A Different Kind of Logic About Jesus
A very different kind of logic led two U.S. government operatives with high profile backgrounds to conclude that Jesus of Nazareth is, in fact, the Son of God, the Messiah. It wasn’t the circumstances related to the fulfillment of prophecies or the Gospel accounts of miracles and teachings by Jesus of love and forgiveness. Instead, they looked at it completed differently and asked themselves – what are the odds it could all be a lie?
Years ago in an appearance on CNBC, the distinguished moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, the late Tim Russert, interviewed the late William F. Buckley. As a recognized intellectual, his biography is extremely impressive. Buckley was a World War II veteran, served as a CIA station chief, founded the National Review magazine serving as its Editor at Large; an Emmy winning TV show host of Firing Line; awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom; a syndicated newspaper columnist; and author of more than 40 books including Nearer, My God: An Autobiography of Faith.[i]
Russert asked Buckley, “Can you prove there is a God?” Buckley answered, “I can’t prove that Julius Caesar was assassinated nor can I prove that George Washington was a patriot.” He went on to explain the logic of his belief that Jesus is the Son of God was based on the behavior of his 11 Disciples.[ii]
The former spy chief, having served in a secret government agency whose counterintelligence agents placed their lives on the line every day to protect U.S. secrets around the globe, asked himself what are the odds that the Disciples of Jesus would be willing to die horrible deaths in defense of what they had witnessed – if it were not true? It seemed perfectly logical from Buckley’s perspective that these men would not willingly die to protect a lie.
President Nixon’s Special Council included the late Charles Colson, known as the “White House hatchet man,” who was convicted and imprisoned for his role in Watergate.[iii] Colson’s life-changing logic came later in life saying:
“What would inspire men to suffer and die for a belief? Only one thing—the absolute certainty that their belief was true. Who would die to protect a lie or a hoax, especially if he knew it to be a lie?”[iv]
As part of the Watergate conspiracy involving 12 of the most powerful men in the world, it took only 2 weeks for one of them to break and expose their cover up. From Colson’s unique perspective, if all 11 Disciples of Jesus went to their deaths never denying their proclamations about the Resurrection of Jesus, his logical conclusion was that the Disciples would never have stood steadfastly in their belief through persecution, torture and death if it was not true.
What did the Disciples experience that would make them unshakably committed to their belief that Jesus is the Son of God? They experienced and witnessed it; they were moved and torn by it; they shared and preached it; some wrote about it; and ultimately nearly all died tragic deaths proclaiming to the very end that Jesus is the Son of God.
Unique life experiences of Buckley and Colson, who worked with professional spies and deceivers at the highest levels of U.S. government, led them to the same independent conclusion. Disregarding reliance on prophecies, miracles, or the teachings of the Gospels, these two men concluded the witness accounts of the Disciples proclaiming that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, had to be true. Is their reverse logic is flawed?
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[i] “William F. Buckley Jr.” Biograpny.com. 2017. <http://www.biography.com/people/william-f-buckley-jr-9230494#synopsis>. “William F. Buckley Jr..” NationalReview.com. nd. <http://www.nationalreview.com/author/william-f-buckley-jr>
[ii] William F. Buckley. “Is there a God?” Talk show/Interview. CNBC. Host: Tim Russert. Aired 23 Nov. 1997.
[iii] Colson, Charles. “How God Turned Around Nixon’s Hatchet Man.” The Veritas Forum. Columbia University. 23 April 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_OqvFJhDRY>.
[iv] Colson, Chuck. “Secrets, Lies, and the Resurrection.” Break Point. 13 April 2006. <http://www.breakpoint.org/commentaries/5545-secrets-lies-and-the-resurrection>.