Sunday, September 30, 2007

C.S. Lewis quote-of-the-week

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said [e.g., 'I forgive your sins.'] would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic‑‑ on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg‑‑ or else he would be the devil of Hell...You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him...or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

-- Mere Christianity, book 2, chapter 3

I think it was Josh McDowell who phrased this as Lord, Liar, or Lunatic. In any case, if the Gospels are accurate on this matter, then Christ must be one of the three.

Dallas Willard relates a version of this sentiment-- the "liberal" view that Jesus was a great teacher, but we can't accept (all of) his teachings.

Or as Paul puts it: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God...Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles..." (I Corinthians 1:18,22-23)

Of course, Christ delivered both miraculous signs and wisdom-- and yet those were not (really) enough for those who wanted to believe otherwise. And thus it is today-- and always...

So, who is Jesus Christ to you: Lord, Liar or Lunatic?


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