I am going through an eight volume set on the history of the Christian Church by Philip Schaff. I haven’t read any books of this kind Outside of the history books forced upon me in the young center for cultural indoctrination (school).
This particular book interested me only because it was eight books for two dollars on kindle. The deal was so good that I called my wife and asked if I could spend the two dollars. I did this because I didn’t want to explain later. It’s safer to ask for permission.
The price was the hook but the hook can only keep a fish for so long. Sometimes the hook is spit out. In my case, the line is reeling me in. Schaff is passionate about the subject he is writing about. And passionate people are interesting people. The kind that reel you in.
Here is a flavor and my topic:
“Who would not shrink from the attempt to describe the moral character of Jesus, or, having attempted it, be not dissatisfied with the result? Who can empty the ocean into a bucket? Who (we may ask with Lavater) “can paint the glory of the rising sun with a charcoal?” ”
Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church – From The 1st To The 20th Century
Before he wrote this, he wrote a summary of Jesus’ life and ministry. In describing the life of Jesus, Schaff assaulted me with the beauty of Jesus. It was a relentless sentence after sentence attacking my hardened heart. So vicious were the soft descriptions of Jesus’ life that I wanted to cry and repent again and again. Out of this barrage of inky bullets came a glimpse of the writer and a glimpse of something he saw that I have heard and have only glimpsed: this man Jesus was no ordinary man.
How can a man accurately describe his death before death seemed possible to those around him? How could one inspire hatred and hope? Who would skirt away from being made king by the people and then on his trial declare himself a king of a kingdom which no eye has yet seen? How could a man combat the most learned men without going to school himself? And then use the weak and poor to establish his teaching?
No matter what one may believe, no one can say say Jesus was an ordinary man after thorough study of his life. Such an extraordinary life was this man’s that here we are, nearly 2000 years later, and people are either praising him or dismissing him.