The Poached Egg Paradox
By Chuck Colson
C.S. Lewis famously said that anyone who believes Jesus was a great moral teacher but not the Son of God has a difficult choice, for Jesus can’t be a moral teacher if he lied about being the Son of God. So one either has to take him for who he said he is or dismiss him as a lunatic — on the level of a man who thinks he’s a poached egg. Well, this witticism makes people laugh; most of us, of course, pay no attention to the thought that Jesus was a lunatic. But not Lee Strobel. The former journalist had already investigated many other claims against Christianity. Now he wanted to know: Was it possible that the man millions of Christians worship was actually out of his mind?
For the answer, Strobel went to one of the most distinguished psychologists in Christendom: Dr. Gary Collins. Standing in Collins’s office, Strobel pointed to a nearby mental hospital. Over there, he said, “I’m sure we’d find some people who claim that they’re God. We’d say they were insane. Jesus said he was God — was he crazy, too?”
“No,” Collins laughingly replied.
But Strobel persisted. After all, he said, “people suffering from delusional psychosis may appear rational much of the time, yet can have grandiose beliefs” about who they are. Some attract followers who worship them. “Maybe,” Strobel suggested, “that’s what happened with Jesus.”
Maybe — but unlikely, given the evidence…
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