Jesus today has been the victim of deconstruction theology. In an attempt to remove the Jesus of history from the Jesus of faith, a whole lot of views have been advanced in an attempt to explain why we cannot believe in the Jesus of the Bible.
The common thread found in all such literature is that the authors of it begin with their idea of who Jesus was and what we should understand him to be, and then they reconstruct history to make it comply with their views. What we find then is not so much a scholarly examination of evidence but rather a fanciful journey of each author's own mind as they try to make Jesus into what they think he should be. To their dismay, the Jesus of Scripture does not go so easily.
Dr. Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, writes, "The origins of Christianity are not mythical, rooted in the shimmering hope that a mere man could be made into a god. The Jesus proclaimed by the early church is the same Jesus who was born in Bethlehem, walked this earth, died and rose again in the city of Jerusalem. He is the same Jesus whose words and deeds convinced his followers that he was the long awaited Messiah. The Jesus of history and the Christ of faith are one and the same person!" (Lutzer, Erwin, Slandering Jesus: Six lies people tell about the man who said he was God, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Carol Stream IL 2007 p. 142).
There are those of course who claim that the disciples fabricated Jesus as deity. Volumes have been written in this regard, but they never stand. To claim that the disciples hatched a plot to elevate a mere man to the status of God goes against everything we know about the disciples, about Jewish culture and about history.
For these men to make a mere mortal into immortal God would have been blasphemy - they simply would not have done it. These men came to believe that Jesus was and is God in the flesh. They are eyewitnesses of his glory and they record what they knew and experienced and no amount of historical two-stepping can change those facts.
I am always amazed at how those who want to create a Jesus after their own views, will accept from Scripture that which agrees with their perception of Jesus but wantonly, willfully and randomly reject anything that doesn't fit.
I am equally amazed at how these ‘scholars' so quickly reject the vast body of evidence for the gospels while accepting as authoritative books that have over and over again been proven to be bogus (namely, the Gnostic gospels that we are hearing so much about today).
I am amazed, but not surprised. In 2 Peter 3 the Bible describes such people as being driven not by intellect but by their own sinful desires (v.3) and who deliberately twist the Scriptures so as to support their personal perversions (v.16).
The Jesus of faith is the Jesus of history, rest assured in that fact. Do not allow those who are trying desperately to distort the clear evidence of history regarding Jesus to bring you to doubt.
The words of Scripture apply as much to these men as they did to those who initially rejected him: "For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.' There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved," (Acts 4:11-12, NLT).
The world is full of prophets, gurus and religious teachers. But there is only one Savior.
Dr. John Pearrell is pastor of Gateway Community Church in Covington. He can be heard Thursdays on the radio on WMVV 90.7 (FM) at 8:30 p.m.