Jesus Christ Was A Roman Conspiracy

A new-to-me entry in to the top five all time ever dumbest theories about the existence of Jesus is the theory that the story of Jesus Christ was ‘fabricated to pacify the poor’ by the Romans. Despite this claim not making any sense whatsoever when –instead of hitting the retweet button– you stop and think about it, it gives the impression of authenticity by being claimed by a ‘biblical scholar’. The person is a biblical scholar in the same way that BP are climate change experts, or Fox News viewers are Hawaiian birth certificate experts. Jesus’ historical existence is actually quite similar to climate change, in that pretty much every single expert who has ever studied the issue properly has decided that yes, this is true. The people who inevitably deny it either haven’t read the research properly, have a vested interest in it being false, or most likely both. Here’s noted disbeliever in the divinity of Jesus and actual biblical scholar Bart D. Ehrman on whether Jesus was real:

“the claim that Jesus was simply made up falters on every ground”

“These views are so extreme and so unconvincing to 99.99 percent of the real experts that anyone holding them is as likely to get a teaching job in an established department of religion as a six-day creationist is likely to land on in a bona fide department of biology.”

The Bible-Centered Youthworker Conference 2016: 40 years From Now

In the last couple of years The Bible-Centred Youthworker Conference has, in my opinion, got a lot stronger. I don’t think it’s because my youth work friends are now all over the country and it’s more a joy to see everyone. There was a move to different format a few years ago and and it’s made it a lot more welcoming and engaging atmosphere. Bookings are open for this year, and the two announced speakers are great.

I have no idea if what I’m doing in January allows me to be at this conference, but I’ll be sad to miss it if I’m not.

Links on Depression and Despair

A week ago I got to preach on Psalm 119:25-32 at church. It’s part of a Psalm about clinging to God and his promises in times of deep darkness. You can listen to the recording here. As I was preparing for it Glen Scrivener published thoughts as he preached on Psalm 88 an even darker Psalm. More helpful even than that though, was Mark Meynell posting a deeply honest series about what it’s like to struggle with depression.