Mad, bad,or the Son of God

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by cavalier, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

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    There is an argument which runs that Jesus was mad, bad or else must have been the Son of God; that he he could not have been simply a good man or a great teacher.
    I would love to know what people here think about this.

    Thanks
     
  2. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I am thinking this is in reference to something C.S. Lewis wrote. I have seen a few references pointing to Lewis as having said something very similar, but I have not seen what it was Lewis actually wrote.

    While Lewis is a very strong apologist for Christianity, and a pretty good writer besides, I don't think he had in mind to reconcile the mythical Jesus with the historical Jesus. Consequently, I believe his argument to have been formed soley from the Bible with no regard for extra-Biblical sources. I add this knowing I might have to retract if it can be shown to me that he did in fact reference other sources as well in formulating his famous statement.
     
  3. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Here's a place to start:
    Lewis's trilemma--Wikipedia
     
  4. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Thank you seattlegal!

    from the wiki link seattlegal provided

    I don't think I am ready to recant just yet. Again it looks like Lewis either was not familiar with redaction, and/or did not consider the later influence of politics in the formation (and reconstitution) of canon, nor the merits and demerits of pagan apologetic influence of that time. In other words, Lewis is limiting his view to the mythical Jesus, without accounting for the historical Jesus.

    But then, that is my heretical take, and I doubt few others will agree.
     
  5. Penguin

    Penguin Member

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    Hi Cav,
    This is something I used to think about a lot and these are my thoughts.
    If Jesus was mad and deluded then I believe it would not have been possible for him to produce what came out of his mouth with his words & teachings, and his actions with healing. If he was trying to fulfill prophecy which he read at the time he would have known it would result in a very painful death indeed for him. This would make him deluded or an imposter. However, a lot of the prophecies he did fill were simply beyond his control (his birth & death being two examples)

    If Jesus was mad or deluded nobody would have bothered writing the New Testament, who'd want to read teachings based on an imposter?
    Being mad/bad/deluded is evil, Jesus didn't represent that. Simply, if Jesus was mad or deluded his disciples and the public would not have followed him, given themselves to him, and then died for him.
    A lot of people were cornered and faced with a painful and brutal death. Hardly any de-nounced their faith for Christ. People wouldn't die in that way for a lunatic who was false.
    So I guess it leaves some choices:-

    1. Jesus was a good teacher, tried to fill prophecy but went too far and paid the ultimate price (possible)
    2. He was an imposter and deluded (impossible)
    3. He was the son of god on earth (possible)
    4. He didn't exist (impossible)
    So that's 50-50 for possible & impossible. So it's good teacher or son of god?
    My thoughts.
     
  6. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Josh McDowell uses the same argument in More Than a Carpenter in chapter 2 which is called "Lord, Liar, or Lunatic". The argument goes that he must have been God, evil, or crazy but not just a prophet -- since (the author insists) he claimed to be God. Its a redundant argument in my opinion. It assumes that Jesus was claiming to God, and then proceeds to prove that 'obviously' if Jesus was claiming that, then he couldn't think of himself as just a teacher or prophet. Its a feelgood book for those who want to reassure themselves. I admit I don't remember all of it, but you can read a lot of it on books.google.com .
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Is it possible that we all fit in the same boat?

    ie the continually begotten of the only begotten?

    He and the rest of us born human, living a human existence, in the earthly plane only to sometime realize we are the created of the creator, spiritual beings, children of G!d?
     
  8. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    How would you distinguish between the two?

    But it looks to me that Lewis was going by what Jesus said, that is, His teachings, not by any miracles or actions He committed:

    "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell."

    So it boils down to what Jesus said about Himself, or to be more precise, what His disciples said He said about Himself. Now you are getting into the Jesus Seminar waters. Did Jesus really say what the NT accounts record?
     
  9. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    I think this is the crux of the matter. The words he spoke do not have a tinge of madness in them. They are psychologically of a sound mind and demeaner. And they have a certain ring to them expressed form a the spirit of a noble and truthful character. Therefore the premise is that Jesus could not have been mad nor have any underlying deceptive agenda.

    But there have been followers of mad men who espoused a certain philosophy throughout history (Hitler and Mein Kampf come to mind), so your premise is false. But most of these men made their gain through aggressive, forceful means, while Jesus resorted to passive mens.
     
  10. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Thin ol' line between greatness and stupidity, bravery and fear, genius and insanity.
     
  11. LeoSalinas22

    LeoSalinas22 merely a shadow...

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    i don't think it matters who Yehoshua was. what does matter is that we learn from His experiences and implement those lessons into our very lives. not only His, but from the Patriarchs and the Prophets in the TANACH. or any person that comes across our path in life. their pain has to become our pain. their happiness has to become ours. i think that is what Yehoshua meant that we should all be as one. there is a wealth of lessons and wisdom from how these people lived their lives. on top of that, we have to remember that these men and women were human... just like us here. on cr or on planet earth. we are all alike but yet very different. to me, all we have our our own experiences to make our own judgments. the men before us, lets not forget them or debate about who they were. lets learn from them as we learn from each other here. in turn, i think we'll be doing a good thing in God's Eyes. just my silly thoughts.
     
  12. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Exchanging about what we think is beneficial but limited. It leads to the next question:



    How can we come "to know" in order to answer this question to our own satisfaction?
     
  13. Eclectic Mystic

    Eclectic Mystic Member

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    I'm not aware of Jesus going out of his way to fulfill any prophecy. Pilate didn't even believe that he "claimed to be" the King of the Jews (John 19:21-22)
     
  14. dailogue is the best

    dailogue is the best New member

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    He was neither mad, nor bad..... He was a great, man, teacher, and prophet....
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Matthew26:52Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

    53Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
    54But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
    55In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. 56But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
     
  16. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Does that in some way have to do with 2 Samuel 12:10? Theoretically, this means that as long as any king sits upon David's throne, there will be a sword against it. If so, it could partially explain why Jesus left as well as why a sword appears in the story.
     
  17. Eclectic Mystic

    Eclectic Mystic Member

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    OK, and?
     
  18. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    and if that is the case then why is the sword upon Jerusalem with no king on David's throne (Luke 21 below), and what happens if someone does sit on it? In any case, do you feel the above verse was one of those being 'fulfilled' by the presence of the sword among Jesus' disciples, or is it more coincidental?
     
  19. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Luke 2:25-35
     
  20. Penguin

    Penguin Member

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    True

    Er, no! Hitler was a dictator and didn't give people a choice, you follow the movement or die in a concentration camp! His Philosophy (if you can call it that) was eradication. Jesus didn't impose his will on people by force. People accepted or rejected, same then same now. You can't compare Jesus to Dictators. Mein Kampf isn't the best selling book in the world:D
     

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