Lewis’s trilemma isn’t complete

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.”
C.S. Lewis

So, I’m someone who thinks that Jesus was a real, historical person if for no other reason than that he was connected to other, real historical people in clumsy ways (like his connection to John the Baptist, being baptized by him).

In addition, the New Testament books go out of their way to insert arguments going on in the time they were written in order to settle them. One of those is that Jesus’s disciples just stole his body out of the tomb and lied about the resurrection. In the earliest gospel, attributed to Mark, there’s just the mystery of his disappearance, but by the time of the gospel attributed to Matthew, they have to explain why there’s this rumor the disciples took the body in addition to going into more detail about Jesus after he came back to life.

Continue reading “Lewis’s trilemma isn’t complete”