April 8, 2012 · By Bob Ellis · 1 Comments
I’ve always had a skeptical nature. You can ask my poor mother: I should have been born in Missouri, because since I was a little child I’ve always had a “show me” attitude.
So when as a young adult I began to drift away from the Christian faith in which I had been raised, questions about the veracity of the Bible and the Christian religion became very critical to me. Even growing up, I had always had “yeah, but…” doubts about the teachings of Christianity; what inquiring young mind born after the 1950s has not? Unfortunately, the social circles in which I grew up provided few answers for an inquiring but unguided mind like mine, and most of these questions went unanswered for many years.
As a young adult, I hit some of the storms of life that most of us hit at one point or another, and I ended up taking what seemed to be the easy way, and made some very bad life choices. After having lived several years as a young adult as a hedonist and according to the world’s ethos (and having found that ethos empty and wanting), the question of whether I could plant the foundation of my life on Christianity with certainty gained importance like never before.
I have never had any desire to live under illusions; in fact, I hold illusions and those who willingly live under them in some level of contempt. I have always tried to face reality head-on; I would rather live in a real world that didn’t meet my desires or expectations than live in a cotton-candy fantasy world. If Christianity was not true, then I wanted to know about it so I could get on with life, unencumbered by fairy tales.
So I began to investigate the veracity of the Christian religion like never before. After comparing many of the skeptical claims against Christianity to the evidence, I found the skeptical claims to come up short. After reading Josh McDowell’s “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” and books like it, I became certain that the Bible really was the Word of God that it claimed to be…and that Jesus really was who he claimed to be. No serious historian doubts the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth anymore; you’ll find a few ignorant God-haters out there who may still believe it, but no rational person who is aware of the facts doubts his existence anymore.
The real question is: was Jesus who he claimed to be? He claimed to be the divine Son of God. He did not claim to be a “good teacher.” He did not claim to be “a moral man.” He did not claim to be “a prophet.” He claimed to be nothing short of God Himself.
C.S. Lewis presents the question of who Jesus really was in a great way, one that boils it down to its essentials:
“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 the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.”
There is much more that could be said about this, but with today being Resurrection Day, or Easter as it is more commonly know, this is an important question we should all grapple with. Specifically, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is a critical question. After all, if this did not happen, then the rest of the Christian narrative is a worthless lie, and we are without hope.
Experience has taught me that some people are resolutely opposed to considering the truth of the Bible’s claims. They do not at all have the open minds they claim to have, nor do they have the objectivity necessary to consider all evidence, especially that which would demolish their long-held and comfortable beliefs to the contrary. They are as comfortable as they can be in that fantasy world for which I had no desire, and they will fight tooth and nail with anything that threatens to drag them out of it. This article and this video are not for such people.
No, this is for the person who genuinely wants to know the truth but doesn’t know. Are you such a person? Do you have doubts? Do you wonder what is true? Are you willing to follow the evidence where ever it leads? If this is you, then step forward, and let’s go.
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