In Defense of the Christian Faith | Sojourners

In Defense of the Christian Faith

We contend that the Christian faith—the religion promulgated by Jesus and continued by his disciples and the early apostles—is satisfying intellectually, ethically, and emotionally. It is the God-sent integration of head, hand, and heart for ideologically fragmented humans.

We also hold that the ethical and emotional ataraxia found in Jesus receive their impetus from the intellectual element. That is to say, what makes the Christian faith true is not per se its high ethic or personal experience of the Spirit of God, but the fact that certain things happened in history once, uniquely, irreversibly, and finally. These events centered on the life of Jesus, and it is above all an intellectual understanding of them which grounds the ethical conduct and emotional experience of a person committed to him.

How so? To begin with there is just no sense in talking about deriving "good" ethics from a Jesus who claimed to be sent from God but wasn't, who predicted his return-from-the-dead but didn't, who said he would judge the world but couldn't. At least Havelock Ellis is consistent:

Had there been a Lunatic Asylum in the suburbs of Jerusalem, Jesus Christ would infallibly have been shut up in it at the outset of his public career … The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a Lunatic Asylum.

In the second place, the "Spirit of God" (the "other Comforter" like himself which Jesus promised) and the emotional experience of "Christ in the Heart" is nothing at all if that first Easter was simply the collective wish-fulfillment of the early believers. Such terms then merely denote the modern continuation of that hallucinatory psychosis.

C.S. Lewis was right:

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