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The Three Possibilities of Christ

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posted on May, 28 2013 @ 03:56 PM
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"The Liar, Lunatic, or Lord" is a classical argument C.S. Lewis made for the authenticity of Christ as Lord. In this argument, he uses the either/or law, sometimes called the law of exclude middle.

The best way to give an example of how the either/or law works is this:

Either it is day or night.

Either I am male or female.

Either the pyramids were built by humans or by aliens. (Okay, that one's a weird choice, but you get the idea.)

C.S. Lewis uses this argument to make the case for Christ being who He said He was.

If Christ wasn't who He said He was... He either knew it or didn't know it.
If He knew He wasn't, He would have been a hypocrite and a liar.
If He didn't know He wasn't, He would be deluded and a lunatic.

If He WAS who He said he was... Then Christ is our Lord and Savior.
Either you accept Him.
Or you reject Him.

Thus, we have three choices: Christ was either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord.

Let's go over the choices:

- If we assume Jesus was a liar, then not only did He purposely and maliciously lie to people, not only was He a hypocrite for telling others to tell the truth, He was a fool who died for something He knew was a complete and total lie. If that's the case, He's quite possibly the worst moral teacher we've ever seen. But we have an obvious problem here. Who would come up with an entire system of faith and ethics, knowing He was making everything up, and willingly die for it all? There's NOBODY who would be willing to die one of the most painful deaths that has ever been imagined for a lie that they know to be one. So, in essence, if He was a liar, He was tortured, ridiculed, and brutally murdered for His lies.

- If we assume Jesus was a lunatic, then more problems arise. There's nothing, Biblically or otherwise, to suggest He was insane. Jesus retained complete composure under stress (except for an incident in the temple, which would be justified according to religious convictions). What we do have written about Jesus shows Him to be a loving and creative individual who was wise. Furthermore, His followers would have, at the very least, caught a hint of His insanity. An even bigger problem arises, however: If He was insane and wasn't lying, then He was a madman who somehow performed miracles throughout His life.

- The only choice we have left is that He was not just sane, not just truthful, but that He was absolutely who He said He was. Since the other two options don't hold up under scrutiny, we only have this choice remaining. And if this is the only choice remaining, then we can either accept him as Lord, or we reject him as Lord. That, ultimately, is the only real choice remaining.

Of course, a skeptic could come forward and say, "Well, the Bible was fiction, so there's no choice to begin with."

However, since we have historical records showing where the Apostles went, what they taught, and how they were martyred, and we have the books written by them, we must therefore assume that the Apostles existed. In this case, there is only one choice left.

The Apostles extensively wrote the New Testament Scripture under the possibility of being imprisoned or killed for that alone. They had the difficult task of telling the Jews that Jesus had risen and to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior (Lord implying a master-and-slave relationship; Boy, how easy would have that been in the 1st century?). They then traveled to the four corners of the known world, risking life and limb and were all ultimately imprisoned, tortured, and killed in many horrific ways. They died poor, with little possessions, many of them giving up their professions and wealth to do all of this.

The choice is: They did this all, spending the rest of their natural lives in utter servitude, for something they knew was a blatant lie (because they themselves made it up), or they were telling the truth.

If they were telling the truth, then the obvious results would be: Jesus WAS born of a virgin, He WAS the Son of God, He DID perform miracles, He WAS tortured and killed, He WAS buried and was resurrected three days later, He DID come to his apostles and show that He had risen, and He DID physically ascend to the Kingdom of God. The apostles DID see all of these things, hear all of these things, and gave up their own lives for their Lord and Savior.

That, in the end, is the argument made by C.S. Lewis in a nutshell.
edit on 28-5-2013 by FollowTheWhiteRabbit because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-5-2013 by FollowTheWhiteRabbit because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 28 2013 @ 04:17 PM
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reply to post by FollowTheWhiteRabbit
 


he could of been all three or two of the three so this argument needs a little more thought



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 04:18 PM
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reply to post by DocHolidaze
 


He couldn't have been a combination of two or three of them. That would be a contradiction. He couldn't have known and not known He was lying. He couldn't have been Lord and not been Lord.



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by FollowTheWhiteRabbit
 


This is one of the best threads I have read. I hope you do well in responding to all the atheists who will attack you.

Truly excellent.

thank you



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 04:34 PM
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Originally posted by DocHolidaze
reply to post by FollowTheWhiteRabbit
 


he could of been all three or two of the three so this argument needs a little more thought




Perhaps you should read the whole thread before you answer the guy. Its right there for you in logic.
edit on 28-5-2013 by LastStarfighter because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 04:36 PM
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You forgot one: lambasted.

The bible attacks Jesus' words by twisting their meaning into something completely different. Paul's epistles are quoted more by Christians than Jesus' words. That's a problem.



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 04:38 PM
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Originally posted by FollowTheWhiteRabbit
reply to post by DocHolidaze
 


He couldn't have been a combination of two or three of them. That would be a contradiction. He couldn't have known and not known He was lying. He couldn't have been Lord and not been Lord.


He could have been both a liar and a lunatic don't you think? I don't believe he was either of those, but it's a possibility nonetheless.



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 05:01 PM
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The Greek philosophical era ran from around 600 BCE to about 30 BCE. During Alexander the Great's conquests, Greek philosophy was spread throughout the Middle East. The New Testament of the Bible, which introduced Jesus Christ, the holy man and philosopher, was written during the end of the Greek Philosophical era from around 30 BCE to 200 AD. His basis was to replace the Greek ideologies for that area of the world. Its my opinion that Jesus Christ is no more real than Socrates. As far as Jesus Christ being a god, I am doubtful but just don't know.



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 05:09 PM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 


How exactly does the Bible "twist Jesus's words"?



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 05:10 PM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 


No. If he's a liar, He knows He's lying. If He's insane, He doesn't know He's lying. The concepts were clearly defined in the argument, therefore, He can't be a liar AND insane.



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 05:13 PM
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reply to post by eManym
 


If Jesus was to replace Greek ideologies, why did the Greeks take such umbrage with Jesus's claims of Godhood? See, the Greeks thought it was utterly ridiculous for "spirit" to be with "body" and still be God. They believed if spirit took a body, it became defective and defiled. So, the great controversy for the Greeks was that God took a body, and yet retained His Godhood without defiling Himself.

Paul went to the Areopagus (Mars Hill) and debated with the Epicureans and Stoics, who called him a "babbler" for the claims he was making.
edit on 28-5-2013 by FollowTheWhiteRabbit because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 05:22 PM
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With your argument in the logic of who Jesus Christ was tends to make me think you are a follower of Socrates.



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by eManym
 


In studying theology and apologetics, you always end up running into Greek philosophy at one time or another. It's pretty much inevitable. The reason is, because the Greeks got a lot of things right, though they got a lot of things wrong as well (certainly during the later years, when their civilization had fallen into abject idol worshipping).



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 05:42 PM
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reply to post by FollowTheWhiteRabbit
 


Paul's epistles are part of the bible aren't they? That's how it twists his words, with Paul's epistles. Christianity is based more around Paul's epistles than it is on Jesus' words. You may deny it but it is true.



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 05:56 PM
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reply to post by FollowTheWhiteRabbit
 


one can be a liar and a lunatic. you clearly haven't meet my ex wife
. if Jesus had free will like all men, and he was also God he had the free will to lie and cheat which you cant say he never did that because a large portion of his life iis UN-accounted for. And just because one doesn't know there lying doesn't mean it is not a lie. If everything was black and white than the logic maybe sound, but since there is always a grey area it just doesn't work.
edit on 28-5-2013 by DocHolidaze because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 


I deny Christianity is based mainly around Paul's Epistles because Paul's Epistles are just a part of Scripture. That's basically saying "Christians just ignore everything but the Epistles." No, we take the whole Scripture or we cannot take any Scripture, because it wouldn't work in fragments.



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 06:01 PM
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reply to post by DocHolidaze
 


We're not discussing "everything", we're discussing particular concepts in an argument. I'm not talking about your interpretation of what lying or lunacy is.

And also, there is no free will, only an illusion of autonomy.



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by FollowTheWhiteRabbit
 


free will is the only thing that we have if you dont want to believe that then you are lost



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by FollowTheWhiteRabbit
 


I thought you would take it that way.

I never said you ignore everything else in the scripture, I said that Christianity is "more focused" on Paul's epistles than on the gospels and Jesus' words, and it is true. You are more worried about how Jesus should be worshiped than what he actually says, and the way you should worship Jesus is contained in Paul's epistles.
edit on 28-5-2013 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 07:11 PM
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reply to post by 3NL1GHT3N3D1
 


Well, seeing how Paul is not only possibly the greatest Christian to have ever lived, but that he is the one who knew Christ best, I fail to see why you think it's such a shame that we even bother reading Paul's writings.



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