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Who is Jesus Christ and Who is Irrational?
By Mike Adams
A sixty-seven year old proud atheist friend of mine recently interjected the sweeping statement “all religion is irrational” into one of our conversations. I replied, not with a direct rebuttal but, instead, with the unexpected question, “who is Jesus Christ?” He replied, “I don’t know.” If I were to ask some of you why I pulled that question out of left field you might also reply with a bewildered “I don’t know.” So keep reading. Please.
If you have never really pondered the question “who is Jesus Christ?” then you simply cannot consider yourself to be a committed intellectual – at least not yet. Let me say that in a different way: if you have never given serious thought to the true identity of the most important individual ever to walk the face of the earth then you are either a) suffering from severe intellectual hernia, or b) possessed of an intellect impaired by a fear of knowing the true answer to the question.
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Let me begin by defending the assertion that Jesus Christ was the most important individual ever to walk the face of the earth. 1) We divide time using the date of Jesus’ birth. 2) More books have been written about Jesus than anyone else in recorded history. Case closed. Now we can move on to the issue of fear and intellectual curiosity.
The options we are given for understanding the identity of Jesus are so limited that no one who is truly intelligent can be behaving rationally if he just avoids the question altogether. Take, for example, my friend who has lived 2/3 of a century on this planet without so much as attempting to work through the options. I don’t want you to be one of those irrational people so let’s get to work.
When addressing the question of Jesus’ identity, there are only four available options. Anyone who has ever read C.S. Lewis or Josh McDowell knows that Jesus was either: 1) A legend, 2) a lunatic, 3) a liar, or 4) the Lord.
The idea that Jesus was merely a legend, as opposed to someone who actually lived, is simply not an option we can take seriously (at least not for long). Independent historical accounts, by that I mean accounts written by non-Christians, are enough to put this option to rest. Jesus is cited by 42 sources within 150 years of his life, and nine of those sources are non-Christian. By contrast, the Roman Emperor Tiberius is only mentioned by 10 sources. If you believe Tiberius existed, how can you not believe in a man who is cited by four times as many people and has had an immeasurably greater impact on history? You can believe that if you wish. But then you risk forfeiting any claim to be considered rational.