Wednesday, 1 February 2006

From the sublime... the ridiculous.

Philip Ryken over at Reformation21 has posted: "...proceedings began last week on the trial in Viterbo, Italy, concerning the existence of Jesus Christ of Nazareth." Do read it!

This is, in a deluded way, a more honest approach than that which accepts Jesus existed yet tries to redefine him or come up with some patronising nonsense about him being merely a good teacher. While I think that C.S.Lewis' trichotomy (Mad, bad, or God) is a bit forced, he was certainly right in dismissing as arrogant nonsense the idea that Jesus was merely a good teacher. To be an honest atheist, you've got to get rid of Jesus altogether.

There's nothing surprising about someone wanting to attack Jesus' existence. It recognises that Jesus is the biggest stumbling block to atheism.

Of course, most postmoderns have escaped above such restricting categories as existence anyway. Relegating Jesus' existence to religious truth and so to the subjective, non-fact realm, you don't even have to consider him! This trial could be a nice blow to that value / fact, religious truth / scientific truth dualism with which Western thought and culture is plagued.


Rhology said...

Just curious - why do you think CS Lewis' Lord Liar or Lunatic trichotomy is forced? I use it sometimes to witness to people and I want to see the hole in it you see before an unbeliever exposes it to me.

Nathan said...

Hey there! Just another comment about the CS Lewis thing! (Bet you didn't expect that to be the main thing people would respond to - I love it when that happens! Anyway...)

I don't think it's forced because their are only a four ways to look at any claims that anyone makes. Hang on. I think I'm going to blog this myself!! Sorry to trouble you!

mama said...

I agree. I like to challenge ppl to think with the CSL choice. I think it's a very weighty argument. It is, after all, the question the disciples etc had to face up to - this guy doesn't seem evil, so he's either a megalomaniac, which doesn't really fit the quiet wisdom of what we hear him teach, or his claims are true.

(Good blog, Nathan!)

étrangère said...

I've just posted on this. The very short answer is 'of course you're right - on the basis of the gospel accounts'. I also use it. On reflection, I was aiming at the common usage of it as if it were self-contained proof. So rhology - although not watertight logically, it's fine when used appropriately.

Thank you rhology and Nathan for making me reflect and clarify.

Mama - of course Nathan's got a good blog; he's a Relay Worker ;-)

Nathan said...

Ta very much!!