Sunday, August 31, 2008

Astounding Claims

Tonight I studied 1st John, which epistle launches with a sober yet astounding claim:

Its author, traditionally John the Apostle, declares without equivocation, that he has seen, heard and touched the Word of Life, even Jesus Christ.

This was not the typical literature being published in the 1st century A.D. The bestsellers of the day were more likely to speak of ancient myths in which no educated person still believed; of philosophy, such as the Stoicism of Epictetus; or of the natural sciences, such as the writings of Pliny or Strabo.

Christianity was completely out of step with the jaded, materialistic, oh-so-modern temper of the times, and was most unwelcome.

1,800 years later, in a veritable age of railways, as the late Dickens dismissively noted, a New York farmboy had the audacity to relaunch Christianity with all its original fervor, miracles and bold doctrines. He would even dare to announce that he had personally seen the Father and the Son, as well as a host of other notables that some of the learned Christians in his society had dismissed as mere myths, such as Moses and Elijah; and others whom the skeptics of the day might agree had once lived but were long vanished from the universe: John the Baptist and Paul, for example.

He would declare even that the Apostle John had never tasted of death but had received the call from the Lord to walk the earth and minister until He saw fit to call him back.

Which claim would surely lead to the consideration that John is no stranger to the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City and might even have a desk there.

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