The Jesus Trilemma

The Jesus Trilemma of C.S Lewis. A fascinating theory, and one which I believe to be true. I was introduced to it by my religious education teacher today. Below I will paraphrase the theory.

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 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 patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Funnily enough, we actually did an exercise related to this in class. “Go to this corner of the room if you believe Jesus is the Son of God, go to this corner of the room if you think he was just a great human teacher, and go to this corner of the room if you believe he was a raving lunatic.” Two out of the twenty-five odd students went to that first corner. One of them was me.

While walking to that corner, thoughts of persecution occurred to me. If I was to be the only, or one of the only ones here, what would people say or do? Satisfyingly enough, a fire lit within me that soon burned away all irrational and/or rational fears, and I turned and faced the room with a stoic expression and folded arms.

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