NT writes: "Not sure if you can help me, but I'm having a difficult time discerning if Christ The Lord Out of Egypt by Anne Rice is a good book to read? It's was selected by my parish book club."
Actually, Christ the Lord Out of Egypt was written during that brief period of time in the life of gothic horror writer Anne Rice when she had sincerely reverted to the Catholicism of her youth. While her book has been both criticized and praised, almost everyone agrees that it is basically orthodox - well, except for the fact that it's written from the point-of-view of a seven year-old Jesus who doesn't yet realize He's God.
The assertion that Jesus did not always possess the consciousness of His Messianic dignity is included on a list of errors in Pope St. Pius X's Lamentabili. In fact, the 5th century Council of Chalcedon defined that in Christ, His divinity and humanity were united in a single Divine Person "without confusion, without change, without division, and without separation."
As Fr. Bertrand De Margerie, S.J. explains in his book, The Human Knowledge of Christ: "Classical Christology teaches, and the Magisterium also, that, long before Easter, Jesus enjoyed in His human intelligence a three-fold knowledge: acquired, infused, and beatific. The first kind came to Him, as it does to other men, from the exercise of His senses and His reason; the second was immediately communicated to His human soul by His Divine Person; and the third gave Him immediate knowledge of His Father."
Jesus knew He was God - except in Anne Rice's books.
Out of Egypt also relies heavily on legends known as the Apocrypha which allege that the child Jesus created birds out of clay and resurrected a child He accidentally killed, but this is okay because the book is fiction.
Rice wrote two other books during this time, another novel about Christ entitled Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana in which the author insinuates that Jesus loved the bride at this wedding, a woman named Avigail. "It fell hard on me suddenly that I would sometime soon be standing among the torchbearers at her wedding,” He says in the book. Rice presents this as a kind of "growing up" phase of Jesus' life when He is forced to confront His feelings for His close friend, Avigail, and then respond to His calling and let her go to marry another man.
The third book written during this era in her life was Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession in which she documents her turbulent spiritual journey from Catholicism to atheism and back to Catholicism again.
Sadly, this reversion didn't stick. In July, 2010, she announced via Facebook that she had not only left the Church, but quit Christianity altogether.
“I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of … Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”
This statement reveals that while she spent lots of time doing research for her books, she spent too little time reading the teachings of the Church - which are anything but anti-life, anti-science, anti-gay, anti-feminist, etc.
From that point on, she referred to herself as a secular humanist.
In an interview with Alice Cooper in 2016, she admitted that she doesn't believe in demons and has no interest in ideas about demons, but she still professes to believe in Jesus. - just not the way He's presented by organized religion (not even the religion He founded).
Rice died on December 11, 2021, from complications of a stroke. She was 80 years old.
Personally, I would choose other good Catholic authors to read rather than give people a taste for the writings of someone who has not only rejected the Church, but who has a long history of writing occult-based fiction from the vantage of point of disbelief in Satan. Her portrayals may be sensational, but how accurate can they possibly be? The desire to read more of her books could lead to reading material not suited for Christian consumption.
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