First Person Life


Historicity of Christ is irrelavent?

I've posted on the case of the priest being tried in Italy for claiming that Jesus Christ existed. (1/22/2006 and 1/5/2006). But I must say, I'm disappointed at the legal defense being mounted as well as the lack of any further statements by the Christian community as a whole. Yes, it may sound silly to us. But the overall court case is not at all funny.

He said he told Mautone during the hearing that Righi was not asserting a historical fact when he wrote of Jesus' existence, but rather "an expression of theological principles."

"When Don Righi spoke about Christ's humanity ... he was affirming that he needs to be considered as a man. What his name is, where he comes from or who his parents are is secondary," he said.


Unlike others, I'm not ready to assert that a favorable verdict for Cascioli in this case would make the Italian Courts a laughing stock. This is especially true when even the defendent apparently isn't willing to make the claim that Jesus existed but rather hides behind his existence as "an expression of theological principles" (whatever that means).

However, it can't escape our attention that in this country, what a court says and what people think to be true are two very different things. For instance, a court in California said O.J. Simpson was not guilty. Yet, 77% of respndents of a 2004 NBC survey believe he was guilty.

It can't escape notice that people's attitudes and beliefs are no longer shaped by what is provably true. This is one of the most difficult things to grasp about postmodernism. Propositional truth is irrelavent. It is not embraced nor is it rejected. It simply doesn't matter.

When this is considered in light of recent research about how people react when they already have their mind made up (1/25/2006 post), especially on emotional issues, we have a deadly combination, don't we?

What is a more natural position for fallen man to take? (a) That Jesus Christ didn't exist, so the God of Christianity is a false God, so I don't have to worry about this whole SIN thing, I can just live my life any-old-way I want. -OR- (b) That Jesus Christ existed, that the Biblical narrative is true?

I think we know that fallen mankind would rather live under the delusion of (A). And this is what propaganda surrounding this case allows people to do.

The devil is a wonderful psychologist.

He's watched humanity for thousands of years and knows every weakness.

He's stripped us from our dependence on authority when the concept of feudalism and empires was destroyed.

He moved that into the church in the reformation (I'm not saying the church didn't need it, I'm just pointing out some of the negatives).

He encouraged democracy and the concept of "self rule" and got that ingraned in peoples psyche. Now many churches feel that they must cater to the popular masses just like politicians do -- bowing and scraping to their fickle desires -- abandoning truth because it just doesn't poll well.

He's moved us away from even testing and contemplating whether or not an objective reality exists and whether or not it is even knowable -- throwing the world into self-delusion and giving everyone license to construct their own reality centered around themselves (i.e. postmodernism).

Now he comes along and puts it into some crackpot atheists head to start a global discussion (thanks to the Internet and the modern Media) about whether or not Jesus Christ -- who achieved victory over Satan on the cross in a crushing defeat -- proven by his resurrection from the dead on the third day -- even existed.

Notice, Satan isn't saying Christ didn't defeat him, he's trying to wipe it from the consciousness that Christ even existed. Then he doesn't have to argue about whether Christ won or not...

The way I read the situation, this is certainly a demonic and evil plot. We know that will not prevail against the church of God because He will always preserve a remnant... but we also recognize, He often does so in spite of our own unfaithfulness.

So now for the questions: In a world where we are ruled by our preconceived notions (i.e. deluded) and reject even a rational/propositional approach to truth (i.e. postmodern) -- what impact does just the existence of this law suit have on our ability to proclaim the truth and have it heard? What is the impact of allowing the discussion to be had around us while we sit silently? Ought we just denounce it as "silly" and leave it at that? If not, what ought our response be?

I don't really have answers... but doesn't anyone else see a problem here?


  • Of course it matters.

    It matters in two different senses.

    It matters, first, because we aren't quite so far gone yet that the irrationality of the proposition that Jesus is not an historical figure is at all hard to figure out to anyone who does his homework.

    It matters, secondly, because the One the intellectually dishonest try to suggest doesn't exist will have the last laugh.

    I'd check out the logic of those alternatives you suggest, though. It's a little more complicated than that! ;)

    By Blogger Bob Waters, at 4/23/2006 5:30 AM  

  • Oh- and as to the alternatives- we point out the rather devastating reasons why it's silly- and let those who are beyond reason scoff while we shake our heads.

    There are things which are best left to One who is in control as we are not. Outcomes- the spirit of the contemporary Church to the contrary- are God's concern, not ours.

    By Blogger Bob Waters, at 4/23/2006 5:33 AM  

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