This is a question that interests me. When one reads a great book it is always important to see what motivates the author?
Some people write them because their faith is a tyranny, being afraid of the emotional power of faith they seek an escape---so they use reason to subvert faith.
Others wish to devalue established ideals in the hope of introducing a new systematic code of conduct. The result is a misleading one, and plunges the reader into a tangled web of subjective realities created in the powerful illusion of the authors mind.
We should always question the underlying basis and motivation for any book/movie and NY Times Bestseller in order to formulate your own assumptions for why that book is popular? And how can it correlate to fixing societies problems? Star Wars for example; George Lucas was an inclusionist, his idea of religion involved incorporating ideas of faith, good vs evil, spiritual auras, divine destinies, on the basis of conviction and self sacrifice. Harry Potter follows these themes throughout as well.
For example what is the underlying groundwork the forces of darkness pitch in Star Wars and Harry Potter in order to dupe its prospects? The same ideals that swung the most righteously ardent into the most sinister of evil characters in these works: Power and greed, the same lie a human being fell for 6,000 years ago in a garden.
So what I am getting at is this: When one approaches the topic of reality and religion with an open mind it can be easy not overly difficult to understand truth vs certain deception.
My first question I would ask to the world and notable historians is this: why is there a search for the historical Jesus? The next question would be how would you prove such a person did exist? Obviously if you would want to prove Jesus is God you would need evidence from God: a document or statement that was demonstrably divine, exhibiting qualities eternity, infinity or omnipotence and as these qualities cannot be comprehended by human beings the chances of us recognizing such a divine testimony is slim. But supposing you just wanted to prove there was a human being such as the Son of God?
How does someone demonstrate someone lived 2,000 years ago? There is no physical evidence, no remains that can be exhumed, no photograph or painting outside of the shroud of turin (which is in itself highly controversial) that could be examined for clues. It comes as a shock you can't prove the existence of anyone from the past! Not in the sense you can prove the piece of fish that made you ill last night was contaminated by mercury poisoning. You just know it was a bad fish based on how you felt, which is exactly where faith, based on substantiated conviction comes into play. Napolean, Pontius Pilate, Abraham Lincoln for example: how do you know they existed? Can you weigh them? Examine their chemical composition, understand their genetic structure except in genetic terms? No you cant, but one thing is for sure all 3 of these figures, wrote about this man Jesus Christ and throughout their own personal lives were very influenced by Him.
The First thing we need to understand is that in every single case where we react to a historical figure, we are reacting to the ideas those people had in their lifetime and how those same ideals apply to your personal life, thus shaping your worldview. Look at the 'evidence' we have for the existence of Jesus. In every single case it turns into the evidence of what people during his lifetime and to a greater extent after his time believed about him, which also shaped their 'worldview' and altered their destinies. This is normal and true for all of what we regard as historical. History is a record not of facts but of beliefs, and all throughout history the underlying theme for the worlds problems that perpetuates at compound interest is a faulty belief system based on greed and power, opposed to humility and love which were chief character traits of Jesus Christ himself.
Now this is not the same as saying history is unknowable or imaginative. We and our ancestors are capable of comprehending what happens to us and evaluating those experiences to some degree of light, sometimes however that light is filtered by this little personal irritant that gets called 'the ego'. Now for example one of the most educated men of his day 'the apostle Paul' understood the significance of surrendering the ego and its desires to the will of a higher power. Paul was not concerned with the life and facts of Jesus existence. A blinding light from heaven was more than enough to awaken him from his stubborn spiritual slumber into a newly enlightened mindset. No he was not concerned with the trivial details of his life but of his death, and how that death brought new spiritual life to us "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain" Phil 1:21
My final and last point has to do with "insurrectionist" or "System upheavals" There have been countless riots inspired by riotous leaders throughout history which led to political reformation. You can track it back to "Korahs rebellion" in the early stages o f the Bible. Or even Spartacus, who like Jesus was brutally crucified. History once again is full of a record of "beliefs" opposed to "facts". I am merely questioning the motives behind these movements. Lets go back to Nietzsches statement "God is dead" given as revealed truth. The moral law as found in the Ten Commandments was being declared by Nietzsche as shattered, irrelevant. He was stating that the world of spirit was not the essence of the world. And he was rejecting the great moral teachings of Jesus, which expanded the truths of the Ten Commandments and made a new, non-legalistic basis for morality possible in our fallen and sinful world. This is what what happens when we remove God from the equation and trust to subjective truths and moral relativism. Bear in mind Nietzsche had a deep influence on Hitlers motives and dogmatic thinking. This new type of thinking would be characterized as having a "will to power," the power to literally create and even reverse moral values in a fundamental way. Nietzsche called this the "transvaluation" of values. Although various attempts have been made to formulate and formalize these "new values," no document with the authority and power of the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount as found in the Gospel of Matthew has yet been written. But there is a New Ten Commandments being promoted throughout all Western institutions. Although undocumented, it is insidious and pervasive. It is a synthesis of the deconstructed concepts that have driven Western civilization since the pre-Socratics and up through the 19th century. To describe it as "political correctness" or "leftism" would be true, but it would also be an oversimplification. This ("supermen,") thinking albeit without the cape and large red S on a blue shirt, acts on new principles whereby the "bad" is transformed into good. Thus, compassion and kindness would be "weakness," and ruthless, unprincipled domination of others would be "strength." We see this happening in our world today as it steadily wanders from a Judeo-Christian worldview. I am saying that the reason you don't see Christians rioting and publically demonstrating is for one reason only. Their beliefs don't allow it. Quotes from the bible such as "So far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" "honor the emperor" etc. would inhibit such a large large sweeping reformation.