Satisfaction, John Piper and How I’ve Answered the Cranky Atheist
One of my favorite TV shows of all time was the recently ended series, House. I loved watching it for the great dialogue and the look it gave into the human condition. Especially that of Gregory House, the show’s self-proclaimed cranky atheist, main character and antihero. He berated his employees for their stupidity, was addicted to pharmaceutical drugs, knew his way around the liquor cabinet, married a Ukrainian hooker so that she could get a green-card (a federal crime), didn’t give a damn about the feelings of those around him (for the most-part), continual liar to those in authority above him, abhorred all notion of the existence of God and readily mocked those of faith of any kind.
Needless to say, he’s probably one of my favorite fictional characters of all time, although I think Mr. Darcy may have him beat.
Which doesn’t really make sense because we’re very much not on the same wave-lengths when it comes down to our worldviews. But House always helped me because he presented problems to my faith. Ones that I must answer and that Christianity as a whole must answer. Some were easier than others to respond to and a lot of them really made me think about what I believed about God, the universe and everything.
Here’s an answer to one of the problem’s that Greg House, the cranky atheist, presented to me.
Van Morrison, Treason and Promises.
“Turn it up.”
..as Van Morrison once said. Now, he may have been talking about the radio, but I’m talking about the Gospel.
Let me explain.
The Other Son: Rebel (Part I)
At the very beginning of the New Testament are four books. These books are referred to as, The Gospels. Each of these books records the life of Jesus from the viewpoint of four very different men speaking to four very different peoples. These men’s names: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
You may have heard of them.
Of these four amazingly insightful and incalculably important books my favorite is the Gospel of Luke. Comprising of 19,842 words it is the longest book of the New Testament. Its author was a well-educated, Gentile physician whose primary purpose was to provide an “orderly account” of the life of Jesus. I often look to Luke as a kindred-spirit of sorts. His detail, love of healing power and academic mind is something that I aspire to and connect with on a very personal, millennial-crossing level. If you asked most of the people at my Bible College who their favorite person from the Bible was they would probably say Paul, David, Joseph (of the Old Testament), Abraham, Isaiah, Jeremiah etc. but few would say Luke. He’s a detailed historian that illuminated and magnified the importance of social activism (caring for women, children and the poor), certainly a hero but not one of so blatant importance like the Apostle Paul. Which I think is why Paul traveled with Luke. Pauls need Lukes, and likewise.
This post is (somewhat unfortunately) not about my Biblical man-crush though..
A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.