Think Of The Homeless

There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Historicity of the New Testament Part 4

Historicity of 
the New Testament

Once it has been established that the writings of the New Testament are authentic historical documents, written by contemporaries and often eye-witnesses of the events described therein, we can then examine the persons and events with confidence so that the real nature and purpose can be ascertained. This is not the time for examination of elusive theological or philosophical questions, but the point of inquiry that deals with facts determined by objective investigation.

At this point, divine inspiration is a question for another time. The concern at this point is rather, whether or not the New Testament presents Christ as divine in origin and essence, or perhaps instead, as truly and only human.

If we find in the writings that he is indeed shown  to be deity, then there are a few options that need to be considered. Was this all just a big plot? Were the writers involved in a long term subterfuge to enable themselves to be leaders in some new religious movement? Or were they under the influence of some mass delusion? Did they think Christ was God only because they needed and wanted to believe and were experiencing a kind of group mental aphasia? If they were deceived, did Christ intentionally deceive them? Or perhaps he too was under a deception, either by the persuasion of others or from his own suffering at the hands of some mental illness that we can only guess about. We can study these possibilities within the writings themselves, once they have been found to be verified with authentic dates and authorship. Therefore, armed with intelligence and not just blind hope, we can decide objectively whether or not Jesus Christ truly is the Son of God and the only way to salvation, as Christians believe. 

It is, of course, not possible to free oneself from  subjective factors on an issue like this. Even though we may be able to prove that all the witnesses to stated events agree on the ground floor concept behind the deity of Christ, one can still choose on his own initiative not to believe it. And ultimately, even with glaring evidences on both sides of this kind of issue, it is always a final decision for the person as to whom they are going to believe.

To any argument, a further question or objection can always be devised, if a person is clever enough, and there are many clever ones out there. Even though we can back an objector into a corner from which there is no escape, the person can always become emotional and avoid the issue anyhow, or perhaps delay a decision until further thought can be applied. They can also take a kind of refuge and satisfaction in the position of many who do not believe also, or perhaps simply stand on an issue of relevance. On the other hand, if you are a person who is interested in solid Christian evidence on this subject, there is plenty to go around for everyone who will lend an ear. 

So let’s get started next time in part 5.

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