Warren Christian Apologetics Center
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Articles - Jesus Christ

HE LIVES!

  Christianity confronts the basic issues of life and death with the affirmation of the historical fact of Jesus’ bodily resurrection from the dead. The great emphasis on this is evidenced in the documents that comprise the New Testament. It is seen in the report of eyewitnesses (cf. Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians 15), the preaching of the early Christians (Acts 2-5, 9-10, 13, 17, 22-24, 26, et al.), and the regular weekly assembly to eat the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:20-34; 16:1-2). These documents say nothing about an annual observance known as Easter. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia states that the term Easter “does not properly occur in Scripture. . . . There is no trace of Easter celebration in the NT” (Porter 889). Thus, the practice of Christianity based on the New Testament will result in disciples meeting every Lord’s Day (i.e. the first day of the week) to eat the Lord’s Supper and, in this special way, remember their Lord.

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JESUS, THE MASTER TEACHER OF THE AGES

   The subject before me entails far more than that with which any man could ever fully deal. However, I do hope to deal with enough of the material involved to make it worth our time to be engaged in this study.

   I propose to prove that Jesus is the Master Teacher of the ages. I plan to do this (1) by dealing with His person (who He was/is), (2) by considering some things which He did, and (3) by concentrating on His attitude toward and His handling of the truth (God’s sacred word).

  

Jesus is the Master Teacher of the Ages Because of Why He Is

   The Bible teaches, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with god, and the word was God” (John 1:1). The Word eternally existed. The Word was eternally deity (God). There was never a time when He was not God (a member of the Godhead).

   But He became flesh (by being begotten and born in a way which was contrary to the laws of nature). “And the word became flesh . . .” (John 1:14; Matthew 1:18-2:1). He became what He was not before. Thus, He was God-man.

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Jesus and the Bible

“As long as I believe in Jesus, does it matter what I believe about the Bible?” Many ask this question, even Christians. You cannot separate faith in Jesus from faith in the Bible. The question we need to ask is: “What was Jesus’ attitude toward the Bible?” the Bible Jesus used was our Old Testament. His life and teachings were permeated by it. He referenced it often. By studying the gospels, we are able to determine Jesus’ attitude toward the Bible.

   Jesus believed the Bible was authoritative. He considered the Bible from God and as the “commandments of God” not to be transgressed by the teachings of men (Matthew 15:1-9). When a lawyer tried to trap Him, He asked, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” (Luke 10:26). He said, “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Broken means “to break, annul, cancel” (Abbott-Smith 274). Thayer says it means unable “to deprive of authority” (385).

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ORIGINALITY OF JESUS CHRIST

There are those who maintain that nothing in Christianity is original; and that, therefore, Christianity is just another one of the religions of man. Here are a few suggestions concerning this challenge to Christianity.

The effort to find “parallels” to Christ—with reference to the virgin birth—was dealt with in a paper we distributed earlier. (Thomas Boslooper, “Jesus Virgin Birth and Non-Christian ‘Parallels’”, Religion in Life, Winter, l956-57, pp. 87-97).

God made Himself known to man in the beginning of human history. Some of the original revelations of God to man may well have been handed down throughout the generations, although often covered over to varying degrees by the traditions of man. (William Meade, The Bible and the Classics. New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1890).

It may have been that some nations were influenced by the patriarchs and by the law, as these nations came into contact—directly or indirectly—with God’s people.

Romans 2 seems to indicate that man has the power to make some moral discernments. After all, if there is moral law men should be able to see something of its working in human society. Consequences of transgression of moral law should manifest themselves in society and character. Selfishness does certain things to a character regardless of his race or of the period in which he lived.

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More than A Carpenter

  In 1978 I was given two apologetics books by the late Fred E. Dennis, during one of my visits to the Dennis house on Cutler Street in Marietta, OH. The first book was God’s Incomparable Word, authored by Harold Lindsell a founder of Fuller Seminary who also served as Editor of Christianity Today. The second book was More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell, a popular apologist during that era. Fred Dennis was a preacher who was known by many during the 20th century. He died in 1983 at the age of 88. At his passing, a weekly publication of the Granny White Church of Christ, Nashville, TN, and “Home Congregation of Lipscomb [University] Students,” contained a front-page article concerning Fred Dennis. The article described him as “an outstanding preacher, holding fast to the ‘old paths’ . . . held in deep esteem . . . because of his consecration and sound preaching” (Hardy).

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The Resurrection – Ultimate Verification

In a day of growing unbelief, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ remains one of the great cornerstones of Christian joy and certainty.  One grieves with the repudiation of the supernatural aspects of the Christian faith during the last half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century.  It is found in all realms of thought – science, historical research, philosophy, sociology and, sad but very true, in religious thought...

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The Crucial Connection - The Dismal Disconnection

 During a presidential election year, as well as a time when the nation mourns the loss of one of its greatest Supreme Court jurists, private citizens and public servants alike need reminded, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, that it is “not with politicians, not with Presidents, not with office-seekers …[that] the liberties of this country [will] be preserved” (Ostergard, The Inspired Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln 122). The most important connection that civilization has to safeguard its liberties, moral stability, and prosperity is a deep awareness of the Divine in the minds and lives of the people. ..

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Jesus Christ - The Son of God

 [Who] do you say that I am?' Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God"' (Matthew 16:15-16, NKJV). By divine revelation (Matthew 16:17), Peter proclaims the Jesus as the Son of God.

John Dominic Crossan, the former co-chair of the Jesus Seminar, answers that Jesus was "a peasant Jewish cynic" (421). Bart D. Ehrman, a University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Bible professor, teaches ''that Jesus did not teach he was divine" (169).

 

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One Solitary Life

Here is a young man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30, and then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

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Jesus Sets Forth His Case

The Christian worldview, set forth in the Bible, is the culmination of biblical revelation resulting in the affirmation and defense of the proposition that the true meaning of life is not merely discovering a principle, or principles, but it ultimately is the discovery of a Person. This Person is identified as the Logos, and this Logos (the WORD) is God (John 1:1)...

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Had There Been No Bethlehem

Early two thousand years ago there took place an event that has changed the course of history; as the result of it, nations have come and gone; monarchs have soared to heights and fallen into the depths of despair and ruin; civilization has reached heights before unknown and human beings have been elevated to a sphere undreamed of by the generations of the long ago. That occasion was the birth of a child, a son, which birth took place in a humble city in Palestine called Bethlehem, the city of David the King. No event in the history of man has been so beautifully unfolded and no plan that was to affect the entire human race was ever so minutely detailed or so meticulously executed as the birth of this Son.

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The Deity of Christ

The word God is one of the Spirit’s designations for the divine nature. Under the figure of the synecdoche, where a part is made to stand for the whole, or the whole for a part, the word Godis used to designate each of the divine Persons constituting deity; and, while there is but one God—one divine nature—the Scriptures clearly teach that there are three distinct personalities possessing this nature. The Father is called God (John 3:16), the Son is called God (John 1:1), the Holy Spirit is called God (Acts 5:3, 4). In these instances, the word God, the name of the divine nature, is severally applied to each part, under the figure above designated, though there is but one divine nature; hence, but one God (Deuteronomy 6:4).

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The Importance of Jesus Birth

The Bible says much about the birth of Jesus. Matthew 1 and 2 contain 48 verses. Luke 1 and 2 contain 94 verses to record certain facts in connection with the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

This week the birth of Jesus is celebrated by many in the religious world with great pomp, celebration, and festivities. Pews often empty will be full. People will inconvenience themselves to attend various services.

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The Case for the Christ

While it is well known that people question the divinity of Jesus (e.g., “Jesus Seminar Phase 3: Profiles of Jesus,” Westarinstitute.org), it may surprise some to find out that there have long been those who question whether Jesus is a historical person (VanVoorst 658-60).

   A very helpful new book on the historicity of Jesus is The Case for the Christ of the New Testament: An Adversarial Dialogue Concerning the Existence of Jesus Christ, published by Warren Christian Apologetics Center (2013). The dialogue includes three participants: Roy Abraham Varghese, Dr. Robert M. Price, and Dr. Ralph Gilmore. Price argues for the position that Jesus never existed, and Varghese and Gilmore argue that Jesus did exist.

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The Logic of the Case for Christ

When one faces the question of the historicity of Jesus Christ, he should remember that the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are all books of history. And no one has the right to dismiss these books as evidential material concerning Jesus merely on the basis that a claim of divine inspiration is made for them. Their existence as historical documents has to be faced before the issue of inspiration can be considered. 

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