Poached eggs, and other delusions

Just something I’ve been ruminating upon for Lent. Great quote from C.S. Lewis.

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that
people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral
teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we
must not say. 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. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great moral teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

What DO you do with Jesus? Whether you come from a religious background or not, His influence upon 2000 years of Earth’s history is undeniable. A great moral teacher? Perhaps- but most people who affirm that would argue vehemently against the worldview He himself affirmed (a common problem in atheism, actually). So- madman? Poached egg?

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14 Responses to Poached eggs, and other delusions

  1. KathyB! says:

    Thanks for calling me cute! After my ego crushing loss at bowling I need all the compliments I can get.

    Now for your post. This is more worthy of a dissertation than a blog comment. And that’s as far as I’m going…

  2. evenshine says:

    Dissertation? Nawww…I thought I made it quite palatable. Love to hear your thoughts.

  3. antropologa says:

    I’ve read that before. My mom is always trying to get me to read C.S. Lewis. But this is a false dichotomy. To understand Jesus you have to understand Judaism at that time, with all the false Messiahs. Besides, it’s not like anyone knows what Jesus really said or believed so who can say if he was crazy?

  4. ultraguy says:

    I’ve always loved that quote (and pretty much everything from CSL).

    The meme that’s starting to creep in from the secular crowd to try and get around the lunatic-liar-lord (madman-poached egg-Lord) challenge is to imply that the scriptures were ex-post-facto gloss engineered by some cabal of power-hungry churchmen to gin-up a religion from something that was never meant to be.

    Which is also complete rubbish… but it takes longer to refute. The best response lies in the actions and fates of the disciples. E.g., why did Paul turn around so completely? Why did they give up stable lives after the resurrection? Why did they ALL allow themselves to be martyred, imprisoned, persecuted, etc.?

  5. antropologa says:

    Ultraguy–Yeah, cause crazy people NEVER join cults.

  6. evenshine says:

    So antropologa’s vote is for “crazy person”? You’d go with “Jesus was a lunatic”? Or just his disciples?

  7. Adriana says:

    Are poached egg and lunatic our only options? Can’t I choose the son of God?

  8. Evenshine says:

    Adriana- no, those aren’t the only options. Liar, lunatic, Lord (Son of God). Poached egg is the same as lunatic. I actually don’t think I’ve ever had a poached egg, now that I think about it.

  9. Gibby says:

    Hhhhmmm…I just got back from a 6-hour road trip, so not sure how much sense I would make on the topic. However, I fear and must admit, that if Jesus (and I was raised old-school Catholic, although I have veered a bit) was around today, right now, as I am sitting on my couch and typing this, I would probably consider him a lunatic as I watch him on MSNBC or CNN. A little nutty. And I would probably consider his followers a little…off. I am sad to admit this, but I think that most people, if they really look down deep, might answer the same.

    So, now that I come across as a heathen, just wanted to say thanks for the comment the other day!

  10. evenshine says:

    Interesting ideas. I’d say there’s a fundamental difference, though, in Jesus’ message from anything you’ll watch on CNN.

    Thanks for the comment!

  11. Gibby says:

    I definitely think there is a difference between Jesus’ message and today’s stories on CNN, but I just have to wonder with the media the way it is today…how would they skew the story? How would they paint him? As a man trying to teach the world? Or as a cult leader-type? Media plays a huge role in that type of thing these days…unfortunately.

  12. faemom says:

    I find it interesting that C.S.Lewis did not find Jesus as a moral teacher because I always found that He was along with being Lord. Granted, He demanded a lot from His followers, like giving up everything to follow Him, but He was giving out moral insight. What else could you call the Golden Rule or the Beatitudes? Or any other number of parables He used? I just wonder why a God so infinite can’t be several things to different people.

  13. evenshine says:

    G- I see what you mean. I agree that we’re entirely too trusting of the media.

    F- of course He was a great moral teacher- the point Lewis makes is that He wasn’t JUST that. Of course God can be many things to many people. I just think we have to be careful with reduction.

  14. faemom says:

    Ah, I see. That helps. I totally agree with you on that point. When we place God in our box, we miss out on the beauty, the mystery, the awesomeness of it all.

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