Search for 'real' Jesus fruitless
Kevin Wood, pastor, Eudora First Southern Baptist Church, 1103 Main St.:
The "search for the historical Jesus" is code language for those who are convinced that the Jesus of Scripture could not be the real Jesus. Those who are dissatisfied with the Jesus whom they find in Scripture go on a fruitless search for "the real Jesus."
The primary thing those who are seeking the historical Jesus are looking for is a nonmiraculous person - a Jesus who is not divine. The Jesus of the New Testament is offensive to them, so, they perpetually search for a Jesus that fits their own preconceptions. They have eschewed the real Jesus of Scripture for a bogie Jesus that they will never find.
Of course, the reason they will never find the real Jesus is he is not what they want. For them, the real Jesus is hidden in plain sight. Their dilemma illustrates one of the key premises of Christianity. That premise is the centrality of faith.
One cannot believe in Jesus because one wants to believe. Faith is a gift from God (see Ephesians 2:8). Faith is the key for those who are on the perpetual search for a historical Jesus. If they would get out of the maze of their own making, they must accept the Jesus of Scripture by faith.
Faith is exactly what the inventors of the search for the mythical, historical Jesus want to avoid. They will tolerate anything but faith. They would rather go on their perpetual journey of skepticism. The last thing they really want to find is the real Jesus.
However, they had better be careful, because as C.S. Lewis said of Aslan, "He is not a tame lion." Our Lord Jesus is also not tame. One day all searching will end, and all will see the real Jesus of the Bible face to face.
As for me and my house, we love the Jesus of the Bible. Our search is over!
- Send e-mail to Kevin Wood at KWood50322@aol.com.
Separating Christ ignores history
Shaun LePage, pastor, Community Bible Church, 906 N. 1464 Road:
Is it important? Depends on what you want. If you want a religion and a Jesus you're more comfortable with, then you must differentiate between the historical Jesus and the Jesus of the Bible.
The Bible Jesus said outrageous things such as "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." He claimed to come down from heaven. He accepted worship. He said those who did not believe in him were condemned. But, if you want the true Jesus - the Jesus who can give you eternal life - then it is important to know that the historical Jesus is the Bible Jesus.
Is it possible? It is only possible to differentiate between the historical Jesus and the Bible Jesus if you are willing to ignore the facts - history and archaeology have confirmed the accuracy of the Bible.
You have to ignore the fact that the trustworthiness of the biblical documents is well-established. You have to ignore the fact that the so-called scholars who differentiate between the historical Jesus and the Bible Jesus don't stand on scholarship, but on presuppositions and opinions.
But, if you want the real Jesus - it's not possible to differentiate between the historical Jesus and the Bible Jesus. They are one and the same. And, the implications are enormous: If the Bible does present the historical Jesus, then Jesus was not just an interesting historical figure or a great teacher. Either he was crazy and a great deceiver - in the same category as Charles Manson - or he is exactly who the Bible reports he is: God the savior. The only way to God.
- Send e-mail to Shaun LePage at firstname.lastname@example.org.