Hard as this may be to believe, there are actually people who don’t believe that there was ever a real, historical Jesus Christ. Their arguments are on par with people who deny Shakespeare wrote his plays, Holocaust deniers, AIDS deniers, and Jesse Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory series.
But they won’t go away. Worse, probably 95% of the Internet atheist movement counts themselves among those who deny a man named Jesus of Nazareth, described by the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and many others ever walked this planet and performed miracles before being sentenced to die on a Roman cross.
I’ve decided that I won’t debate the question of the existence of Jesus anymore. It’s really not an open question. No serious scholar of history or of the New Testament, Christian or not, actually questions this issue. Even scholars of comparative mythology question whether or not Jesus’ stories had their origin in pagan mythology! In fact, it may be the other way around.
Well, Christians, historians, and non-Christian comparative religious scholars aren’t the only ones who think that the idea Jesus never existed is preposterous. Of all people, Bart Ehrman, thinks the idea and the arguments supporting it are terrible. And he tells the Infidel Guy so during an interview:
It has been a great honor for me: J.W. Wartick has invited me to be a contributor to his new blog, Christian Diversity–Mere Christians. On the blog, we will discuss the so-called non-critical issues of Christianity in a friendly manner.
The central issue of Christianity is following Christ. Salvation is attained by grace through faith, and nothing else can add to or take away from that. That’s a humbling thought, isn’t it? You really can’t do anything salvific apart from the drawing of the Father and the Atonement secured by the Son. Believe in that, and you’re a Christian. A Christian who is true of heart will also accomplish good works in the name of the Lord, but that’s only a natural follow-up to the actual salvation secured by God and not a necessary component of it. The good that we do is purely an act of love toward God and to our fellow humans, not an attempt to win (as one atheist put it) “magic Jesus points” for a better spot in heaven. Our spot was secured long ago.
Outside of the three ecumenical creeds (the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed), the contributors to this site vary wildly in background, belief, and theological acumen. It promises to be an interesting discussion. The first one is on original sin. Head over and join the discussion!