Was Jesus Real? – Part 2

Life of Jesus

April 2009
CPX is glad to announce the release of the historical documentary The Life of Jesus. Shot on location in Israel and presented by John Dickson, the documentary introduces the viewer in six short episodes to what we know of Jesusโ€™ birth, his teaching, his deeds and his crucifixion and reported resurrection from the dead.

A 1-hour version of the documentary will be shown in Australia on Channel 7 on Good Friday (Apr 10) at 1pm. The Life of Jesus is also a six-part course that has an accompanying 200-page guidebook with episode scripts, discussion questions and a translation of the Gospel according to Luke. The course includes video and written material Behind the Life of Jesus with humanities scholar Greg Clarke discussing mind-stretching issues such as the existence of God, the problem of suffering and belief in miracles.

Go to lifeofjesus.tv to order the DVD and guidebook and to access clips, discussion and information about the course.

( Courtesy of the Centre For Public Christianity ( CPX))

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4 thoughts on “Was Jesus Real? – Part 2

  1. If Jesus has spoken to your heart, in some manner, than you could not deny he exist.

    If you have never know felt his presence how could you believe he does? Blind faith?

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  2. Ed – i really DO know where you are coming from here.

    Personally i believe i have been luckier than many in that i was ‘sheltered’ from the tyranny of my parents’ ‘religion’ as a kid.
    I was not indoctrinated into a religious belief before i was able to form clear logical decisions for myself – Actually i was if anything indoctrinated the ‘other’ way by my Father who never seemed to believe in a God, while i think (know) my Mother did but kept her thoughts fairly close to herself and never pushed any opinion over to me growing up.

    As you probably know by now the Belief i have has been formed (and is growing stronger) quite late in my life – after i had been fully educated and had the chance to develop my ‘rational’ side unhindered by any Faith Doctrines other than the faith necessary to believe in the supreme reasoning power and rationality that Science imposes upon a person and the general impression it often places upon us that, unless Science decrees it, nothing else can be ‘trusted’ as being ‘real’.

    To answer your question: It will be different in every individual case.

    As i see it it is kind of like asking, “How can i make X my best friend” Each of us because we are not all the same would do things ‘differently’ to achieve the objective.

    Personally, coming from a place of unbelief in God, i found that by opening my mind to ALL possibilities and not recoiling from certain ideas that to many are ‘deal-breakers’ my Faith gradually formed and developed much like a newborn child.

    I have never yet felt Him strongly appear in my life as i know a few people have felt and my faith initially was indeed ‘Blind’ – i was unable to see HOW it or God was ‘possible’, how He could be said to exist – or exist in me.

    It has taken over a decade but over that time my ‘openness has enabled me to gather information sufficient for my ‘need’

    Reading Scripture and attending a series of lectures as well as readings from outside Scriptural sources has given me confidence that Jesus exists ( in History, but increasingly in me).

    Discussion with others who do so strongly believe and who have their own ‘evidence’ who i know do not lie when they talk about Him has given me a greater acceptance of the Words of Jesus and Paul as being people who believe in God and who would therefore not lie to their fellowman.

    Accordingly i put more confidence in the words they are recorded as saying or have written.

    Also my understandings of Science show me that there is much that is still unknown and unexplained and God fits quite nicely into the ‘gaps’ for me.

    So a brief answer is:

    Blinfd faith might help you reach a place where you can have Faith In Him – but an Open Mind and a greater Awareness and understanding, unhindered by the thoughts learned in Childhood with a child’s mind, are the things that led to me having my eyes opened so that they are better able to ‘See’.

    There are still some ‘Blind Spots’, but as i grow those become less unclear to me.

    Einstein showed how Matter can neither be created nor destroyed – it merely changes ‘form’ ( and is able to be ‘designed’ to a degree by man – and perhaps more intelligent beings also?) Given this understanding and an appreciation of what consciousness could be (part of a single Universal inter-connected ‘entity’) leads me to conclude it likely there is more to ‘us’ than just this very short earthly existance – that we have a ‘point’ to what we are, beyond our time ‘down here’.

    This helps give me stronger reasons to do ‘good’ than i feel i would have if i was only existing for a century or so.

    I hope i can help others see that ‘possibility’ for themselves.

    ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I agree it is important to try and keep our minds open so that when we are exposed to some new, potentially better, way of living we can accept it.

    I will guess you are more successful at keeping an open mind than I am. ๐Ÿ™‚

    It is interesting that you were drawn away from, or became dissatisfied with, the process of science, and “critical” thinking, that I have been drawn to . This is very likely a combination of our experiences in life and probably our personalities.

    “I have never yet felt Him strongly appear in my life as i know a few people have felt ”

    I have never felt “him” at all. However I am no longer searching for that connection where you are trying to make it stronger.

    “Discussion with others who do so strongly believe and who have their own โ€˜evidenceโ€™ who i know do not lie when they talk about Him has given me a greater acceptance of the Words of Jesus and Paul as being people who believe in God and who would therefore not lie to their fellowman.”

    I am not a very trusting person, again undoubtly because of my experiences in life. This skeptism makes it less likley that I would believe something I could not either experince myself, or, be abe to validate in some way.

    “Also my understandings of Science show me that there is much that is still unknown and unexplained and God fits quite nicely into the โ€˜gapsโ€™ for me.”

    I agree completely that in there are some pretty huge gaps in our scientific understanding of the forces that shape our world. For me we have only begun to untap the potential that evidence based science can lead us to.

    We are both excited about where our faith may lead us. My faith is based on the forces that exist in the world I can see, touch and feel. Your faith extends beyond that.

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  4. Ed – “It is interesting that you were drawn away from, or became dissatisfied with, the process of science, and โ€œcriticalโ€ thinking, that I have been drawn to . This is very likely a combination of our experiences in life and probably our personalities.”

    i feel the term ‘dis-illusioned’ would be closer to my personal experiences, but for the rest you are indeed right. ๐Ÿ™‚

    To explain a little… Growing up i was very excited in the various scientific discoveries i was presented with. I – like most kids my age – loved Dinosaurs and swallowed as much as i could concerning them and the ‘evolution’ of life before, during and after their reign on Earth. I was greatly ‘into’ Astronomy and loved to calculate the distance light traveled in a year long before we had calculators or computers that make such a task relatively simple today – i did it all ‘long-hand’ – before i was 10 – to several decimal places, in miles.

    i learned the periodic table of the elements when i was fifteen and home sick for two weeks with a fever. I thought Science would answer ALL my questions precisely and infallibly. I felt i could Trust in it, always.

    By the time i reached adulthood though and had walked away from my University studies i had begun to see that my ‘starry-eyed’ ( ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) faith in Science was able to be shown to be ever-so-slightly ‘delusional’.

    The Human ability to use reason, logic and rationality left Science open to a few ‘cracks’ in it’s ‘invincible’ facade and i began to realise that Reason and logic are useful tools, but few humans are master ‘craftsmen’ in regards to their use.

    Basically we humans – even when taking extreme care and using ‘pure’ reasoning still make some truly enormous stuff-ups and just plain get it wrong.

    Sadly, sometimes our most reliable Science and scientists just refuse to admit they have got it wrong when evidence shows this. They will fight and argue the ‘facts’ and the facts can become very foggy indeed when viewed from our inexpert opinions. See Man-Made Global Warming for the latest case in point – whom do you believe when science gives diverse ‘informed’ opinion??

    Basically, i have come to see Science is not all that far from religion and it’s Ministers at times in this respect. Things can get very ‘grey’ indeed. ‘White’ can be proven to be, to all effects, identical to ‘Black’ in a total absence of light.

    Now i am not saying i would throw rationality and reason out of the window and just go with ‘faith’ alone…

    but i have about as much ‘certainty” that Science provides me with more valuable and relevant answers to areas of my life as i currently do with religion and a faith in my understanding of what God ‘is’.

    The difference as i see it is…. Science currently has not got as many answers and certainly not as many Right ones as Religion or ‘Faith’ – if we learn how to ‘use’ them ‘properly’ in each case.

    Of course that is the tricky part ๐Ÿ˜‰ – being able to understand them and put them into correct practice in one’s life.

    To me ‘Gods’ Plans are not at fault – we are. But i don’t believe we have to remain that way or that it is truly that hard for us all to figure out if we put some effort into it and work for a common ‘goal’.

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