Man, Myth, Messiah
By – Rice Brooks
Broocks has once again released a simple and easy to follow narrative of the evidence behind the deity of Christ. Written as a sequel to his book God’s Not Dead, Broocks continues to drive home the evidence for the Christian faith. In God’s Not Dead, Broocks took an expansive approach to the conversation painting the picture with broad swaths. He eloquently began with the vastness and intricacy of the universe and beginning to delicately zoom in until he got to the very fabric of human existence—at every level giving proof after proof for the mind of a Creator at work.
In Man, Myth, Messiah, Broocks begins with the question of the deity of Jesus of Nazareth. The title and fundamental thesis of the book comes from the Lewis trilemma. In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis states,
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the 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.”
From this passage, a pillar of Christian apologetics was born. Jesus can only be one of three things: A liar, a lunatic, or The Lord.
In light of a resurgence of skeptical arguments and the advent of the “evangelistic atheist”–Broocks proposes a new trilemma. Jesus was either just a man, just a myth, or He was the Messiah.
Broocks quickly dispels the idea that Jesus Christ was just a man, offering to the reader the overwhelming evidence for the validity of the gospels. He offers that there is more evidence for the person of Jesus Christ – more evidence for his crucifixion and death – than there is for any other widely accepted historic figure. He puts forth the idea of minimal facts and states that even the most prominent atheists and skeptics agree that Jesus walked the Earth, the he was brutally crucified through a Roman style crucifixion, that 3 days later stories began to emerge that He was resurrected, and that in a very short amount of time there are multiple eyewitnesses who believe that they saw the risen Christ. The argument very succinctly boils down to the question of the legitimacy of the supernatural resurrection.
Broocks also answers the idea that the narrative of the gospels is simply a recreation of old mythology. Many skeptics have begun asserting that Christ is an updated version of the Egyptian god Horus, or Osiris, or the Hindu god Krishna, or Mithras. When the most cursory academic research is done, these assertions simply do not hold up. There is no evidence for any Egyptian god dying and then being resurrected. What similarities there are between the narratives are superficial at best. The gospel message stands this test as well.
This leaves only one conclusion – The Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born of a virgin, who died on the cross for the sin of mankind, was buried and was resurrected after three days. He ascended into Heaven and now sits at the right hand of God himself as an advocate for mankind.
Broocks has a great way of simplifying the narrative and quieting the voices of the skeptics. He makes the whole of the ideas easy to understand, easy to learn, and easy to communicate. This book is a great addition to his works.