“It Really Happened, Once!”

Written by gregdenham on December 18th, 2009

“It Really Happened, Once!”

C.S. Lewis, the great Oxford professor, was at one time a hardened atheist. Interestingly, what began the process that ultimately revolutionized Lewis’ life in becoming a Christian was an idea that came from, an unlikely source, an even more hardened atheist than Lewis who remarked to him, “the historicity of the gospels were really surprisingly good!” This same atheist then referred to pagan mythology of a “dying god” who rose again, then mused, “It almost looks as if it really happened once.”

Did it really happen, once?

The popular talk show host LARRY KING was once asked whom he would choose to interview if he had one person to choose from throughout history.  King answered that it would be Jesus and he would ask only one question: “Are you indeed VIRGIN BORN?” “The Answer to that Question,” said King, “would explain history to me”.

Why did King say this?

Because if Jesus was not virgin born, everything begins to break down! If Jesus was not supernaturally conceived in the womb of Mary then He was not God. And if He was not God then His death on the Cross really meant nothing at all. Even more, He was a fraud giving “False Hope” by claiming to be God in human form!

Some say that the Gospel’s were written by individuals inspired by imagination not historical realities. But if the Gospel’s are not true, if the Bible is a con, an attempt to CREATE a reality in the readers mind(inspired by an agenda and the imagination of man), the information used by the writer’s would have been counterproductive to their attempt to persuade a public that Jesus is the Son of God!

No one who would try to make up the story of the Lord Jesus, pawning it off as fact/credible, and write into the story shepherds being the first to hear of the news of Christ’s birth, why? Because shepherds were despised in this culture, regarded as thieves and not even allowed to stand trial as a witness. In addition, why would the leaders of the early Christian movement have made up the story of the crucifixion if it didn’t happen? As New York Times best selling author Timothy Keller concisely put it, “Any listener of the gospel in either Greek or Jewish culture would have automatically suspected that anyone who had been crucified was a criminal, whatever the speaker said to the contrary.” Keller continues, “Why would the Gospel’s depict the apostles – the eventual leaders of the early church – as petty and jealous, almost impossibly slow-witted, and in the end as cowards who either actively or passively failed their master? Why would anyone in the early church want to play up the terrible failures of their most prominent leader, Peter?”

The shepherds, the cross, the failings of the apostles… they are all mentioned in the Gospel narratives … BECAUSE they ARE a part of historical reality! Because the Gospel’s are ACCURATE historical accounts!

C.S. Lewis made an insightful observation that ancient fiction was nothing like modern fiction. In ancient times the details for epics and legends were sparse. He noted that the genre of fiction had developed only in the last 300 years! He said, “I have been reading poems, romances, vision literature, legends, and myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know none of them are like this. Of this (gospel) test there are only two possible views. Either this is reportage ….or else, some unknown (ancient) writer …without known predecessor or successor, suddenly anticipated the whole technique of modern novelistic, realistic narrative …”


And, enjoy reading the “Christmas Story” of the birth of the Savior, Christ the Lord. A story mixed with the natural and supernatural.


“It REALLY Happened, Once!”

2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jim Mc Farland says:

    Yes it did really happen!
    Jesus Is the Unique Man of History!
    But there seems to be a problem for many with the portrayal of Jesus in the Biblical documents. He does things which defy our rationality. He is born of a virgin. He makes strange statements about Himself and His mission. After years of obscurity, He appears for a brief time in a flurry of public ministry in a small and insignificant province of the Roman Empire. He loves and heals and serves. He is a master teacher, but all of His teaching points to Himself, to His identity. The following claims which He makes concerning Himself are extraordinary.
    The Claims of Christ
    1. Able to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-10).
    2. A Healer of disease (Mark 5:21).
    3. Allows others to worship Him (Matt. 14:33, 28:9; cf. also Acts 10:25,26;14:12-15).
    4. Claims to be “other worldly” in origin and destiny (John 6:38).
    5. Performs miracles over nature (Luke 9:16,17).
    6. Claims He has absolute, moral purity (John 8:46, 2 Cor. 5:21).
    7. Claimed to be God, Messiah, and the way to God (Mark 14:61,62; John 10:30; 14:6-9).
    8. Claimed to be the fulfillment of all Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament (John 5:46-7; Luke 24:44).
    9. Allowed others to call Him God and Messiah (John 20:29; Matt. 16:15-17).
    Responding to the Claims!
    Their is a wide divergence of opinion about who Jesus really was. It is not based on a lack of good and adequate historical evidence; it rather comes from grappling with His unique and audacious claims listed above. There is no intellectually honest way to carve up the documents according to our own liking and philosophical preferences. Many have done this, including a great American patriot and president, Thomas Jefferson. He admired Jesus as a moral man, but would have nothing to do with the supernatural elements found in the documents. Using scissors and paste, the Sage of Monticello left on the cutting floor anything, he felt, which contravened the laws of nature. Jefferson entitled his creation, The Life and Morals of Jesus. Only 82 columns, or little more than one tenth of the 700 columns in the King James Bible remained. The other nine tenths of the gospel record were discarded. His book ended with the words, “There laid they Jesus (John 19:42) . . . and rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher and departed (Matt. 28:60).” One way to deal with the claims is to remove the historical material which is offensive to us, such as Jefferson did. The other option is to honestly accept the historical accuracy of the documents and come up with a plausible explanation. Our choices are reduced to one of four: He was either a Liar, a Lunatic, a Legend, or our Lord.
    Considering the Options!
    Liar. Everything that we know about Jesus discourages us from selecting this option. It is incomprehensible that the One who spoke of truth and righteousness was the greatest deceiver of history. He cannot be a great moral teacher and a liar at the same time.
    Lunatic. Paranoid schizophrenics do not behave as Jesus did. Their behavior is often bizarre, out of control. They generally do not like other people and are mostly self-absorbed. Nor do they handle pressure well. Jesus exhibits none of these characteristics. He is kind and others-centered, and He faces pressure situations, including the events leading to and including His death, with composure and control.
    Legend. The greatest difficulty with this option is the issue of time. Legends take time to develop. Yet most of the New Testament, including Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, and all of Paul’s Epistles were written by 68 A.D. An equivalent amount of time today would be the interval between President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 to the present. For people to start saying Kennedy claimed to be God, forgave people’s sins, and was raised from the dead would be a difficult task to make credible, even to the weirdest of individual claims. There are still too many people around who knew Jack Kennedy . . . and know better.
    Lord. In his book, Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis said,
    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.”
    Other than the fact that the Liar, Lunatic, and Legend choices are not persuasive as explanations for who Jesus was, we are still faced with the question of why we should accept Him as Lord. During the latter days of His ministry, Jesus was confronted by a hostile crowd which posed this question to Him: “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” Jesus answered, “An adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:38-40). Here we are led to understand that Jesus pointed to His bodily resurrection as THE authenticating sign by which He would confirm His own unique claims. Later on, the Apostle Paul, in speaking of the importance of this event to the faith of a Christian would say, “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith is also vain. . . . If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins (1 Cor. 15:13-17).” We now turn to explore the possibility of such an event occurring.
    Yes, it really happened. You can believe what you like, but it is still the truth.
    Jesus Christ is Lord. He was born, lived, died for our sins and the rose from the grave. And He did this with MANY INFALLIABLE TRUTHS ACS 1:3! It really happened once. But the greatest truth is that He ever lives to make intercession for you. The greatest gift you can give this year, in my opinion, is to intercede for someone. Someone outside your circle. Someone you don’t know well, or at all. Because Jesus came for them. You may not know them, but He does. Who is it that has crossed your path this December! Some fleeting image at the check out stand, gas station or ??? Intercede for them. That He would reveal Himself to them.
    And what problems do they have? Why they are just like us, The have relationship issues, with Him and others. Financial, employment, drugs, alcohol. See all the “things” we have in our lives are common things. The names and faces are different. But most of the issues are common. Bow before Him, intercede for them…. you may get an unexpected gift yourself! It really did happen!

  2. Jan Bergendahl says:


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