It seems that every year like clockwork, around the times of Christmas and Easter, one of the major news magazines in the US does a feature article on Christ or Christianity. This past Easter saw yet another which reported the findings of seventy or eighty Biblical scholars. It was reported that their ultimate conclusion was that Christianity was basically a myth, and that Jesus, after his crucifixion, was probably buried in a shallow grave and eaten by dogs. Keep in mind that these were Biblical scholars who teach our children in colleges and seminaries. If this is the educational truth that our youth is growing up under, I cannot see us as having much of a future.
In response to their “findings” I hardly know where to begin. Firstly, I’m sure their evidence for such a conclusion as theirs is highly biased. After all, their superior knowledge should qualify them to dismiss anything with which they already disagree. Unfortunately they fit perfectly in Romans 1:22 as those who “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”, for God has already shown himself to them in a myriad of ways; they have chosen to just ignore it.
But one of my biggest questions for these academics who profess to know God is, are they born-again? The Bible says that you cannot begin to know God unless you are born of the spirit, for the spirit will lead you into all truth. Without the Holy Spirit you cannot fully understand the meaning and value of Scripture, because it is spiritually discerned. I don’t know anyone who has been truly born-again who does not believe every word of the Bible and is unwilling to dismiss any part of it as a fable. I’m not saying they know everything, but they believe, understand, and seek to follow all that they know. I would then compare these modern scholars to the Pharisees of Jesus’ day who thought they knew God, when in reality, they only knew stuff about him.
If a Holy Jesus is a myth perhaps these experts could also explain whose power it is that changes an alcoholic or drug addict into a new person. Mind over matter? Yea, the mind of Christ! Personally I would rather be taught Christianity by someone who has spent their life on the mission field in a third world country than by a doctor in long robes who has spent his years in a room surrounded by books. Like a mechanic, he may have read all about how to fix a car but unless he’s opened the hood and utilized his tools, he carries very little weight behind his authority.
“For you see your calling brethren, how that not many men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the mighty.” (I Cor 1:26-27) And to quote Jesus in Matthew 11:25, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”
I may not have a framed degree on my wall but I have the Holy Spirit within me and can recognize folly from truth. So, despite these new, educated opinions on Jesus and Christianity, I firmly believe something different, and unlike these scholars, also know that the redeemer of my soul was not eaten by dogs.