Defending the Faith _ Liar Lunatic or Lord
Do not check your brain at the door!
- history of the church and education… academics…scholarly pursuits
- Universities around the world
o The whole idea of organized education
- Learn languages… to study…. To read
- Learn about creation is to learn about God
- To be able to read and understand scripture
- To be able to read and understand the creative expression of His Image bearers…
o Isaac Newton
o “Science, as we think of it today, came about because Reformers believed that God revealed himself in nature.”
o One of the world’s pre-eminent astrophysicist lives in Canada (Alberta) and said “the more I look into the heaven’s and into the tiniest particles the more and more convinced I am that we serve a might God”
1 Peter 3:15
15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
Why do you believe… Parents… Friends…
Just a hunch? Gut feeling… intuition?
Feeling? Is it emotions that hold your faith?
Because the Bible says so…
Or maybe you don’t believe…
- 2,000 year old book
- On a myth
- Not Rational thought
Mark 16:60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?"
61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?"
62 "I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."
63 The high priest tore his clothes. "Why do we need any more witnesses?" he asked.
64 "You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" They all condemned him as worthy of death.
7 The Jews insisted, "We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God."
- Jews Recognized his claim
Liar, Lunatic or Lord
What if Jesus was a liar?
What is He knew his claims were false?
What if Christ made a deliberate misrepresentation?
What was there to gain?
- Matthew 11: 28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
- Phi 2:6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
- Mark 6: 8 These were his instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staff-- no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town.
- Comfort / Ease
- John 4:6 Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"
- Muslims – Title for Jesus
- Rue Allah or Spirit of God
- Jewish History – Josephus (NT Church 37-100 AD)
- 3. (63) Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ. (64) And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
- Roman Centurion at the Cross
- Matthew 27:54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!"
- John Stuart Mill – philosopher, scholar, Christian Antagonist…
- About the life and sayings of Jesus there is a stamp of personal originality combined with profundity of insight in the very first rank of men of sublime genius of whom our species can boast. When this pre-eminent genius is combined with the qualities of probably the greatest moral reformer and martyr to that mission who ever existed upon earth, religion cannot be said to have made a bad choice in pitching upon this man as the ideal representative and guide of humanity; nor even now would it be easy, even for an unbeliever, to find a better translation of the rule of virtue from the abstract into the concrete than to endeavour to live so that Christ would approve of our life. (Grounds, RFOH,34)
Liar – Inconsistent even with Christianities Greatest critics….
Atheist, Jew, and Muslim have all attested to Christ’s High Moral Code… eliminating Liar
Even Charles Templeton… Jesus is the ideal model for life
So… NOT A LIAR
Thought he was God
Jews faith… fiercely monotheistic
- Can you imagine… declaring yourself as God
- In the NT era (during the life of Christ)
- In this modern era
- Ridicule, etc.
Peter Croft put it this way
- To declare yourself the greatest in human history – proves you a fool
- To declare that you are Napoleon… places you firmly on the edge
- To declare that you are a butterfly… means you’ve departed from the shores of sanity
- To declare yourself as God is shear lunacy
Christ clearly declares he is the Son of God…
John 14: 6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." 8 Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." 9 Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
But the overwhelming evidence is that he wasn’t a lunatic…
Savvy – Mark 22:15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" 18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?" 21 "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
Luke 2:43 After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
Mathhew 7:28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
High Emotional (Relational) intelligence –
Band of twelve guys…
Organized and effect….
Discipled and grown…
- Practical Wisdom… the ability to read the human heart
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
- Hardly sounds like a fool or an ego trip
- It sounds like the practical heart felt wisdom and compassion….
- Deep Love… compassion
- The Woman at the well * With Lazarus
- Dripping from his teaching of hope
- Astonishing unpredictable creativity…
- Deal with 5,000
- Deal with Pharisees and Sadducees
How could this reflect the life of a lunatic….
Jesus of Nazareth was neither a liar nor a lunatic…
Jesus Christ is Lord!!
- We can declare Jesus as Lord from our own transformed life!
- We can declared Jesus as Lord from our understanding of Scripture
- But we can also enter the realm of clear, intellectual, rational thought…. And declare that Jesus Christ is Lord!
NIV Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
NIV John 11:27 "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world." Martha of Bethany
NIV John 20:28 Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
NIV Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
NIV Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
You have three main choices:
Jesus Christ was a Liar
Jesus Christ was a Lunatic
Jesus Christ is Lord…
The weight of historical and rational evidence points towards Jesus as Lord…
NOW YOU ONLY HAVE TWO CHOICES:
What is it going to be….