Written by Peter Blanch
“What dangerous idea has the greatest potential to change this world for the better?”
This question from the audience was asked of the panellists at the end of a “Q&A” show at the Opera House during the “Festival of Dangerous Ideas” in November 2013. In response to the question, one panellists needed time to think of an answer. Another panellist, Dan Savage, suggested his dangerous idea: “that abortion should be mandatory for 30 years” to control population growth. The feminist, Germaine Greer expressed nothing new – “freedom”. When the compere asked Peter Hitchens, his answer clearly startled the other panellists:
“The most dangerous idea in human history and philosophy remains the belief that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and rose from the dead. That is the most dangerous idea you will ever encounter.”
The compere didn’t appear to understand Hitchens case and asked “Why dangerous?” Mr Hitchens replied: “Because it alters the whole of human behaviour and all our responsibilities. It turns the universe from a meaningless chaos into a designed place in which there is justice and there is hope and, therefore, we all have a duty to discover the nature of that justice and work towards that hope. It alters us all. If we reject it, it alters us all as well. It is incredibly dangerous. It’s why so many people turn against it.”
Out of all the answers – Peter Hitchens was the only truly serious reply. And he is right – Jesus’ death and Resurrection is a most dangerous idea. If true, it changes everything; if false, it is a monster of a lie. Hitchens was also right when he stated that because the impact is so great, many people ‘turn against it’. Given the danger, why is it that so many people reject or simply disregard this idea without ever considering it seriously?
Many people reject the resurrection of Jesus and His claims to be God’s one and only Son – not on the basis of careful investigation – but because they are unwilling to accept the implications for their lives. They have grown used to the way they have shaped their lives and they are reluctant to change their minds and turn everything upside down.
The clear danger here is that they choose to live in ignorance, like the proverbial ostrich with it’s head in the sand. Their failure to investigate the world’s most dangerous idea could lead to a wasted life. The stakes are very high.
Because if you find that Jesus is the Son of God, and he was raised from the dead, then you have to come to the realisation that you can no longer ignore your accountability to Him and continue to live your life defying Him.
The great thing about Jesus is that He did not live and die in some dark corner of the universe, tucked away so that no-one could see or hear what he was doing, with no chance to verify what happened.
Jesus’ life, death and resurrection all took place in the open, in plain sight. There are many records of the events of Jesus’ life and death because they happened in real time, in the context of other historical events, such that the events themselves can now still be carefully investigated by anyone who is genuinely seeking information.
The Bible Talks in our “Big Questions” series are designed to help people in their investigation of Jesus, and his death and resurrection. Please continue to come along, to ask questions and to invite others to join us.
I’m hoping that as you examine this dangerous idea – that Jesus is God’s Son and that He rose from the dead – you will find the truth and discover that, far from turning your life upside down, the implications of this dangerous idea will instead turn your life right-side up.