Thursday, March 26, 2009

My apologies...

Its been a week--which, by my standards, is far too long between blog posts. The thing is, the stuff I want to write about is really heavy. There's a lot to it. Its not some dumb video or simple story from my day. I've been thinking through the existence of God, the life of Jesus, the problem of evil, and just how powerful God is. Its been quite a journey and these aren't topics to be taken lightly. For the 75-100 people who read my blog on a weekly basis, I know that I don't regularly tell funny stories that keep you laughing through the day and when I talk of writing a blog on a difficult topic that it doesn't surprise you. But nonetheless, I wanted you to know why its been a week since my last post.

So here we go...

I've been reading a lot of articles and watching a lot of videos lately from people who follow the same school of thought: they all think Christianity is complete crap. There's this whole group of people who believe in the "Jesus Myth" (they believe Jesus never really existed). A lot of people think Jesus was a mythical character based on a real human (who lived about a 100 AD) and that he was just another Sun god. Then too, there's lots of people who think there was a real Jesus who lived and taught and did lots of interesting things, but was by no means any type of deity.

What's crazy is: a lot of their arguments are nearly bulletproof.

So I've taken the time to totally reexamine what I belief and why I belief it. But you can't answer any questions about the existence of the God-man Jesus Christ of Nazareth unless you answer some questions about the existence of God.

I believe in God. I believe there is a real being whose existence is much more profound than that of any human. I believe that this God created life on earth (whether literally or by evolution). I also believe that this God is totally unique and that there exists no other being in the universe like him/her/it. But why?

I boiled it down to one point: there are simply things that can be explained no other way. I don't think this universe, with this Milky Way galaxy, with this earth rotating around this sun, with this eco-system, with these humans could exist by accident. While I don't believe all events are meant to happen and that there are no accidents (I'm a big fan of luck and coincidence), I certainly don't think that everything can be explained by us humans. Miraculous events happen. I in no way agree with Jay Gould that we humans are "glorious accidents." All of this just doesn't happen by some fluke in nature. There is too much going on for this all to be a mistake. I believe in a Creator God.

So is there a God? For me, its a definite yes. But what about Jesus?

While I've read, watched and heard A LOT at this point about why there was no Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I have settled on the fact that he did exist. Here's why: someone would have noticed. The New Testament appeared fairly quickly after the life of Jesus. Lots of the letters were floating around with 50 years of Jesus' time on earth. If the New Testament was just a load of crap, someone would have noticed and said something.

{For those who disagree: I hear your argument and admit that there is some merit to it. Its really worth discussing why Paul's letters (some of which were probably written before the Gospels) spend so much time talking about the mythical aspects of Jesus' life (death, burial, and resurrection) and so little time talking about the actual day-to-day life and times of Jesus. Its also worth discussing why so few contemporary writers outside of the New Testament authorship spend any time at all discussing Jesus of Nazareth. (While I think there are reasonable solutions to both of these quandaries that are easily reachable, Christians should be willing to talk about issues like this.)}

So here I am again, believing in a Creator God and in the God-man Jesus Christ of Nazareth... and that only creates more issues.

Here's another fact: there is an overwhelming amount of pain, suffering and evil in this world--but why? I had to get through those first two questions to get to this one, and its much more problematic for me. If God exists and Jesus exists, then why does evil exist?

Working through this problem has totally changed my perspective on my faith. I'm certainly not settled on it, but I think I am looking at it from a better angle now. Its a lot more to write about, so I'm gonna give it another day or two. But I'll get to that last question as soon as I can...


Justin Guest said...

Of course Jesus exists... haven't you seen the passion?