Some time back, I was engaged in an online forum with some religious skeptics. Under discussion were the usual: the existence of God, the divinity of Jesus, evidence for the resurrection, and so on. For the most part, the participants were civil and without the animus that has been far too typical of these exchanges.

After one of the discussions was gaveled, a person remarked on the intensity of the dialogue. It suggested something of real importance; maybe something of utmost importance. Just what, he couldn’t say.

I responded that it was the outrageous claims of a carpenter’s son. For a first century Jew, claiming equality with God and forgiving sins were blasphemies punishable by death. Even in our enlightened day, such behavior would be grounds for committal to a mental institution or dismissal as a megalomaniac or outright fraud. But with Jesus, there is the confounding issue of His teachings.

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