Jesus: Truth or Fantasy?

Thanks for joining us for more in this series based on Josh’s best-selling apologetics classic: More Than a Carpenter. So far you’ve learned about Josh’s search for meaning and purpose, and how he accepted the challenge from a group of college Christians to prove that Jesus was real, not myth. Josh accepted — expecting to easily prove they believed a fantasy.

But after meticulously researching authentic, historical documents for months, Josh had to admit that the evidence pointed to Jesus resurrecting, as the Bible says. And that was a problem, because Josh was not open to the idea of a “savior” who died for him, a “sinner.”

Josh wanted to assert that he had life by the tail. But deep down he knew he was a mess. Everything he desperately craved — meaning, purpose, peace — was leading him straight back to the God he didn’t want to acknowledge. If God was real — and loving and good, as Jesus taught — why had He allowed Josh to experience years of abuse at the hands of not just one man, but two? Why had God allowed his mom to also suffer from his alcoholic father, and die of a broken heart? 

Was God playing favorites? Or did these Christian students know something about God that Josh didn’t? Was their “relationship” with Jesus the puzzle piece lacking in his life that fueled their apparent joy? 

More Than a Carpenter blog #whoisjesus

Real Faith or Pure Fantasy?

Josh’s high, protective walls had to crumble before he could clearly see God’s nature without blinders. He had to stop fighting the idea that God loved Josh, and wanted to help him heal from the wounds of his abuse and loneliness. Josh had to stop holding onto his rage, for God’s love to begin to have influence over his thoughts and actions.

Josh began to realize that God wasn’t a fantasy — any more than He was an ogre who handpicked His favorites. Deep in his heart, Josh could hear God whisper that Josh wasn’t damaged goods. He was worthy of love and joy and meaning, simply because he was one of God’s treasured creations. Josh could now feel God’s sorrow at the hurt humans choose to inflict on others. Hurting people hurt people. It’s why our world is in such a mess.

And Josh now understood why the Christians students so confidently asserted that Jesus Christ was the difference in their lives. They “got” that they were deeply loved and accepted by God, which helped them to be kind and loving — to themselves and others. Because of Jesus, they felt hope, and joy, and purpose. Even when they made messed up and sinned. They trusted that they weren’t doing life alone, but with His help. Nothing could separate them from His grace!

As blogger Benjamin Sledge puts it, “I know that if I were to stack up my cards against most church people, I’d fold every time. I’m not that good at following rules, and I run my mouth a lot. And yet, God loves me and is cheering for me as I get better and especially when I fall down. Where I see failure, He sees opportunity for growth. Where I see addiction, He sees an opportunity to take a step. Where I’ve given up, He whispers, ‘You can make it.'”

Intellect or Emotion: Must We Choose?

With Christianity, must it be an either/or? Josh once thought so. But God used Josh’s skepticism  — just as He’ll use something in your life to try to get your attention to show you the truth of Himself.

Only when Josh was intellectually satisfied that Jesus Christ really lived, died, and resurrected could he admit that far from being a fantasy, God is real — and good. So good that He wants to be in a personal relationship with each of us, to support us as we do life. We were always meant to be living with Him in Eden; we messed that up, not Him.

As Bob Dylan wisely noted, we gotta serve somebody. Will you give God a chance to prove His love to you? Stay with us on the journey! You just might decide Jesus is someone you really, really want to get to know. (He is!!) But you must be open and seek the truth, like Josh did. 

“In spite of the firmness of the facts and the authenticity of the experience,” notes Josh, “Christianity is not something you can shove down anyone’s throat. You can’t force Christ on anyone. You’ve got to live your life, and I’ve got to live mine. All of us are free to make our own decisions. All I can do is tell you what I’ve learned. After that, what you do is up to you.”

Jesus: He’s More Than a Carpenter!

> FREE download: Read the first chapter of Josh’s bestseller, More Than a Carpenter. You can buy the book here.

> Watch how More Than a Carpenter changed one reader’s life AND set off a chain reaction that introduced many others to Jesus. That’s how the truth of God’s love is shared: person to person!

> Want to learn more about starting YOUR personal relationship with Jesus? Click here.


You can buy the book in English or Spanish.

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