplace nice. It's a nice story, but it's sterile, and vanilla, and nondescript.
Ah well. At least Christopher Moore makes it funny.