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October 15, 2013

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Why treat some as history and other parts of the same source as myth? They have an anti-supernatural bias. And my hunch is that because they want their book to be taken seriously by other historians, they treat these reports differently. If they think Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John can be relied on in some cases, they don’t justify why they suddenly think these reports are myth.

Exactly, and is a vivid example of the double standard that exists in today's scholar-dom...

Though His message was revolutionary theologically, it wasn’t revolutionary politically, which seems to be their implication based on the context. And his followers didn’t grow over the course of His ministry.

Another tactic used by those who seek to distort Christianity (i.e., Reza Aslan, etc.)

I disagree that Jesus' message is not revolutionary politically. In the first century, politics and religion are completely intertwined. Jesus' message is that God is becoming king. The Roman government persecuted Christians precisely because Christianity is a political ideology as well as a religious one. I think we also can make a case that Jesus followers or at least sympathizers grew over time. When he speaks in the temple at Jerusalem, the people are amazed and delighted by the things he says. He is greeted by a crowd when coming into Jerusalem (we don't know how big that crowd was. He may have only had a small number of official disciples that followed him around, but Jesus made disciples wherever he went. I find it highly unlikely that his number of disciples dwindled as his ministry went along.

Dan Brown offers the same historicity values and the same illusions toward miracles, but at least his works are couched as fiction.

Reilly's story, presented as "facts" is decidedly deceptive, incomplete and therefore dangerous.

The Roman government persecuted Christians precisely because Christianity is a political ideology as well as a religious one.

No, this is in error historically. Roman persecution of Christians didn't start until Nero burned down Rome and then blamed Christians as an easy target for a scapegoat. They weren't persecuted because of some political threat, but on the basis of a deranged mad-man.

Part of the problem is that we just don’t possess a fully comprehensible category for Jesus. What should we do with his pre-existence? Virgin birth? Incarnation? Resurrection? Ascension? Promised return?

The actual account of Jesus demands a God who breaks in on the natural order — a God who reveals Himself. Jesus is this God. His claims are so extraordinarily unprecedented that they shatter our categories and demand our worship.

Humans tend to prefer a figure they can admire most at the least cost. Yet the cross of Christ remains a stumbling block. Although he is not the person many prefer him to be, he is the one we all so desperately need.

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