A Myth

On Monday I asked a friend I train with how he would finish the sentence “Jesus is ____.” He responded honestly: “Jesus is a myth!”

We believe untrue things all the time.

I thought MSG caused asthma, headaches and stomach aches. But who knew that, ‘Evidence that it is harmful is still in short supply.’ (ABC, The Checkout s6e7) Instead, there is a history of media hype and racism about MSG.

But is Jesus myth? Useful for building morals like ‘love your neighbour’ but based in useless, biased history. Is the Bible just religious advertising peppered with the occasional history fact?

And with the rise of social media that allows people who yell louder to get their opinions across it becomes increasingly hard to discern truth. Popular atheists debunk the whole religious exercise, “We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further”. (Dawkins, The God Delusion)

Fundamentalists reply with scientific “proofs” that others laugh at. But most people fall somewhere in the middle. Smart people seem to fall into both camps and there are nice guys and jerks on both sides.

Is it the loudest person on TV we listen to? Or are we willing to investigate?

Most historians agree that Jesus was a real person. But do the biographies written about him stack up? Perhaps read one as an adult asking the basic questions:

  • Does this guy make sense?
  • Does his life stack up?
  • Is it true?

You can read these biographies of Jesus online. At our church, we often recommend Luke’s account.

It’s also worth reading (or YouTubing) serious investigations by modern people from both sides. Is Jesus historical? The lawyer and journalist, Lee Strobel’s, Case for Christ is a good read.

Are science and God opposed? The world-renowned geneticist Francis Collins explains his journey from ‘who cares’ to atheism to faith in Jesus in The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief.

But at the end it is you, not them, who has to finish the sentence Jesus is _____.

Matt Bales is the Assistant Minister at Minto Anglican Church.

Matt Bales