Is there supposed to be a distinction? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
Yesterday, I wrote about how I had asked around for a copy of Bill O’Reilly’s book “Killing Jesus.” (Which I never found by the way) My folks had suggested I read it and one of them told me that it wasn’t a religious book. It was supposed to look at Jesus from a historical perspective. This was in reply to my saying O’Reilly just isn’t that good in the area of religion.
My problem with this is you cannot write a book about Jesus that is historical and not have it be religious. Something that scholarship is realizing more and more now, and it’s a wonder that they had to realize it, which shows how far we have had to climb up from the bankruptcy of enlightenment thought on Jesus, is that Jesus was a Jew. You can you don’t think He was God incarnate. You can say you don’t think He was the Messiah. You can say you don’t think He worked miracles. You may not say He was not a Jew.
Jesus lived in the Jewish holy land. He was raised in a Jewish town by a Jewish family. He walked with teachers of the Jewish Scripture and He knew those Scriptures Himself. He lived in a world of Sabbath, dietary laws, and Torah.
If someone wants to write a life of Jesus and have no religion in it, they’re just not going to be able to do it. As I pondered this, there was a much more concerning thought that came to my mind that concerns me greatly about our society today.
Christians today are called to be disciples of Christ and walked as He did. What we have to ask ourselves is that if we had biographies (Of which the gospels are Greco-Roman biographies) of our lives written after we were gone, would the best biographers be able to separate us from our religion?
Christians are often accused of god-of-the-gaps arguments. Sadly, this is sometimes true. If the only purpose of God in your worldview is to fill in gaps in knowledge alone, then you do have a more god-of-the-gaps mentality. This does not mean that nothing is explained by God. On the contrary, it means that everything is.
If you remove God from your worldview and all that changes is your science, then that is all God meant to your worldview. If you remove God from your worldview and your entire life changes, then that means God played a worldview in your entire life. This is what is concerning about people who apostasize from the faith so quickly. One can wonder how much their view meant to them to begin with.
What would be different about your life? Is all that would be different is you’d be sleeping in on Sunday? Would your morality change? Would your whole reason for living change? Would your hobbies change? The degree to which your life would change shows how much God means to you right now.
Sadly, looking at the church today, I’m suspecting God does not mean much to people. He’s someone good to have around when you’re in a jam and provides nice emotional support for people, but to have a strong understanding of how He provides a foundation to one’s worldview and understanding of it is absent. We will not reach that point however without serious study, and this means more than just Bible study, as important as that is. It means learning as much as we can about what we have that passion for and being disciples. This is something I plan to write more on later, but laziness is never a Christian virtue and this includes learning about God.
Today, I would like you to honestly ponder this question sometime today. If that biography was written about your life, how hard would it be for a biographer to separate you from your Christianity?