You and I are the evidence that demands a verdict #bigread12 (@darrenrhill)

I have been accused, well not directly, of basing my life on a book written by a bunch of bronze age mystics who thought everything they didn’t understand was the work of God. Yes, I mean the Bible.

I also read an article that tried to define some common ground on which to debate the existence or non-existence of God. Basically God is outside of what we know or what we can conceive; God is not some super alien.

Both of the above are related to conversations either initiated by, or in response to, those who don’t believe in God, or Atheists. I’m not convinced by either the statement or the article, but they have been buzzing around my head recently.

Stepping stones

So it was a pleasant surprise that in his commentary, for today’s BigRead on Mark 3:20-35, Tom Wright suggests that these verses are important as part of the argument for the hostoricity of the gospels. He likens them to stepping stones, solid rocks that are scattered throughout the Bible. I loved this analogy. His argument for this is that no community would want to keep alive a tradition that suggested and questioned that Jesus was in league with Satan.

Ripples in the water

The passage got me thinking a little further. At the beginning we have Jesus family. They’re not too pleased to see what Jesus is doing. And at the end, to make a nice little container, we have Jesus remark that those who do his work are his brothers and sisters.

If we are to take that the author of the book of James is Jesus brother. And that James was also the leader of the early church it isn’t too much of an assumption to suggest there was a change in attitude from Mark 3:20. I like to see this as an important stone too, or more accurately a ripple that has spread from the person of Jesus. Something caused James to change. Not just change but to change to the point of death; history tells us that James was martyred for his faith. James was not the only one to change his life, Paul was another and there were many, many more whose lives were changed.

The only real evidence?

Is this is the proof that matters. Scientific discovery has consistently provided rational answers to seemingly supernatural events, and this will only continue. We can retreat away from atheism and those who vocally go further than Nietzsche, suggesting that God isn’t just dead but never even existed. Or, we can be like James and the others. We can live lives that have been transformed and changed. This change points to something greater than you and I. And during this time of Lent, what better time to let Jesus prepare a way forward, and show us the path of change.

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