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September 9, 2020, 2:00 PM
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness.’”
-1 Corinthians 3:19
In response to a recent post about Jesus as the Eternal Son, Creator, and God-man, one person objected, “Did the historical Jesus really exist? The evidence just doesn’t add up.” They cited an article published in a liberal tabloid as “proof.”
The author of the article, a self-professing atheist, noted, “There are good reasons to doubt Jesus’ historical existence - if not to think it down right improbable.”
Among the several “proofs” listed:
  • “The lack of early sources...” FALSE! The New Testament has more and better early sources than any other book of antiquity. If you want to look at the evidence and persuasive arguments for the validity of Christ, and not just a biased tabloid journalists’ take on it, look through books such as:
  1. Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell
  2. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
  3. Can I Trust the Bible by Darrell Bock
  4. Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias
  5. Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig
  6. The Reason for God by Timothy Keller;
  7. Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey
  8. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
  • “Paul avoided Jesus’ earthly events...” FALSE! Paul, was a Jewish zealot formerly known as Saul. After leading the murderous charge against Christians in Jerusalem, Saul’s terror scattered Jesus’ followers in every direction. Saul was on the road to Damascus to slaughter more Christians when… (see Acts 9). Saul became Paul, the great Apostle, missionary, evangelist, church planter, martyr, and author of thirteen (or fourteen depending on which scholars you ask) of the twenty-seven New Testament books. The only “earthly event” Paul witnessed of Jesus was recorded. Paul’s letters to the various churches were written NOT to comment on "the givens" of Jesus’ earthly life and ministry, but primarily the appropriate RESPONSE of Christians to those events: to Christ’s literal death upon the Cross, His literal resurrection, His literal ascension, and His imminent return. Paul did comment, to some extent, on Jesus’ earthly ministry. But if Paul had commented on events to which he was NOT a first-hand eyewitness, i.e. Jesus’ miracles, teachings, and ministry... the author of the article would have discredited those writings, arguing Paul wasn’t there to witness them. Paul didn’t “avoid” Jesus’ earthly events. He limited his writings to what was revealed to him by Christ and what the Holy Spirit inspired him to write for the edification of the Church.
  • “No eyewitness accounts…” FALSE! There are four accounts of the one Gospel. All are rich and ripe with early and credible accounts. The Gospel accounts are not personal accounts or documentaries, but rather a unique type of literature. They incorporate oral traditions validated, verified, and accepted by the ENTIRE early Christian community. Only in later centuries do Christian cults and sects begin to emerge out of wonky philosophical teachings, which refute the validity of the Gospel accounts. The Gospel accounts are the unified confession (Greek word- homologeó, which means “one word” meaning perfect agreement in thought and understanding) of the entire Christian community. To say there were “no eyewitness accounts” is pure ignorance. All the thousands who had been healed, cleansed, restored, made whole, taught, rebuked, fed, raised, and witness miracles from turning water to wine, to Jesus' crucified and resurrected body... the Gospel accounts ARE the “eye witness accounts” and agreement regarding the truth of Jesus the Christ, Creator, Immanuel, Savior, Lord, and God the Eternal Son.
  • “Let’s look at what non-Christian scholars have to say…” ERROR! There is a systemic and fallacious idea that agnostics and atheists are somehow “impartial” or “neutral” regarding faith, religion, and Christianity. This concept is inherently flawed and completely incoherent. No one is “neutral” or “impartial” regarding Jesus as God. Professing some ambiguous “openness” to the concept or "idea" of God (or "a god"), or the downright rejection of it is, in fact, the antithesis of “openness” or “impartiality.” To limit the evidence and argument to “what non-Christian scholars have to say…” is akin to discussing the ridiculous idea of a flat earth and only looking at “what flat-earthers have to say…” In the pursuit of truth, one cannot eliminate any potentiality or possibility at the onset. In doing so, the results are inevitably skewed and tainted. Obviously, in looking at only what “non-Christian scholars have to say,” one will always end up with a highly biased thesis or hypothesis.
The author’s thesis (after 1) eliminating all Christian scholars from the argument, 2) rejecting the validity and testimony of the entire early Christian community, 3) accusing Paul of “avoiding Jesus’ earthly events,” and 4) overlooking the historical quality and quantity of early documentation and attestation to the “historical Jesus”) is this: “There are good reasons to doubt Jesus’ historical existence - if not to think it down right improbable.”
No “good reasons” were ever mentioned. If you’d like to quote the author, or the tabloid that published his article, as credible sources - the option is certainly open to you. If your plan for the Day of Judgment is to blame someone else for your choice to squandered life wallowing in sin, blathering, “But Jesus, I read an article that said… that’s why I rejected You and encouraged them to "FOLLOW ME!" Jesus’ response will be the same as for all those in Matthew 7:23; 8:12; 13:42; 13:50; 25:30; and Revelation 22:12-16.
Those who believe themselves to be wise according to the standards and pattern of the world are referred to as fools throughout Scripture. They inevitably and invariably plunge into pitfalls of their own design and creation. If you’re stuck in the death-trap of your own craftiness, call out to Jesus. Not as a good teacher or mere holy man, but as the Lamb of God, humanity's Deliverer, Creator, and King. Jesus said, "I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
We can follow the fools of the world who think themselves wise, or we can follow Jesus. One path leads to the Pit of eternal destruction and torment; the other WAY to everlasting life.
“For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.”
- Philippians 3:18
-Pastor Kevin
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