Silverton Evangelical Church

"Jesus was a good man, but that's it; he certainly wasn't God"


our take on it

Was Jesus just one of the good guys, or is he something more?


Let's make three simple points here.

 Jesus prays

He certainly was pretty good... and truth was at the heart of his message. Not many people would deny the essential goodness of Jesus. He spent his life serving others. Clearly he believed in his message, and gave his life for it. His moral teaching is brilliant and searching. And a lot of it was about truth, integrity, honesty.

 He certainly claimed to be God  You really can't deny this. He wouldn't have been railroaded to his death unless he had upset the religious leaders with the breathtaking arrogance of his claims. He applied the sacred name of God to himself - "I Am" - and he called himself "the Son of Man", a figure from the old book of Daniel who comes from heaven itself. He said, "I and my Father are one." And he wasn't talking about Joseph the village carpenter.

 bible manuscript

 Jesus... there are three options

 He wasn't a liar, and he wasn't a lunatic... Now normally people who claim to be God are either devious or deranged. Either they're con-men spinning a story (like some of the evil cult leaders of the seventies) or they're certifiable and dangerous. But Jesus clearly wasn't on the make - he wasn't trying to become rich and famous, or even powerful, and he went to his death still claiming to be God when there was nothing to gain from that any longer - and he wasn't mad. Nobody ever seriously accused him of lunacy, and you just have to read a bit of his teaching to see that you're listening to a brilliant, original, but entirely rational thinker. So if he wasn't bad and he wasn't mad, what else could he have been? Surely not... God?

the great trilemma

IS THIS A FULL ANSWER?  Of course it isn't. It's just a bunch of provocative points

to get you thinking - and arguing. If you want to carry on the conversation, just get in touch!



A few questions to mull over. Take your time.





1. One of the most outrageous claims about Jesus is that he rose from the dead. Andy spoke about this in our Easter message, Easter Sunday 2020 but if you want a bit more detail, Philosopher Gary Habermas has an eighty-minute look at the evidence in "The Resurrection Argument that changed a generation" on YouTube. Habermas is no slouch - he was the thinker who famously persuaded legendary British philosopher Antony Flew to change his mind about God - so he's well worth listening to.

Gary Habermas


2. If you have even more time, 97 minutes in fact, the amazing Tom Wright (author, TV figure, historian, theologian, and former Archbishop of Durham to boot) has a pretty exhaustive look at some fascinating evidence. Also on YouTube. Based on his blockbuster best-seller, the massive The Resurrection of the Son of God (which costs £30 these days, so watch the video and save money!).

N.T. Wright in action


3. OK, so you have other things to do with your life? Then for a quick read try Ian Mackie's pithy summary, "Evidence for the Resurrection" to get a quick grasp of the salient facts.

Ian Mackie's article

4. What else can we be sure of, about Jesus Christ? What are the real facts? You'll find all sorts of wild claims on the Internet, but one man who knows more than most is Dr Simon Gathercole of Cambridge University, who specializes in the history and writings of the first century CE. He wrote a short piece for The Guardian called "What is the historical evidence that Jesus Christ lived and died?" 

Simon Gathercole in The Guardian

your next move?