Calvary Road Baptist Church


I want to engage you in a thought experiment. You might wonder what a thought experiment is. So, for our purposes, let me define a thought experiment as a discussion between two individuals who rely on logic, reason, and rationality rather than deception, trickery, lies, or misinformation/disinformation.

You might be somewhat suspicious of my motives, so reflect with me for a moment on what I propose. If you imagine that I am about to engage in trickery or skullduggery, if you think I am such absent integrity and honesty that I would do such a thing to you, do you think I am foolish enough, reckless enough, or stupid enough to engage in such conduct in a public forum and put at risk a reputation that I have spent more than 40 years establishing?

If you do not care what people think of you, please do not project your disposition on me. I care what people think of my honesty, integrity, and commitment to the truth. Let us operate on the assumption that I will interact with you in front of other people in a truthful way, in an honest way, and without resorting to tricks or deception. Please grant me the benefit of the doubt in this public setting.

I have long believed that a man persuaded against his will is a man unpersuaded still. I say that to say this. I have no interest in tricking anyone. I have no interest in deceiving anyone. I have no interest in misleading anyone. I am not a liar, a cheat, or a thief. Most of you know people who have known me for a very long time, on the order of forty years, thirty years, and twenty years. Ask yourself if they would tolerate deception, dishonesty, lack of integrity, and subterfuge in their lives for so long a time.

Are you with me so far? Next, ask yourself a few questions. Have I ever lied to you? Have I ever tricked you? Have you ever been harmed in any way by interacting with me? Do you reasonably, rationally, or logically have any reason to imagine that I would do you any harm? Can you point to any individual and credibly insist that I have harmed him in any way or harmed her in any way?

Thus, will you admit the likelihood that you might be suspicious or actually fearful of interacting with me because one of us is a tad bit unreasonable, irrational, and uninformed, and it might not be me? At the outset, reminding you that I seek to engage you in a thought experiment allows me to express my goal, at least for the short term. My short-term goal is to challenge, engage, and influence the way you think about something. The way you think about someone. Not me. Not your mother or your father. Not even a friend or acquaintance. I seek to influence your opinion about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Before you erect walls of resistance in your mind, allow me to head you off at the pass. You and I both know people who have done wrong and committed sins even though they claim to love the Lord Jesus Christ. This is because, except for holy angels, the only creatures who have ever loved the Lord Jesus Christ are sinful and subject to the inconsistencies and shortcomings found in the lives of every sinner.

Has a Christian ever been divorced? Of course. But Christians typically suffer divorce because of the actions and attitudes of a non-Christian spouse, and no Christian has ever divorced a spouse because of Jesus. But you will find among them that do not love Jesus those guilty of marrying and divorcing, marrying and divorcing, and marrying and divorcing.

What about the trauma visited upon children when their parents divorced? When young men and women are considering the Gospel, in addition to having no thought of the likelihood of future divorces related to their unbelief, there is also little regard for the profound damage that will be inflicted upon their children when their rejection of the Gospel leads to an almost inevitable divorce.

Do a Google search of the likelihood of boys dropping out of high school, of boys ending up in prison, of boys ending up fathering children out of wedlock, and the poverty experienced by the single mom and the children who are left without a dad in the home after a divorce. And all of this is the measurable consequence of someone saying “No” to Jesus. With girls whose dads have divorced their moms, the great tendency is toward sexual promiscuity. Do you want your future daughters to sleep around because of the divorce that was the almost inevitable result of you rejecting the Gospel? Look up the stats.[1]

I might continue this discussion for another hour, but time constraints compel me to begin our thought experiment. Most people think of newborn babies as blank slates. The reality, however, is that during a baby’s nine months in the mother’s womb, a great deal of learning occurs. Not so much the understanding of facts because facts are apprehended through words, and unborn children do not know words. The learning that takes place before birth is related to their mother’s feelings, calmness versus nervousness, confidence versus fear, and the like. And do not forget to factor in the inherited sinful nature.[2]

However, once a baby has survived the terrifying ordeal of birth, learning facts begins in earnest. The five senses come into play in a way they did not before birth. The unborn can hear and sense feelings in their skin in their mother’s amniotic fluid sack, but their senses are muted. After the baby is born, they see, smell, taste, touch, and hear as never before. I am sure that you will admit that you can only acquire information through your five senses. There is simply no other way to gather information about anything.

Would anyone disagree with that? Speak now or forever hold your peace. Here is the thought experiment. Are you ready for it? The thought experiment considers the question, “Where did you obtain your understanding of Jesus?”

This question is crucial because you do not want Jesus as your Savior, and it is in your best interest to consider why that is so. I say this because no one can stop you from embracing Jesus if you want to, while no one can coerce you to embrace Jesus if you do not want to. So, if you have not trusted Jesus, you do not consider Him good for you for some reason. Okay. What is it about Him that causes you to view Him unfavorably?

Where did you obtain the impressions, the purported facts, that convinced you to decline the Gospel, that persuaded you to set aside the wisdom of your parents, that resulted in you trusting your powers of reason and logic over whatever Christian influences you have been exposed to?

Shall we consider them in turn? This is the core of our thought experiment. 


Of course, you were carried in your mother’s womb from conception until delivery. During that time, you were exposed to the whole range of your mother’s experiences and emotions. You traveled through those experiences with your mother without having the information that produced the range of emotions and variations in her metabolism (heartbeat, blood pressure, respiration rate, etc.) that you and she experienced. Before your birth, was your mother a Christian woman who walked in the Spirit, displayed the fruit of the Spirit, and rejoiced in the hope of the glory of God? Or were hers, which is to say your mother’s, the works of the flesh? Would that not influence you in some way?

After you were born, you observed through your five senses the conduct of your mother and father. As you learned how to communicate with words, you absorbed so much of what went on around you; the sites, the sounds, the mutterings, the facial expressions, and the demeanor, of mostly your mother but also your father. As you grew and observed not only your parents’ conduct and convictions acted out, but also their conversations, you formed opinions about the Lord Jesus Christ that was directly or indirectly derived from your parents. Were those opinions favorable or unfavorable? From them, did you conclude the Savior was desirable or undesirable? Did you suppose that Jesus sets the soul at liberty or that a relationship with Jesus Christ was somehow profoundly onerous and burdensome? 


I have no memory of Christian friends during my childhood. Perhaps you are different than me in that regard. One of my standout memories during grade school was an afternoon spent in the backyard of a friend who lived several blocks away, someone my parents did not know and did not know about. Yet I had unrestricted access to him. Would you like to know what we spent an afternoon doing that I remember so vividly? We spent hours ridiculing and mocking God. We took turns giving voice to the most despicable speech and conduct toward God. An Armed Forces veteran would likely have been embarrassed by our conversation. Then we would feign fear of God, mockingly pretending to repent of our sins before falling on the ground laughing. We thought it was so funny, our blasphemy. This went on for hours.

I also remember going to a Sunday school class on one occasion. Sunday School was a rarity. That Sunday morning, I was the first to arrive in the classroom. In time, several other boys joined me in the room, each of them carrying his own Bible. Want to know what they did before the Sunday school teacher entered the classroom? They showed me the foul words and dirty pictures they had drawn on the pages of their Bibles. Oh, how they giggled with glee. What reverence for holy things they displayed. What concern for glorifying God they showed me. What do you think I learned about the Savior that day before the Sunday school teacher entered the room? That is why a teacher should always be the first person in the Sunday School room, and the class must in some way begin upon the arrival of the first student.

My experiences with my friends growing up profoundly influenced my attitude toward parenting my child for good reasons. My childhood memories of friends concerning spiritual matters are horror-filled. 


Of course, when I refer to the culture, I include, in addition to social media, the efforts and activities of Hollywood because Hollywood is still a significant influencer of culture. It is easy to discover what the dominant culture thinks of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just watch the movies, social media posts, and podcasts about the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will know what the producers, screenwriters, directors, and actors envision the Lord Jesus Christ as being like. Watch what guests on the late-night shows say about God, Christianity, and the Lord Jesus. Let me illustrate with movies what is undoubtedly found in other mediums. In 2004 there was The Passion Of The Christ starring Jim Caviezel. In 1999 we were given Jesus, starring Jeremy Sisto. 1977 gave us Jesus Of Nazareth, starring Robert Powell. In 1965 it was The Greatest Story Ever Told, starring George Stevens. In 1961 it was Jeffrey Hunter in The King Of Kings. Not to mention Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, and so many other movies.

Each of the movies I have mentioned, along with all the others I did not mention, are profoundly flawed caricatures of the Lord Jesus Christ. And even in movies in which an attempt was made to present the Lord Jesus Christ favorably, the results were flawed and ended up doing Him no justice.

The rest of the media culture does Him the same kind of injustice: robbing Him of His divinity, shorting His glory, missing His holiness, or abjectly failing to communicate His sovereign control over every circumstance. He is never portrayed as likable. So, unless someone is consciously and conscientiously arrayed in his mind against the world, its values, and its efforts to indoctrinate and insinuate its values and assumptions, what they think about Jesus will have an impact on what you think about Jesus.

Does culture have its hooks in you? You may not think so, but if you are a committed gamer, a committee movie watcher, a committed sports junkie, or a committed anything having to do with live streaming on the Internet, it is possible (if not likely) your attitude and willingness to accept a favorable view of Jesus have long since been compromised. 


For two thousand years, history has contained a smattering of truths related to the Lord Jesus Christ but without providing anything like a coherent collection of related and verifiable facts. Many historians object to the knowability of history, insisting that history is not directly observable, that history is by its nature fragmentary knowledge, that historical evidence is of necessity selective, that history has been affected by the value judgments of those who recorded history, that historians have been influenced by their era and worldview, and that historians mistake the value and importance of different events.[3] This has resulted in the rise of historians committed to an observable anti-Christian bias. The mistake they make is supposing that the be-all and end-all of truth is science.

Imagine historians embracing as the end-all source of knowledge and information scientists![4] Of course, the problem with that is the inherent limitations of science and the scientific method. What is outside the scope of science as topics of inquiry are those events that are not observed and those that are unique and not repeatable. This can be illustrated by pointing out the number of events science did not observe, such as the creation of angelic beings, the creation of the physical universe, the virgin birth of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, and an assortment of other important events. Science is utterly incapable of weighing in on any observed event that does not repeat. Sadly, most scientists are not honest enough to admit that. And when they offer opinions about things they have not seen and cannot measure, they are straying from science into philosophy, from expertise to amateur hour. But no one ever calls them on it.

When approached correctly, history weighs much more authority than science concerning one-off events, such as the resurrection. Allow me to remind you that history attests to the Romans’ crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. History attests to the willingness of early Christians to suffer martyrdom because they were convinced they had seen the risen Savior. History attests to the conversion of the great enemy of the Christian faith to the greatest of all Christians, from Saul of Tarsus to the Apostle Paul, as a result of his encounter with the risen Savior on the road to Damascus. History attests to the conversion of the greatest skeptic to the most prominent early Christian era pastor due to James, the Lord’s half-brother, seeing Him following His resurrection. Then there was the empty tomb, where His dead body had been placed, sealed with a massive stone, and guarded by soldiers until He rose from the dead.[5]

That said, even history, for what it has not shown but for what it can establish when used properly, is still insufficient unless you look for evidence of the Lord Jesus’ personal appeal. But where would we turn in history for evidence of the Savior’s personality, His likeability, His kindness, His tenderness, His mercy, and His grace? While history, rightly researched and properly used, is capable of so much more than it is being used for in our highly politicized and agenda-driven world, it is too rough an instrument to effectively impress us with those features of the Savior’s personality that would most influence our decision making about Him. 


I mention Hinduism because it is the oldest of the widely held non-Christian religions in the world, and Hinduism has an opinion about the Lord Jesus Christ. If you have been exposed to Hinduism, either formally or through the gateway trap used to seduce people into Hinduism, which is yoga, then your perception of Jesus has been influenced by Hinduism.

How so? Hinduism, with its one hundred million gods, has a view of Jesus. With its demon-saturated counterfeit spirituality, Hinduism acknowledges Jesus but does so by selling Him shortly. How so? By portraying Jesus as one of many, the only way to God rather than the unique.

Jesus claims uniqueness and exclusivity as the only Savior of sinful souls. Jesus demands and commands sinners to come to Him empty-handed, without any pretense of works righteousness to earn God’s favor. Yet Hinduism not only denies Jesus is who He said He is, but Hinduism and its appendage proselytizing tool of yoga would also place Him on the bookshelf of deities on display with the false gods that represent the demons He created before He fashioned the physical universe.

No, you cannot have a good view of Jesus, a correct view of Jesus, an accurate opinion of Jesus, so long as you are blind to the wickedness of Hinduism’s gross idolatry and the danger to souls posed by its primary propaganda tool in the western world known as yoga. 


Islam, like Hinduism, is a religion of lies. While Hinduism is an idolatrous religion of one hundred million gods, monotheistic Islam is an undercover religion of idolatry, with Satan adopting the name Allah and posing as the one true God and Creator of all things. He is not!

Islam’s place of origin said to be Mecca, is a lie.[6] Islam’s founder said to be Muhammed, is mostly an invention.[7] And Islam’s understanding of Jesus is wholly inadequate, denying He is the unique Son of God, denying He is the Second Person of the Trinity, denying He died on the cross, and therefore denying both His substitutionary sacrifice for sins and also His resurrection from the dead.

Meaning? Meaning Islam is at odds with an elevated view and understanding of Jesus. So much so that to embrace Jesus as your Savior requires a simultaneous repudiation of Islam, the so-called prophet Muhammed, and the Quran’s assertion that Allah is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 


Consider a few things: Of all the so-called holy books of the various religions known to us, only the Bible and the Quran claim to have been authored by God using human instruments. No other religion known to us makes such claims. You would think the true religion would have such a holy book. Thus, either the Bible is true, or the Quran is true. Since they fundamentally disagree, the two books cannot both be right. Of all the religions of the world known to us, only the founder of the Christian faith, as recorded in the Bible, claims that He and only He provides access to God. Buddha never made such a claim. Mohammed does not make such a claim in the Quran. Only Jesus, and only in the Bible. Thus, since science is so frequently wrong about so much, as we have seen throughout the last several years, one would have to be a fool to imagine any view of Jesus based on science would be accurate. And since history, even with its much broader reach than science, has proven to be so unreliable about so many things (despite its frequent usefulness) and is also inadequate for formulating an accurate and helpful view of Jesus, you cannot rely on historical evidence to provide a good view of Jesus with anything like finality.

That leaves religion, broadly speaking, for us to consider. But which religion? A belief informed by literature that does not claim to come from God? Thus, all religions except for Islam and Christianity are eliminated from consideration by reasonable people. Would it be the religion that sanctions gays being thrown from buildings to kill them? Or the religion that urges its followers to love and seek to persuade all sinners to embrace the Savior? Would it be the religion founded by a polygamous slave owner and mass murderer? Or would it be the religion founded by the Suffering Servant of God who died on the cross to save sinners from their sins? Would it be what has for its holy book the Quran, with dozens of books written about its checkered history, inaccuracies, and internal contradictions, due to it having been written several centuries after the events it records? That would be Islam. Or would it be the religion that has for its holy book, the Bible, written by forty men over 1600 years, in three languages, on three continents, but with each New Testament book having been written by men who were either eyewitnesses of the events they recorded or writers whose material was presented to a community of individuals who themselves both witnessed the events recorded and had the opportunity to endorse or reject the truth of what was written? That would be Christianity.

I assert that the Bible is the only reliable source of information about Jesus. Understand that even the proper use of historical evidence makes it difficult to establish the Savior’s likeability. But from the Bible, we learn that little children flocked to Him,[8] afflicted women sought His help,[9] Gentile women felt safe near Him,[10] lepers sought His help,[11] Roman centurions enlisted His aid,[12] and Temple guards declared, “Never man spake like this man.”[13] So, using the Bible as the only reliable source of information about Jesus, a better source than your parents, your friends, your culture, any history you would have access to, and any religion you might be curious about, is there anything to be found in the Bible that presents Jesus in a bad light? If you think you know of something, I would love to know what it is you think you have. Having been a Christian and a Bible reader for almost a half-century, what you think you have I am interested in, I assure you. However, until you show me what you have, I don’t think you have anything. 

Where does our thought experiment leave us? It leaves us with only one reliable source of information about the most important to you person who has ever lived. The Bible is a more reliable source of truth about Jesus than your mom or dad, your friends, your culture (whatever it may be), any historical evidence you might have access to or any religion.

Meaning? Whatever you consider about Jesus when deciding to like Him or dislike Him, embrace Him or reject Him, endorse Him or dismiss Him, it is counterproductive to view any information that is not found in the Bible. To do so would lead you to a catastrophic conclusion about Him.

All of this understood and agreeing with what I have said every step of the way, you are almost undoubtedly still unpersuaded about Jesus. You do not desire Him or want Him to be your Savior, despite His love for you and your profound need for someone to do what you cannot do for yourself.

What does that suggest? What does that illustrate? It illustrates what the Bible reveals about you, as well as what it reveals about Jesus. It reveals that you are dead in trespasses and sins, Ephesians 2.1. It reveals that you have no interest in God because of your sinfulness and complete lack of goodness, Romans 3.10-23. And it reveals that He is your only hope.

Our thought experiment is over. Your next step should probably be to reach out to me so we can discuss what you should do about the predicament you find yourself in.


[1] Locating good data is increasingly difficult with so much emphasis being expended by professionals to “normalize” divorce.

[2] Psalm 51.5

[3] Josh D. McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999), pages 676-677.

[4] Consider just a few books about bad science. William Broad & Nicholas Wade, Betrayers Of The Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982), Michael Fumento, Science Under Siege: Balancing Technology and the Environment, (New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.), Horace Freeland Judson, The Great Betrayal: Fraud In Science, (New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2004)

[5] Gary R. Habermas and Michael R. Licona, The Case For The Resurrection Of Jesus, (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2004), pages 48-77.


[7] Robert Spencer, Did Muhammed Exist? - An Inquiry Into Islam’s Obscure Origins, (Wilmington, Delaware: ISI Books, 2012)

[8] Matthew 19.14; Mark 10.14; Luke 18.16

[9] Matthew 9.20; Mark 5.25; Luke 8.43; 13.11

[10] Matthew 15.22; Mark 7.25; John 4.7

[11] Matthew 8.2; Mark 1.40; Luke 17.12

[12] Matthew 8.5; Luke 7.2

[13] John 7.46

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