Comments

  1. Iliesa says

    Sometimes its a bit awkward when you are trying to quote the bible as your only source of everything you are saying about Jesus, and in the end you come out really frustrated because people just do not want to believe the bible about Jesus.Usually I have developed a strategy to listen attentively to people of other religions before responding calmly with the truth about Jesus and trust the Holy Spirit to do His work of convicting and convincing the people of their sins.

  2. lauraselvak says

    Hi Frank
    Great series. I’m enjoying.

    I have muslim friends and there overwhelming conviction is that Jesus was not crucified or raised from the dead, not the son of God (how can the One God have a son) although he was born of a virgin and is coming back again. So some of these arguments won’t make sense to their worldview/how they have been taught. I would be interested in seeing if you have the Islamic perspective in this series.

    • says

      The arguments for the death and resurrection of Jesus are attested in many books. N.T. Wright’s “The Resurrection of the Son of God” is one that is very detailed. There are many others. If someone is open minded to consider contrary evidence to their tradition, it will help. If not, it won’t.

  3. Bryan Ruffin says

    I thoroughly enjoyed the post! I agree with all the points you made, and I liked the example you used for redemption. Judge stepping down? That was really good. There is one thing, though; I don’t have a problem getting an arugment for Christ, and getting into an argument with people about it is really pretty simple! Thing is, how to present Christ to these same people without causing as many questions as I answer! Paul said it best:”it is foolishness to those who perish”. I have also heard it said (and I can’t remember who), “for those with Faith, an explaination is not necessary; for those without Faith, no explaination will suffice!” There is a gap that we as Christians need to fill, but I don’t think facts will fill it. I am of the mind that only Grace can. God will heal our hearts, but not our memories! If we forget where we’ve been, we’ll forget the Grace that brought us out! THAT Grace is what I speak of.

  4. Joey says

    Hey Frank,

    I’ve thought about C.S. Lewis’ trilemma for a while and I am not convinced that it is truly a ‘trilemma’ for the skeptic. Many skeptics will see the verses you quote from the Gospel of John and point out that the gospel was probably the latest of the four canonical gospels, and that it seems as if (at least to a large portion of scholars) that it went through a multi-layered process of refining, adding, and editing by a believing community. It certainly portrays Jesus as pointing to himself more than the synoptics, and therefore becomes suspicious to the skeptic. Many skeptics believe that Jesus may have considered himself the Messiah, but only later did believers tag on the title of Son of God (which was a pre-existing term used for Roman emperors).

    So, maybe a prerequisite for the trilemma to work is for one to accept that the Gospels are pretty accurate. But, the problem is many skeptics don’t believe this to be true, and thereby can believe that Jesus wasn’t a liar or lunatic, but rather a great religious teacher who pointed to God but was later worshipped himself by the believing community. I think this is how many skeptics believe that Jesus was a good teacher and yet not the Son of God (as thought of in the Trinity).

    What are your thoughts about this?

    Thanks,

    Joey

  5. Jeff Klein says

    Being a follower of Jesus who comes from Jewish decent I find myself a bit perplexed over the inclusion of Judaism in your list of religions that worship a separate god. For years I struggled with my dad’s refusal to see Christ. It’s a form of blindness that God warns is a consequence of not recognizing Him. Like Paul that blindness falls away. My dad came to Christ in a very similar manner and following Christ became the fulfillment of what Judaism is.

    The Jewish scriptures are part of our cannon. Christ is clearly seen as an active part of the old testament story. Paul preaches to the Jew first because he longs for the vail to be lifted that his own people may see.

    • says

      Jeff: I’m perplexed by your comment. Only Messianic Judaism accepts Jesus as Messiah, Savior, and Lord. All other branches reject Him. That was true in the first century as it is today (it’s all over the New Testament). That’s the discussion of this post regarding religions — who receives Jesus of Nazareth. I thought that was pretty clear.

      Regarding the Old Testament pointing to Christ, you’re preaching to the choir. That’s exactly what my new book — Jesus: A Theography — demonstrates in 400+ pages. See http://frankviola.org/jesuschrist

      • Jeff Klein says

        Well, we’ve perplexed each other. I’ll try it this way. Yahweh in the Old Testament is pleural. As such we see many theopanies of the pre-incarnate Christ. Then Christ comes, Yahweh in the flesh. Emmanuel. Paul didn’t see this until he was knocked down to the road. For my dad it was a heart attack and a visit by Christ to him in the hospital room. Paul’s great desire was for all of the Jewish faith to see this.

        So with the exception of the Messianics, is it really a different Yahweh? Or is a incomplete revelation at this time, because it is written that one day they shall look on Him and mourn?

        • says

          I really don’t understand what you’re arguing about or against. Nothing in this post or in the comments has said that the God of the OT is a different God than Christians worship. Again, this is addressed in detail in “Jesus: A Theography.” Jesus is all over the Old Testament, but not by His earthly name. God bless.

          • Jeff Klein says

            Then I’m probably misreading this:

            “Certainly, Christianity is by no means the only faith that lays claim to having “the truth.” There is also Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam as well as many other religions that claim to hold “the truth.”

            All serve a different deity, all have their own sacred writings, and all teach a different path of salvation.”

            I took this to mean Christians and Jews are worshiping a different deity.

          • says

            Yes, Jesus said that those who reject Him don’t know the Father and reject the Father and those who receive Him receive the Father who sent Him. So that statement is correct. By “Judaism,” we mean the religion that rejects Jesus as the Messiah and is still waiting for the Messiah to come. However, that’s not the main point of the post by any means. Take care.

  6. says

    Great post Frank. Really appreciate these 5 points. Especially concerning God being both righteous and merciful, according to the Bible (and thus Christianity). If God were only righteous, He could simply condemn us all to hell as we justly deserve. Or if He were only merciful, He could simply forgive us all at a whim and leave that whole sin problem alone anyway. Praise God for the beautiful story of Jesus! Our righteous and merciful God was incarnated to redeem us, give us His life, and even make us His bride. Jesus is the only way for THAT to happen.

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