Zeitgeist: The Persuasive Power of an Awful Argument
by Jon Morrison
“Oh man. If this is true, I’m a total moron.”
I stayed up late one night watching an online documentary known as Zeitgeist. This Youtube sensation highlights three major frauds hoisted on mankind: the hoax of historic Christianity, 9-11 as an inside job by the US government, and a conspiracy involving the international banking system.
Zeitgeist was originally released in June 2007 and got 50 million viewers in first couple weeks. Since then its makers have released sequels that have been viewed by countless others. I encounter many guys in their twenties and thirties who consider this film the death blow to Christianity.
In this post I will focus on the part of the documentary that relates to Christianity for that is the area I am most concerned with. It is my hope that no reader will abandon their trust in Christian truth claims over some convincingly illustrated, yet poorly argued documentary such as Zeitgeist.
When I first watched Zeitgeist, I confess that I was unqualified to refute any of its claims (if only my Bible College offered classes in Christian apologetics!). The documentary claimed that Christianity is just a collection of pagan myths that predate the first century, the era that supposedly birthed the Christian movement. The producers of Zeitgeist also claim that Jesus Christ never existed; that the one Christians worship as God is actually just an expression of a movement known as Astro-theology or Sun worship that transcends many cultures, religions and ages in history.
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If Zeitgeist is correct, all Christians are gullible, wrong and wasting their lives.
If that’s true, Grounded in the Gospel should fold immediately and it’s contributors should get jobs as pizza delivery drivers. If nothing else, the tips would be better.
If Zeitgeist is wrong, we must carry on with the mission; life as usual. Jesus would still be the Son of God. He would still be the Saviour of the world and Christians would have a mandate to take this truth to the corners of the world (including online).
There is a lot on the line I suppose.
In the Bible, Peter says that it is the Christians job to always be on defense against the any attacks that come against their faith (1 Peter 3:15). Thankfully, apologists have done a thorough job of defending Christianity against Zeitgeist’s claims. Five years since I first watched the documentary, I thought I might write a response of my own regarding why I think Zeitgeist and its chief academic consultant, D.M. Murdock (under the alias here of “Acharya S”) are wrong. I will try to keep the points brief and easy to remember so you can be prepared for anyone insisting that Christianity is false because they watched this documentary…
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