Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Divinity of Jesus Christ, part 6

This is Part 6 of the apologetic regarding the divinity of Jesus Christ as set forth by Peter Kreeft and Ron Tacelli which I am summarzing here part by part, and lifting large parts of the chapter directly onto here. If I'm inserting my own opinion, or using other sources I will make it clear.

Part 1 can be found here.
Part 2 can be found here.
Part 3 can be found here.
Part 4 can be found here.
Part 5 can be found here.

The Main Argument, con't.

The Trilemma: Lord, Liar or Lunatic?

Perhaps Jesus sincerely thought that he was God, but was mistaken. If Jesus was mistaken about who he was, while he could not be considered "morally" bad because he did not intentionally deceive people, he would be considered "mentally" bad. A lunatic may not be wicked, but he is not more trustworthy than a liar.

Either Jesus believed his own claim to be God or he did not. If he did, he was a lunatic. If he did not, he was a liar. Unless, of course, he was (is) God.

Why could he not be either a liar or a lunatic? Because of his character. There are two things everyone admits about Jesus' character: he was wise and he was good. A lunatic and a liar are the opposite of wise and good.

The "divinity complex" is a recognized form of psychopathology. Its character traits are: egotism, narcissism, inflexibility, dullness, predictability, inability to understand and love others as they really are and creatively relate to others. A person exhibiting the attributes of "divinity complex" are essentially people with the polar opposite personality of Jesus. Jesus had the three attributes every human being needs and wants: wisdom, love, and creativity.

"He wisely and cannily saw into people's hearts, behind their words. He solved insolvable problems. He also gave totally to others, including his very life. Finally, he was the most creative, interesting, unpredictable man who ever lived. No one--believer, unbeliever or agnostic--was ever bored by him. The common verb predicated of those who met Jesus was "thaumazo", "To wonder." Lunatics are not wonderful, but jesus was the most wonderful person in history. If that were lunacy, lunacy would be more desirable than sanity.

If, on the other hand, Jesus was a liar, then he had to have been the most clever, cunning, machiavellian, blasphemously wicked satanic deceiver the world has ever known, successfully seducing billions into giving up their eternal souls into his hands. If orthodox Christianity is a lie, it is by far the biggest and baddest lie ever told, and Jesus is the biggest and baddest liar.

But in every way jesus was morally impeccable. He had all the virtues, both soft and hard, tender and tough. Further, he died for his "lie." What would motivate a selfish, evil liar to do that? We have never known anyone who thought Jesus was a deliberate liar. That would be more biarre than calling Mother Teresa a party animal.
Next, I will finish up the remainder of the Trilemma, and then hopefully soon get to the Quadrilemma: Lord, Liar, Lunatic or Myth?

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