““Sometimes Christian apologists say there are only three options
to who Jesus was: a liar, a lunatic or the Lord.
But there is a fourth option — a legend.” —Bart Ehrman”
You know the saying: “Ideas have consequences. Bad ideas have victims.”
Frankly, I think that’s a solemn truth every thinking person on this planet should understand.
In fact, I think it should be a vital thread of truth prominently woven throughout the very fabric of education from kindergarten through graduate school.
Unfortunately, we don’t “get” it. And as a result, the number of victims continues to needlessly mount.
While I could make the case from multiple vantage points (among the most salient being the tens of millions of lives lost just in the last century due to ideologies such as Nazism and Communism), for now I want to bring this closer to home. First off, anyone seriously committed to truth will eventually encounter epistemology, the age-old branch of philosophy that wrestles with what knowledge is and the various ways in which we can genuinely know something.
In a helpful definition, John Polkinghorne has written,
“Episteme is the thing on which we stand (epi means ‘upon,’ and [hi]stanai means ‘to stand’), and epistemology is the search for such a foundation.”
Now here, surprisingly for many people, are life and death questions:
● “What does one do when the ground evaporates?”
● “Where — and on what — are you left standing?”
Well, tragically for many today, an answer to the first question is suicide.
You see, in addition to being Homo sapiens, humans are homo poeta — the makers of meaning. And when the very ground of meaning appears to evaporate due to the relentless attacks of relativism and nihilism in a post-truth culture, the results can be quite deadly. Literally.
In fact, America’s current suicide epidemic is due in large part to “deaths of desperation” — people who have simply lost any sense of meaning or purpose in life. A similar condition was the cause of countless deaths in Nazi concentration camps. This sense of existential despair was described by Dr. Viktor Frankl, a survivor of Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, as a state of “futurelessness.”
And exactly what, you might now be wondering, does this have to do with the notion of Jesus being a “legend”? Simply this:
The constant erosion and eventual evaporation of truth can be as deadly to faith as the erosion of meaning can be to human life itself.
Now here’s my point.
Many apologists would claim that the massive defection from the faith of today’s young people is due largely to the withering attacks on the Bible and its supposed unreliability as a guide to truth. After all, it’s really myth. Fiction. Fantasy. Legend.
But I think that assessment misses the mark. No one who has been paying attention would deny the relentlessness of these attacks. But that is a secondary cause in the loss of faith. The primary cause is that too few Christians were equipped to debunk these claims — to halt them in their tracks! In short, the skeptics have won, not due to superiority of their offense (evidence and argument), but because of our feeble defense!
That’s why I want to send you a special DVD. It’s called Fragments of Truth and it asks, “Can we trust the Bible?”
Frankly, I think every serious Christian should have a copy. It establishes the astonishing consistency and reliability of New Testament texts, and would be terrifi c as a gift to skeptics as well as those seriously and honestly wrestling with their faith.
Please click here for excerpts under the description section. And I’d love to send you a copy of Fragments of Truth for your gift this month to support the outreaches of CRI that are equipping so many to stand their ground for life and truth.
…because Life and Truth matter,
Host, Bible Answer Man Broadcast
P.S. To level the playing field (or battlefield!) when it comes to attacks on the Bible, Christians need the knowledge that comes from Fragments of Truth!