Friday, October 18, 2013

KILLING JESUS - A History


Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard have done it again! Killing Jesus is right on par with their two other bestselling page-turners, viz., Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy.

As a Christian (Presbyterian and Reformed) I was a wee bit apprehensive while reading Killing Jesus. I wondered how O’Reilly and Dugard were going to handle such an emotive subject as the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I need not have worried. They did a fine job.

The Baptist will be happy that in Killing Jesus Jesus is dunked under water by John the Baptizer and the Roman Catholic will be pleased that Jesus has retained His long hair as depicted in Roman Catholic iconography! However, unlike these old chestnuts, some other controversial issues were footnoted.   

As the title suggests, Killing Jesus – A History, is just that. Its focus is on the history rather than the theology pertaining to Jesus. However, it is impossible to separate the two because Jesus did everything according to the Scriptures and fulfilled the same. Therefore, readers who know the Scriptures may see the occasional question mark appear before their eyes.

Bottom line: Thank you Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard for taking the time to present your diligent research in such a readably interesting fashion. Your book would not leave me alone until I had devoured it!        

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WHERE DO YOU COME FROM?



A bridesmaid invited me to dance with her at a wedding reception. I declined. I do not understand the concept of dancing. She said I was “over-thinking” it. I suppose I am guilty of “over-thinking” at times.

Little Johnny asked his mum where he came from. She spent an hour explaining the “birds and the bees”. Then she asked why he had asked. “O,” he said, “my friend said that he came from Toowoomba!” Where do you come from? At school they told us something about pond-scum over gazillions of years growing arms and legs, a brain and even learning how to dance! This type of “over-thinking” concerns me. It devalues life by turning us into bags of primordial soup (with strands of alpha-getti, DNA)? This goo-to-you sort of thinking troubles me when someone who comes to me seeking advice views himself as a beaker of chemicals. How am I supposed to help those who dehumanise themselves in this way?

Where are we from? Are we just congealed chemicals sloshing around in a plastic bag like goldfish from the Ekka? Did freak accidents produce the man that comes into my office to tell me his troubles? Maybe he is just from Toowoomba!

William of Ockham (1285-1349) was not one to “over-think” things unnecessarily. “Ockham’s Razor” states that in two competing views the simplest view is often correct. The Christian view is simple. The triune God created us in His own image. Evolutionism is an extremely complex philosophy. At school I was taught that man is an accidental product of time and chance, i.e., millions of years in which millions of accidental (but beneficial!) mutations occurred producing life from non-life. The former view is called “Creationism”, the latter “Evolutionism”. These are mutually exclusive. They are at loggerheads in the ongoing “Culture Wars” in which, for the time being, Evolutionism has gained the upper-hand in popularity. You may disagree but, as I see it, one of the downsides to Evolutionism’s ascendancy is loss of meaning for the individual and loss of dignity for humanity. Human beings used to be viewed as special but now we are simply the same as the animals. Now there is no rhyme or reason to life, no design, grand or otherwise, no meaning and no purpose. We just are! The final scene of the “Perfect Storm” movie springs to mind. The camera withdraws on high to show a “man overboard” drowning in the vast ocean!

Meanwhile back to “Ockham’s Razor.” When little Johnny asks me (the Creationist) where he is from, I say, “God.” However, the (honest) Evolutionist alleges that he does not know. Regardless, in this we see then that the former gives Johnny an anchor and meaning in his life (i.e., God, his Maker), while the latter cruelly leaves him all adrift at sea. Johnny grows up not knowing where he comes from, who he is, where he is going. He has no reference point in life. He is surrounded by many like-minded people who remind him there is no good or evil in the world, that there is no meaning or purpose to his life, and definitely no God of the Bible! Thus Johnny is dehumanised.

In the past during times of war it has been beneficial to dehumanise the enemy. For example, it makes it easier for soldiers to kill an enemy that is no better than an animal. You can shoot a wild pig, can’t you? Well, these people are worse than wild pigs! – that sort of thing. Alas! Whether you are an Evolutionist or a Creationist you must agree that bringing human beings down to the level of animals is going to have an effect on the society in which we live, mostly, if not always, negative. Therefore, in the present “Culture Wars” we can expect many casualties.

Give little Johnny back his dignity. Give him meaning and purpose in life. Tell him about the Triune God who made him, for, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” Genesis 1:1.