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Jesus of Nazareth is a true man of history, but His history started long before He was born. He is a true man, but He is no ordinary man. He is the Son of David, the future King, the promised Rescuer, the Messiah, the only Christ.
Sometimes offering an actual case study of a specific set of complaints against your convictions is a good way to learn how the process works. That’s why I decided to walk you through the process using a rhetorically aggressive challenge to Christianity that I came across recently.
In this issue of Solid Ground I continue with my collection of short vignettes I have collected over the years.
What follows is an excerpt from The Story of Reality—How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important that Happens in Between. In this part of the Story I answer the second of the two most important questions anyone could ever ask about the remarkable man from Nazareth: Why did He come? It is a question there is far too much confusion about, even for those who call the Story their own.
Most of us have answered a knock on our door, only to discover a smiling, well-dressed couple—Watchtower publication in hand—standing on the other side, waiting to talk with us about the gospel according to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It’s not unusual for people to dismiss the Bible because it was “only written by men.” How do you respond when you hear this What evidence would you give that the Bible is not just a human invention, but rather a supernatural revelation?
Once I was sitting on an airplane next to a stockbroker. He asked me what I did for a living and I told him I was a writer. When he asked what I wrote about, immediately I faced a problem. I wanted to tell him that I write about religion, specifically Christianity, but I didn’t want him to make a mistake many people make when they think about those two things.
The images are sadly familiar. Buildings ripped from their foundations. Corpses mingled with debris. Parents and friends grieving for lost loved ones. Flowers and candles and makeshift memorials. New Orleans, Newtown, New York, Littleton. In one sense tragedies like these will never be old news. And when new disasters inevitably arrive, the question on the lips of so many is an age old query: “Where was God?” One Wrong Answer
I never like the question, “Do you take the Bible literally?” It comes up with some frequency, and it deserves a response. But I think it’s an ambiguous—and, therefore, confusing—question, making it awkward to answer. Clearly, even those of us with a high view of Scripture don’t take everything literally. Jesus is the “door,” but He’s not made of wood. We are the “branches,” but we’re not sprouting leaves.
It seems like every time I turn around I hear of another prominent Christian thinker or theologian who has embraced Darwinism. It’s deeply disconcerting. In light of the stature of these Evangelical leaders, some people are going to ask, “What do they know that I don’t know? I thought this was a done deal. It’s either Darwin or God.”