On answering the question what do we do with Jesus.  How do we respond to the person, claims and works of Jesus Christ?  C.S. Lewis, (1898-1963) in his book, Mere Christianity lays out the three ways that He has to be seen… none of which is a good person.

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 patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher.  He has not left that open to us.  He did not intend to.

15 comments
  1. I actually really like Mere Christianity at one point in my life – that was a great book to read. I am a little older now – and I think his views on this issue have flaws.

    He makes the claim Jesus was God or the Devil, but not a good moral teacher. Why is there only 3 categories given by CS Lewis?

    The fact CS Lewish knows jack about the Jewish perspective nor addresses it any depth in this book – shows me he is studied – but lacks the fullness of the srgument.

    The Christ/Messiah idea never once became a God idea – that the Messiah was God – never. Jewish people have read, interpreted, and argued about these scriptures for centuries before Jesus appeared – or other Messiah figures – and Jewish people did not see the Messiah as equal to God (and still do not – even with all the great claims made about what the Messiah will do – ex: peace on earth). They still see that figure as ‘anointed’ by God.

    I tend to fall to their side since there should be proof the original community thought the Messiah would be equal to God or something like that. However, since that proof does not exist – for me, the story hits a huge snag. The Messiah was never seen as God.

    Thus my claim ‘Jesus is the Messiah/the Christ at the right hand of God – anointed by God – sent by God – but is not God’. The are many reasons I make this claim – but ket me give an example I gave to someone else.

    A person’s family name is made to sound ‘good’ in the community – both the father and the son share in that – being in the same family – but different people. It comes to light the reason the family has a ‘good name’ is because of the father’s many heroic deeds – yet the son shares in that being part of that family – and even carries it forward.

    They may have the same name/goal/mission/intent – but they are different by virtue of one simple thing: father is a father and a son is a son.

  2. I actually really like Mere Christianity at one point in my life – that was a great book to read. I am a little older now – and I think his views on this issue have flaws.

    He makes the claim Jesus was God or the Devil, but not a good moral teacher. Why is there only 3 categories given by CS Lewis?

    The fact CS Lewish knows jack about the Jewish perspective nor addresses it any depth in this book – shows me he is studied – but lacks the fullness of the srgument.

    The Christ/Messiah idea never once became a God idea – that the Messiah was God – never. Jewish people have read, interpreted, and argued about these scriptures for centuries before Jesus appeared – or other Messiah figures – and Jewish people did not see the Messiah as equal to God (and still do not – even with all the great claims made about what the Messiah will do – ex: peace on earth). They still see that figure as ‘anointed’ by God.

    I tend to fall to their side since there should be proof the original community thought the Messiah would be equal to God or something like that. However, since that proof does not exist – for me, the story hits a huge snag. The Messiah was never seen as God.

    Thus my claim ‘Jesus is the Messiah/the Christ at the right hand of God – anointed by God – sent by God – but is not God’. The are many reasons I make this claim – but ket me give an example I gave to someone else.

    A person’s family name is made to sound ‘good’ in the community – both the father and the son share in that – being in the same family – but different people. It comes to light the reason the family has a ‘good name’ is because of the father’s many heroic deeds – yet the son shares in that being part of that family – and even carries it forward.

    They may have the same name/goal/mission/intent – but they are different by virtue of one simple thing: father is a father and a son is a son.

  3. I actually really like Mere Christianity at one point in my life – that was a great book to read. I am a little older now – and I think his views on this issue have flaws.

    He makes the claim Jesus was God or the Devil, but not a good moral teacher. Why is there only 3 categories given by CS Lewis?

    The fact CS Lewish knows jack about the Jewish perspective nor addresses it any depth in this book – shows me he is studied – but lacks the fullness of the srgument.

    The Christ/Messiah idea never once became a God idea – that the Messiah was God – never. Jewish people have read, interpreted, and argued about these scriptures for centuries before Jesus appeared – or other Messiah figures – and Jewish people did not see the Messiah as equal to God (and still do not – even with all the great claims made about what the Messiah will do – ex: peace on earth). They still see that figure as ‘anointed’ by God.

    I tend to fall to their side since there should be proof the original community thought the Messiah would be equal to God or something like that. However, since that proof does not exist – for me, the story hits a huge snag. The Messiah was never seen as God.

    Thus my claim ‘Jesus is the Messiah/the Christ at the right hand of God – anointed by God – sent by God – but is not God’. The are many reasons I make this claim – but ket me give an example I gave to someone else.

    A person’s family name is made to sound ‘good’ in the community – both the father and the son share in that – being in the same family – but different people. It comes to light the reason the family has a ‘good name’ is because of the father’s many heroic deeds – yet the son shares in that being part of that family – and even carries it forward.

    They may have the same name/goal/mission/intent – but they are different by virtue of one simple thing: father is a father and a son is a son.

  4. Just because C.S. Lewis says something doesnt mean its right. I think Jesus can be a great moral teacher without having to be God incarnate.

  5. Just because C.S. Lewis says something doesnt mean its right. I think Jesus can be a great moral teacher without having to be God incarnate.

  6. Just because C.S. Lewis says something doesnt mean its right. I think Jesus can be a great moral teacher without having to be God incarnate.

  7. John T. – I agree that just because C.S. Lewis says it doesn’t makes it so, but coupling what he said compared to what Jesus said. It makes sense. Read Jesus on Jesus Parts 1 & 2 for a fuller sense of the argument.

    Society – you are assuming there is one united Jewish perspective on the Messiah. That wasn’t the case – even in Jesus’ time.

    I don’t have a clue how much Lewis knew about Judaism, but that wasn’t the thrust of his book. Christianity is to be interpreted only from a Jewish perspective, but an understanding is helpful in order to understand context, but isn’t the sole basis of interpretation.

    I am not sure where you are getting your info about Judaism. I know there are some blogs that you frequent. I guess I am not going to base my interpretation of the Gospels and the OT on modern Jewish scholarship when they are operating under the presuppostion that Jesus is not the Messiah.

    Lewis is credible to me in that most of his life he was an atheist. Something convinced him he was wrong.

    I guess as far as the Trinity goes. Just because I don’t fully understand it, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

    Three Persons = One God – New Testament Scripture affirms that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God.

    BTW – the Holy Spirit is referred to in OT, and in Genesis 1 there is God speaking of Himself in the plural form.

    Did you get a chance to read Jesus on Jesus (Part 2)?

  8. John T. – I agree that just because C.S. Lewis says it doesn’t makes it so, but coupling what he said compared to what Jesus said. It makes sense. Read Jesus on Jesus Parts 1 & 2 for a fuller sense of the argument.

    Society – you are assuming there is one united Jewish perspective on the Messiah. That wasn’t the case – even in Jesus’ time.

    I don’t have a clue how much Lewis knew about Judaism, but that wasn’t the thrust of his book. Christianity is to be interpreted only from a Jewish perspective, but an understanding is helpful in order to understand context, but isn’t the sole basis of interpretation.

    I am not sure where you are getting your info about Judaism. I know there are some blogs that you frequent. I guess I am not going to base my interpretation of the Gospels and the OT on modern Jewish scholarship when they are operating under the presuppostion that Jesus is not the Messiah.

    Lewis is credible to me in that most of his life he was an atheist. Something convinced him he was wrong.

    I guess as far as the Trinity goes. Just because I don’t fully understand it, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

    Three Persons = One God – New Testament Scripture affirms that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God.

    BTW – the Holy Spirit is referred to in OT, and in Genesis 1 there is God speaking of Himself in the plural form.

    Did you get a chance to read Jesus on Jesus (Part 2)?

  9. John T. – I agree that just because C.S. Lewis says it doesn’t makes it so, but coupling what he said compared to what Jesus said. It makes sense. Read Jesus on Jesus Parts 1 & 2 for a fuller sense of the argument.

    Society – you are assuming there is one united Jewish perspective on the Messiah. That wasn’t the case – even in Jesus’ time.

    I don’t have a clue how much Lewis knew about Judaism, but that wasn’t the thrust of his book. Christianity is to be interpreted only from a Jewish perspective, but an understanding is helpful in order to understand context, but isn’t the sole basis of interpretation.

    I am not sure where you are getting your info about Judaism. I know there are some blogs that you frequent. I guess I am not going to base my interpretation of the Gospels and the OT on modern Jewish scholarship when they are operating under the presuppostion that Jesus is not the Messiah.

    Lewis is credible to me in that most of his life he was an atheist. Something convinced him he was wrong.

    I guess as far as the Trinity goes. Just because I don’t fully understand it, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

    Three Persons = One God – New Testament Scripture affirms that the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God.

    BTW – the Holy Spirit is referred to in OT, and in Genesis 1 there is God speaking of Himself in the plural form.

    Did you get a chance to read Jesus on Jesus (Part 2)?

  10. Thanks, Shane, for a humbling word, a strong reminder of where we live and where we stand before God. When we boil the Gospel down to its core, its base alloy, what we find is pure grace – nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

  11. Thanks, Shane, for a humbling word, a strong reminder of where we live and where we stand before God. When we boil the Gospel down to its core, its base alloy, what we find is pure grace – nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

  12. Thanks, Shane, for a humbling word, a strong reminder of where we live and where we stand before God. When we boil the Gospel down to its core, its base alloy, what we find is pure grace – nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

  13. “I am not sure where you are getting your info about Judaism” (Shane)

    I am getting it from a conservative rabbinical community – and from Jewish books (like Heschel).

    You are right – there are 3 distinct Jewish branches right now – Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. None of them even so much as hint at the Messiah being equal to God – although they are different – they are not that different.

    I will check into the Jesus on Jesus part 2 – I glanced at it – I liked it – I will reply if I can find some time…I think it was well done.

  14. “I am not sure where you are getting your info about Judaism” (Shane)

    I am getting it from a conservative rabbinical community – and from Jewish books (like Heschel).

    You are right – there are 3 distinct Jewish branches right now – Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. None of them even so much as hint at the Messiah being equal to God – although they are different – they are not that different.

    I will check into the Jesus on Jesus part 2 – I glanced at it – I liked it – I will reply if I can find some time…I think it was well done.

  15. “I am not sure where you are getting your info about Judaism” (Shane)

    I am getting it from a conservative rabbinical community – and from Jewish books (like Heschel).

    You are right – there are 3 distinct Jewish branches right now – Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. None of them even so much as hint at the Messiah being equal to God – although they are different – they are not that different.

    I will check into the Jesus on Jesus part 2 – I glanced at it – I liked it – I will reply if I can find some time…I think it was well done.

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