Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Key To Christianity

Isn't it true that all of Christianity hinges not on the Bible itself but rather on one specific event in history? Without the resurrection, Christianity falls apart. Christianity is really very different from any other world religion. Every other world religion is wrapped around a set of teachings or a message that was given. When the teacher died, the message was free to live on. But, the message of Jesus was in fact Jesus. He had backed his own message into a corner so that it really couldn't survive without him. When he died, there was really nowhere for Christianity to go.
He said things like "I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the father but through me." "The father and I are one." "Upon this rock I will build my church." When he was killed, it was clear that he wasn't building anything.
So how did the early church actually get started after he died? Anyone who denies the resurrection would have to answer this question and the answer can't be "the same way all of the other religions did it". His message simply doesn't allow for that. Did twelve guys make up a story about the resurrection and people all over Judea who wanted Jesus dead and/or watched him die suddenly buy it and hop on the bandwagon? Possible, yes... but not really probable. Bringing the dead back to life would have sounded just as crazy back then as it does today, right?
Or... did people really see a dead man walking?

Let There Be Light

Why do Christians get in a tizzy about people outside the church who are misbehaving? Who cares? For those outside the church, only one thing matters: getting them to Jesus. If they will come to Him, He will work on their behavior as a natural outcome of being in a relationship with Him. If we actually succeed in getting them to stop whatever it is they shouldn't be doing, they are no closer to salvation than they were before. In fact, we've accomplished nothing from an eternal perspective. Trying to get the lost world to conform to God's standard of holiness is a backward implementation of what we were called to do.
Jesus is the light of the world. Christians try desperately to get those in this dark world to act as if they’ve found the light even though they haven’t. We want them to be able to navigate correctly but they can’t because they’re still in the dark. So our solution is to become the “seeing eye dog”. We try to lead them where we want them to go without bothering to turn the light on for them. Maybe it makes more sense to give them light so they can actually see where they're going.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Debunking the Legend

It seems that athiests are fond of saying that the gospels are not reliable because they were written in the early 2nd century by people who were not eye witnesses (not the guys the books were named after). So, generally it's believed that the story of the resurrection surfaced as legend at some point after years of oral communication and eventually made it into the gospels well after the actual events. The problem is that the resurrection of Christ is referenced throughout Paul's letters which are widely accepted to have been written in the 50s (first century, obviously). So if the gospels were written later and these late breaking documents introduced the concept of the resurrection, how did Paul find out about it 20 years after Jesus' death? Clearly the "legend" of the resurrection was widely in circulation at the time of Paul's writings and was not introduced in the second century at all. Also, it was in circulation while eye witnesses were still alive to dispute it.