Friday, November 22, 2013

Killing Jesus Christ

Killing Jesus Christ: Book Introduction

Of all the words penned about the death of Jesus Christ, none have persisted more regularly than ''Savior.'' Jesus had a purposed redemptive mission, which we've been properly reminded again and again.

killing jesus book bill oreillyBut this slights the history many contemporary authors tell us. Several modern writers deny that Christ died to atone for sin. They claim that He came to show men how to live a moral life. In contrast to the assumptions of modernity, Christ’s death wasn't mainly a model to be followed—it was first and foremost a saving act. It provided real expiation and propitiation. Christ’s mission flowed from this core determination and it makes no sense if severed from its atoning purpose.

To understand the chief reason for the death of Christ, it starts with the Fall, sin, and humanity’s alienation from God (Romans 3:23-26). The cross places great emphasis on human depravity and sin, the limitations of what men can achieve, and the tragic nature of wayward-religious authority.

During Jesus’ ministry, the religious leaders of Israel felt that events were moving in the wrong direction and that a spiritual catastrophe would befall the Jewish people if Christ was not stopped. Nonetheless, those who followed the priestly leaders ultimately fell on the losing side of history. Indeed, a dreadful descent struck Israel, but it came from rejecting Christ and not following Him. Within a generation of its official rejection of Christ, as predicted by Him, the temple, the priesthood, and Sadducean Judaism were soon after wiped away by terrible judgments. That which arose in the land of Israel was barrenness, desolation, awfulness, and misshapenness.

Christ died, and life came to individual Christians and the church universal—His movement would eventually sweep up the whole Roman Empire. Israel, and soon after Rome, would only be able to look back sadly at their customs, traditions, and foundations that were eroded. What is required? That which Christ’s death and resurrection provided: life and a real restoration of hope. The recovery of Roman and Jewish souls, as well as all men, is the leading necessity: the salvation that was provided by the work of Christ.

Jesus agreed with the priests about the need for atonement as well as a few other things. However, He transformed Judaism from a work-righteousness religion to a grace-based kingdom, centered on certain truths about a holy God and sinful men. In the early part of His ministry, Christ prophesied, ''I will be arrested and crucified, but I will rise from the grave on the third day.”

Jesus kept His promise. He also described His church as a driving force throughout history, leading to an empire of grace, truth, and peace. He seemed to regard love's triumph as a historical inevitability. He couldn't look at an advancing church as anything other than the delightful emanation and extension of His resurrection.

Bill O’ Reilly, Skeptics, and Killing Jesus

Bill O’ Reilly, author of Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy, declared that Jesus merely started “a philosophy”1 and much of the biblical narratives are allegorical and symbolic—not in fact real history. He also suggested that Christians do not worship Jesus Christ but they worship the “spirit of Jesus.”2 He’s convinced that Christ’s main undertaking was to teach men how to live properly. I have no doubt that Christ’s moral teaching is as important as it is profound, yet His primary mission was to die to set men free. Many other skeptics and liberals have mounted quests for the historical Jesus and have landed not so far from where O’ Reilly takes his readers. In the end, the Bible holds, as the skeptics have found nothing. But skeptics will continue to publish books about their new theories on the life and death of Christ even though we have an infallible account of Him in the New Testament.

Beyond Bill O’ Reilly, few disbelieving sleuths believe that Jesus Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 4:5) and rose from the grave in victory (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). I do. And not only that, I know with full certainty. Some contend Christ was a good teacher who died because of a tragic set of accidents. Still a few others say that Christ never existed, thus He never died.

Of course, theories abound in cases of history where evidence is scarce. But as the reader will discover, there exists not only deep layers of historical data for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, there are also potent logical reasons why such must be the case.

My goal is to lay out the evidence for the truth of the Gospel’s narratives and demonstrate that theories suggested by skeptics (O’ Reilly, Aslan, Ehrman, etc.) not only have several faults, but what they pen, especially when it is inconsistent with the scriptural accounts of Christ, cannot possibly be true. I will argue:  

  1. God is.

  1. His word has been revealed.

  1. Scripture reveals the truth about Christ’s arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, and resurrection; the contrary is plainly impossible.

Indeed, Jesus Christ died. He was crucified. Nevertheless, His illegal execution was merely the beginning of a comprehensive transformation in history. Since Jesus’ death and resurrection, it often appears that the kingdom of man and the kingdom of God have traded places. Christ's outlook, however, was a bold and challenging assurance. The kingdom Jesus launched is the one we still see expanding today.

killing jesus a history oreilly

No comments:

Post a Comment