Thank you all of you who commented and emailed me yesterday. It was nice to "meet" some of you for the first time and hear from friends I didn't know were reading.
Yesterday I touched on the responsibility I, and really all of us, have as Christians to use the gifts God has given us to honor Him and point others to Jesus.
To that end I wanted to share something based on a book I read the other day.
Many people believe Jesus was either a great teacher or wise prophet but they can’t accept He is the Son of God. They think Christians are out of their minds and that no thinking person could see things otherwise. They poke holes in the Christian faith and argue against it. Bystanders follow the vocal minority and discard or discredit Christianity as myth or fallacy without ever investigating its message. This describes my point of view for many, many years.
Josh McDowell was also such a person—until he accepted a challenge to rigorously and intellectually examine the claims of Jesus. And he found his supposedly well-formed arguments didn’t hold up. His quest resulted in the book, More than a Carpenter. Here’s an excerpt:
Jesus claimed to be God, and to him it was of fundamental importance that men and women believed him to be who he was. Either we believe him or we don’t. He didn’t leave any wiggle room for in-between, watered-down alternatives. One who claimed what Jesus claimed about himself couldn’t be a good moral man or prophet. That option isn’t open to us, and Jesus never intended it to be.”
As C.S. Lewis, a former agnostic, wrote in Mere Christianity, “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.”
“You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His fee and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He as not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Lord, liar or lunatic? Jesus didn’t leave us any choice.
Are you skeptical about the claims of Jesus? Do you accept Him, but still have doubts? Or would you like to be able to concretely explain why you have the hope in Jesus you do? Check out More than a Carpenter, The Case for Faith or an Alpha course near you.