I went to the book launch of Lord Jeffery Archer's new book, the Gospel According to Judas. It was a bit unlike most book launches I've been to, this crowed were well into their theology and the finer points / philosophical and theological in the book where hotly debated. The book was co-written with Franncis Maloney a theologian and a leading Catholic scholar. I was fascinated by why Archer wrote this book and his reply was that since he was very young he was fascinated by the bit in-between black and white - he should know a thing or two about that. Maloney on the other hand wanted a rigorous and fact based account of Judas instead of the sort of stuff that Dan Brown and Dawkins come up with. I found the whole thing really interesting, here you have a disgraced peer trying to rehabilitate Judas (perhaps himself too in the process - a bit like Carvaggio with the self-portrait of himself as Goliath in the David and Goliath). And on the other hand you have a Catholic scholar who wants the Catholic church's version to be heard by a mass audience (via Archer). What an odd couple. Religion and author motivations aside as I am reading the book right now I am finding myself sympathising and identifying with Judas instead of falling in love with Jesus. It is a very difficult balance to strike as a writer if your reader ends up identifying with the wrong character or failing to be inspired by one. But I do like that a gospel which should be about the good news ends up a version of Christian reality where the relationship between humanity and Christ is less than black and white for a change.