Chapter Ten: The Problem of Jesus

My Problem With God Is…

Sunday, October 20

Clark claims that the identity of Jesus is the central question of our lives. It is the question around which all others orbit. Was he born of a virgin? Was he truly the son of God, and yet fully God himself? Many believe he was a teacher, leader or revolutionary, but they aren’t convinced he is really God. People often already have an idea of who God is and can’t fit Jesus into that, or they already have an idea of who Jesus is and can’t fit God into that. We learn who Jesus is through the Scriptures, by hearing what he teaches, but by also acknowledging he demonstrated his claim as God through his actions. Being born of a virgin, living a sinless life, performing miracles and ultimately, being resurrected from the dead are all demonstrations of his deity. Clark summarizes that facing the problem of God is about far more than getting the right information for ourselves; it’s about a transformation of ourselves. Jesus has real power to create new life and new desires and new futures for anyone.

Getting Started:

  1. Jesus not only claimed to be God by what he said, but also by what he did. What truths of Jesus’ life support his deity?
  2. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is at the center of Christianity. What do you believe about the resurrection of Christ, and why? What evidence do you have to support it?
  3. In what ways have you been skeptical about Jesus’ claim to be God? What encouraged, or discouraged your belief in this claim?
  4. Some argue that Jesus never said the words “I am God”. How would you acknowledge this, and yet argue that he did claim to be God?

Going Deeper:

  1. Clark provides examples of 4 primary arguments or pushbacks to the resurrection of Jesus. In your own words how would you refute the following:
    • Jesus didn’t really die on the cross.
    • The body of Jesus was stolen after his death.
    • The disciples went to the wrong tomb and that is why it was empty.
    • The disciples made up the resurrection as a “copycat” from another popular myth.
  2. Many argue that Jesus was a great moral teacher and did many kind things, but was not God. If you knew someone today that claimed to be God, and you knew they were not, why would you accept anything they did or taught to be of value? Would you not conclude that they were either a liar, or a lunatic?