DR. PETERSON RAISED his voice and looked directly at those in the room. “My friends, Jesus Christ claimed to be God, and to Him it is of fundamental importance that men and women believe Him to be who He was. Either don’t. He didn’t leave us any wiggle room for in-between, watered down alternatives. Based on what Jesus claimed about Himself, if His claims were not true, you couldn’t call Him either a good moral man or a great prophet. Those options aren’t open to us, and Jesus never intended them to be.

“Since we have already established the historicity of the gospels in the New Testament, we rule out the possibility of Christ being legend. We now go to the famous words of C. S. Lewis, former professor at Cambridge University, and a former agnostic himself. He wrote:”

I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m reading to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God’ That is the one thing we must not say. 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 a 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 up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. — Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett, Coffee House Chronicles Set (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2011).

This article excerpted from The Discipleship Course.

The Discipleship Course is available on Amazon, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking subscription service.

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