Jesus (not) Christ: Preaching the Bad News in the News
Have you heard the “good news“ of the Jesus of history? It goes like this:
A man so loved the world that he railed against the powers that be, only to fail and end up with billions of followers over thousands of years living their lives in his name under false pretenses.
Maybe that’s not such good news. Let me try again:
A nice guy with a good ethics curriculum did some teaching and then lied to his students by telling them they can find hope in him, be forgiven of all the stuff they don’t need forgiveness for, and then defeat death.
Okay, that sounds like bad news. Just give me a minute. I’m trying to get inside the head of a news contributor with a new book about Jesus (not) Christ. This author celebrates modeling your life after Jesus the man-and-only-man, not Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
(Click HERE for an in depth analysis of the “historical Jesus” from Dr. William Lane Craig, Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California)
If Jesus was not the son of God, why would that be a good idea? He rightly states that you can be a “follower” of Jesus without being a Christian. Many people “follow” Jesus out of curiosity, without any commitment to model their life after His. But he incorrectly states that you can be a Christian without being a follower of Jesus. The term Christian comes from the term Jesus Christ.
What shall we call the followers of the Jesus of history? Histrians?
What this author describes as the “good news” of Jesus, I refer to as the “bad news of the Jesus of history“:
For the world so loved to deny God, that they gave back His only begotten son, so that whosoever believes in Him should not flourish, but have everlasting delusion.
Following anyone based on a lie, lunacy, or false pretenses is a bad idea. Following Jesus-the-man-and-only-man would be a bad idea.
(Click HERE for more discussion on the person of Jesus by lead apologist for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Canada, Andy Bannister)
But Christians do not follow the Jesus of history. They follow Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Lord and God of all. There is only one God, with one Son, who delivered one message, and it truly is “good news“:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 (NIV)
Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:21-23, many will follow Him and call out, “Lord, Lord,” to whom He will say, “I never knew you.”
Do you know Jesus, or are you just following Him?
About Jason B. Ladd
Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.