in my HE 242 text book, Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being (Brian Luke Seaward) at Portland Community College, and in all honesty, really only two points made were inaccurate.
I’m actually very impressed and pleased by this, as I believe a good 90% of this page gives glory to God - incredibly improbable to find positive information about Jesus anywhere at PCC; even more unlikely to find accurate information about Jesus - not even in a philosophy of religion class (PHIL 204) at PCC.
So while I am stoked, and am praising God for this, I must still point out the 2 statements in the text that stand out to me as serious errors, and which I believe are crucial in better understanding the Lord:
1. “…Jesus of Nazareth regarded himself as a spiritual leader only” (184).
This is false.
Jesus made several claims to be God in the flesh, not just a spiritual leader: John 10:30, John 8:24, John 8:58, John 14:9 - just to name a few from a single book in the Bible. And in believing that Jesus is God and that the Bible is His Word, the amount of specific passages in Scripture that clearly state that He is God (not just a religious leader) is whopping.
Also, at the bottom of page 183 in a bubble where key terms and points are listed and defined: Jesus of Nazareth: A remarkable spiritual leader with a timeless message of compassion, forgiveness, and integrity.
Again, only half true. What makes Jesus the remarkable spiritual leader that He is can only be because He is God; His message is timeless because the Word of God is timeless; and the only way that it was possible for Jesus to be flawlessly and consistently compassionate, forgiving, and morally sound was because He was God in the flesh. In everything that He said and did, from His marvelous parables to His mind blowing miracles, He did do and did say to show and tell the world that He was God in the flesh - even and especially His death and resurrection. He really came to show and tell us this: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” saith the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, The Almighty.” - Revelation 1:8
2. “Little is known about Jesus of Nazareth…” (183).
Not a single person in all of history (not even recent history) has been more accurately documented by eye-witnesses, and/or relatives, friends, historians, scribes, and even enemies present at the time; more researched, analyzed and studied by followers, historians, philosophers, scientists and critics; or more written, spoken or taught about than one man: Jesus Christ.
There is as much or more information about Jesus than anyone in the history of the world. I believe the main reason why there is so much information about Him available, and why very much is known about Jesus is because each one of us (and there’s about 7 billion people on earth just today) has been created to know Him.
As stated in my text book, “…[Carl Jung] proposed that there was a spiritual drive located in the realm of the unconscious mind, which manifests itself when it bubbles to the conscious level….” We have an innate hunger for spiritual things; for truth - for God.
The popular song, Awake My Soul, by Mumford & Sons has a line that very much stands out from the rest of the song: “Awake my soul / For you were made to meet your Maker.”
“You were made by God and for God - and until you understand that, life will never make sense.” - Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life (p 19).
And as Colossians 1:16,17 so irrefutably declares: For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, principalities or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist - KJV.z
We were created by God for the purpose of knowing Him, glorifying Him and being blessed by Him - and God has made this possible in so many ways. We have so many resources and there is so much information about Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, and no excuse not to know Him - it is completely natural and expected of us to know Him.
I’m so thankful that I know the Creator of the universe and the One who made Himself a man to die for the sins of the world - the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come; the Almighty Jesus Christ.
In my text book, Seaward accurately quotes 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 and 13:13 - two of my favorite passages.
On page 184 he unerringly includes Jesus’ two rules to live by: 1. Love God, and 2. love others.
And he also reveals the true definition of faith: Faith, a confident belief and conviction in the power of God’s love, is the intent or desire to express love…. and added Jesus’ comparison of faith to a mustard seed, saying: …a small seed of faith could expand to phenomenal proportions and overcome the trials of human experience (p 184).
Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen. - Hebrews 11:1. We have a belief system based on substantial evidence that we can be confident and put our hope (desires and expectations) in.