Pastor Rice Broocks of Bethel World Outreach Church in Nashville, Tennessee, is hoping that his new book, "Man, Myth, Messiah: Answering History's Greatest Question," will inspire readers to "examine the evidence" and decide exactly what they believe about the historicity of Jesus.
"I think the existence of Jesus is a historical bedrock," Broocks recently told The Church Boys podcast. "There are facts of history that even historians who are skeptics will acknowledge are true."
Among those fact are that Jesus was crucified by Pontius Pilate and that his tomb was found empty, the pastor said, going on to explain that sources point to Jesus occupying a fixed place in history.
Broocks also defended the contents of the Christian gospels, calling them "very good, reliable accounts."
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"From the manuscripts that we have compared to other ancient manuscripts, to the details, to the historical and archeological confirmation of that from those facts, just on and on it goes," he said. "The Bible is history. It's not, 'Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away.'"
The life and death of Jesus are intricately tied to Christian theology. If the historical death and resurrection of Christ didn't happen, Broocks said, then "our faith is falsified," explaining that the religious construct "bets it all on that one event" — an event for which the implications are far-reaching and multifaceted, he said.
In the end, Broocks believes that Jesus is exactly who he said he was, though he acknowledged that some critics in the current generation is questioning Jesus' very existence in history, let alone Christ's claims of being the Messiah.
He's hoping that "Man, Myth, Messiah" — a book that released concurrently with "God's Not Dead 2" — will help educate people about why they should not only embrace Jesus' historical existence, but also trust what is written in the New Testament. Find out more here.
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