When faced with Christian slogans like “Jesus died to save you from your sins” or liturgical commonplaces like “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” the 21st century twenty-something with virtually no understanding of Christianity might well ask, “What does the execution of a criminal two thousand years ago have to do with me?…Just how, exactly, does the gruesome death of an insurrectionist on a Friday afternoon so long ago and so far away wipe out the naughty things I’ve done?”
I sympathize. Just what does the crucifix mean to modern man with smart phones and jet planes? How does the concept of ritual sacrifice connect? How does one make sense of a Stone Age religion in the space age?
It is this very conundrum that prompted me to write Immortal Combat—Confronting the Heart of Darkness. To attempt an answer to “What does it mean that ‘Jesus died to take away the sin of the world’?” I first asked, “What is ‘the sin of the world’?” To explore that question, I turned to the philosophy of Nietzsche, Max Scheler, and René Girard.