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Free on 28th Oct 19
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I have been a Christian all my life and nothing really challenged my faith in any dramatic way. I am an ordained minister for over twenty years. My default mode is faith in my God, my church and the doctrines. Even studies into ancient religions with Egyptian religions predating the New Testament Christ And they having a Saviour, a death and resurrection and a new era of peace, never confronted me as major issues. I instead saw these as evidences pointing to a common Saviour. They were God’s cross-cultural footprints. Christianity was colour TV and the other like radios but essentially sending the same message. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament His hand works” everything points back to God.
In my theological studies I came across the difficulties Christian scholars had in agreeing on the dates and authorships of the New Testament writings, but I was sure the problem was with us. Jesus lived and died and time had elapsed and we are lost track of how things went. So the duty of scholars is to as best as possible retrace and explain the historical Jesus. I did not take the matter seriously. I just wanted to love Jesus and preach about His goodness. This was so because Jesus is real and the Word of The New Testament are true records of the time He spent on Earth.
I am painfully aware that Christianity has done much to erode the moral ground on which she should stand. but her origin and the Devine nature of the infallible Words that leads her are still good grounds or legs on which she stand. Thus my response when I came across Joseph Atwill’s Caesar’s Messiah was never to take him lightly.
My first response was anger. How dare you reduce my Saviour, the Prince of Peace to something made with pen and paper? What gives you the gall to even suggest that the life-giver was made from mere literature? The world’s creature should not be allowed to be spoken of as some story patched up in Titus’ backyard. What was very troubling was that Atwill sounds almost irrefutable. I was very disconcerted. What was most troubling was that the matters presented can easily lead any well-thinking modern mind to see a line of logic running from the first century right down to our day. The line of logic may appear to be so seamless as to lead one to think that if Joe Atwill is not right , he is definitely onto Something. The more I considered Caesar’s Messiah the more I saw in it a danger to the Christian faith. I then turn to deeper study of the first century AD and the result is the book you are now reading.
In my younger years I would not have taken on this issues of writing a book on this subject but the older I get the more my limited longevity becomes apparent. I am more concerned about what a future generation thinks of me than this present one. So emboldened by my lack of immortality I have taken on an issue which will not rest even after I am gone. Moreover the Christian faith in my option will be better after she has answered the strong charges not after avoiding them. Avoidance of legitimate questions usually leave observers with the wrong impressions.
Many societies have been hard wired by Christian principles from architecture to art and culture, laws and institutions. We Also owe much the principles of humility, piety, peace, charity and nobility championed by Christianity as the software that fashioned millions of good mind, thus making the world better. Christianity has however had some dark moments. When put to the balance, she is still the Rock on which the faith of millions rest and thus is deemed worthy of defense. It’s her worthiness of defense, as far as her top scholars and stakeholders are concerned, that is the backbone this book. Will we make “foes” just rend asunder the rock where she thus rest?” We cannot chose to avoid the difficult questions and hope that the modern mind will not at the very least, charge us with ducking and dodging.

Free on 28th Oct 19
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