I'm not one to usually post, but I read this in my local newspaper today and died a little on the inside. From the history comprehension failure, to the logical fallacies, and then followed by the belief in Santa Claus but completely ruling out aliens, I have been left with the conclusion of mental illness.
As Christians, we are often asked by atheists and scientists to prove that God exists; proof, by one definition, meaning empirical and falsifiable evidence, without which religion in general, and Christianity specifically, is nothing more than a myth. But is God a myth? And if so, how do you prove a myth?
Unlike the myths and legends of old, Christianity really did happen. There are actual eyewitnesses, many of them choosing a martyr's death by fire or consumption rather than deny what they knew to be true. Men and women die for many things; but no one dies for a myth...except maybe Al Gore, when it comes to global warming. In fact, there is more evidence for Christianity's Christ than there is for history's Julius Caesar.
Now, facts are stubborn things; and so is "truth." There is a difference. Facts are for the most part, cold, objective, impersonal and, unless you have the social life of an embryonic stem cell, a complete bore. Alone, they tell us every little of what we really want or need to know and, like all science, often lead to only more questions than they answer.
Truth, on the other hand, is never boring, neither is it subjective or relative, as some would have us believe. It is personal, human, bold and exciting! Truth can be funny; and it comes in many disguises - even a myth! Just like Christmas, I suppose. Still, it is always the truth; it never changes. Myths, like great legends and good humor, always contain a certain grain of truth to them; otherwise, they would not survive, and the jokes wouldn't be funny.
"I am the way, the truth, and the life..." Here, for the first time in recorded history, God gives "truth" a name, and a face - Jesus Christ. He comes not as a god, but as a man - a baby! Just like you and me. It happened as an exact time, in a certain place, and for a specific reason; and that's exactly how it will end. There's nothing hypothetical about it. It can't be called a myth, and you can't put it in a test tube. It's the Incarnation, the virgin birth, and it couldn't have happened any other way. Salvation comes on its own terms. And it comes with a price
As for the empirical and falsifiable evidence scientists and atheists demand, let’s just say it might never be found, at least not on this side of the grave. It may not even exist. And even if someone does find it, along with the missing link, it will probably be like nothing they ever expected.
But if you look up in the sky some cold winter's night around the 25th of December, you just might catch a glimpse of it. Not it's not the space shuttle, or a Russian spy satellite; nor is it an Iranian missile with a nuclear warhead or some other terrorist attack; it's certainly not Louis Farrakhan's mothership, or any other extraterrestrial spacecraft. Is it a myth? Is it science?
No- It's Santa Clause! And if you don't believe that...well, you just ain't trying. Or maybe what you really need is a little less science, and a little more myth.
Biblical minimalists and skeptics will tell you that there is no evidence. However read any encyclopedia and any serious scholar, not from the 18th or 19th century and they will tell you the persecution of Nero was real and that Jesus was real.
One historian, when asked to debate the existence of Jesus, compared it to an astronomer debating with someone that the moon was not made of cheese.
Indeed. I do not know if you have been to a university, but you have to have credible sources, I was taught that sources and authority does matter.
Do you believe that Pythagoras existed?
Actually, I have "been" to a number of universities. I have degrees from three of them.
You will note that I did not say I think Jesus did not exist. I think there was probably such a person. Not because of any direct evidence but because of circumstantial evidence (which is all there is) and Occam's razor. The existence of an actual person is the simplest explanation for the circumstantial evidence.
Actually, I have read works on the subject, from both sides. I am unconvinced by the arguments of those who claim that Jesus is totally mythical, but the fact that all of the historical mentions of Jesus are either hearsay (no contemporary records) or in reference to the Christian religion well after his death does not establish his existence beyond reasonable doubt, either.
Personally, after having done some reading on the subject, my opinion is that there probably was a historical Jesus. Naturally, I don't believe any of the supernatural aspects of his legend, and I expect that what is related about his life has been altered, exaggerated, twisted and otherwise modified over the intervening centuries. A lot like King Arthur, really. There probably was a chieftain/leader who was the basis for the Arthur legend. This doesn't mean that he wielded a mystical sword, had an archmage adviser, or is sleeping somewhere beneath England until such time as Avalon shall rise again.
Indeed. Some of the stories in the gospel do appear to be exaggerated and it is hard to tell what actually happened and what is a 'myth'. Needless to say, I think from the gospels. we can see that Jesus was a really nice guy.
I have to disagree with you. I think the evidence for Jesus is nearly enough to call it a fact. We have to remember that not everything back then was written down, as some people like to think, it was still very much an oral culture.
This reply is actually for Adam, but there was sadly no reply button:
I have to disagree with you. I think the evidence for Jesus is nearly enough to call it a fact. We have to remember that not everything back
then was written down, as some people like to think, it was still very
much an oral culture.
Evidence for Jesus really needs to go under two headings. Based on what little evidence exists, it isn't necessary to rule Jesus out completely. There is a problem however. Even if one is to show that the Jesus character existed, that in and of itself does nothing to prove him divine. This is where the evidence should be even better if it were true. This is not the case though. You may claim it is due to the record keeping. But lest we not forget, that the Egyptians were already keeping wonderful records at the time that the flood myth was said to have have occurred.
So to me the lack of records doesn't necessarily tell me that he wasn't real. Simply that he wasn't anything special. I am inclined to believe that there may have been a Jesus (or someone he was based upon). A preacher with followers and some good messages. But just a man. Not born of a virgin, not resurrected, not divine, not the son of God.
I would argue that jesus as portrayed in the bible exists.
I am sure that there have been many jesus's in time, i know a few of them, it is a pretty common name for some cultures for their boys.
I need proof this jesus character was who the bible says he was..
Ava / Doone - that was a great discussion. Praise be the lord of the bunny wabbits. Wabbits are highly evolved creatures. I hope Michael found his oracles of god.