If you remember or have seen the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray and Andie McDowell as the two lead characters, you know he’s local TV reporter, she is his producer and he becomes trapped in a day-long time loop.
If you’ve been alive and breathing in recent decades, odds are good that you’ve at least heard about the miracle of Jesus in feeding 5,000 people in the wilderness near Bethsaida.
Jesus had been speaking to the crowd for a good part of the day and when evening began to approach, he asked Phillip and other disciples how they could feed the large assembly. The disciples wanted to disperse the crowd to head into town, but Jesus took some fish and bread and multiplied it sufficiently to feed everybody on the spot and still have 12 baskets full of uneaten food for leftovers.
So, you’re walking down a corridor in the Rayburn House Office Building one day thinking about how your boss wants an amendment to a draft bill that she really cares about when your thoughts are interrupted by a conversation you overhear between two people walking a little ahead of you.
The duo appear also to be Hill aides, but they are debating an arcane topic – which is “better” for understanding reality, science or faith?
One of them tells the other he “doesn’t think there should be any conflict between science and faith because they really aren’t opposed.”
Whatever your view of Jesus of Nazareth, there is little room to question the claim that He is the most influential individual in history, even though he lived a mere 33 years two millennia ago in a backwater region of the Roman Empire.
Australian blogger and pastor Kurt Mahlburg says that is why Jesus is so often co-opted for causes other than His gospel, noting on his blog:
“Let’s be honest: It’s all too easy to highjack Jesus and make Him the pin-up boy for our cause. Depending on your flavor, He’s the middle-class moralist, the enlightened guru, the hellfire preacher, the social justice warrior—and the list grows every year.
“The reason Jesus keeps getting a rebrand—the reason He simply refuses to go away—is that He is without question the most influential person in history.”
Believe it or not, early in the decades following Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection, His followers were considered unpatriotic atheists by the most powerful government in the world, Rome.
As Ryan Leasure writes on The Poached Egg on this Palm Sunday, Roman Emperors expected subjects to bow down to the Roman pantheon of gods in an act both of loyalty to Caesar and religious piety.
Christians — in a dramatic act of separation of church and state —refused to worship the Roman gods and were thus viewed officially and by many Romans as atheists. But there was also an economic angle involved, as Leasure explains:
Imagine that you are veteran congressional investigator with years of experience digging into documents, probing witnesses, weighing evidence and sifting claims and counter-claims.
Would that be a good background for evaluating the credibility of the claims of Jesus Christ to be the only way to Heaven and the reliability of the Bible as the word of God? You would certainly have many of the most critical skills required for such an investigation, no?
Meet J. Warner Wallace. No, Wallace is not a former congressional investigator, but he is one of the world’s most respected experts at solving the toughest crime cases, the ones that have gone unsolved for years.
Rock legend Pink Floyd probably isn’t the first name that would come to mind if you were to ask 100 randomly selected professing Christians working on Capitol Hill or anywhere else who led them to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
The Poached Egg founder Greg West isn’t just anybody, however, and here he explains the role of one of the cuts on the band’s classic album, The Dark Side of the Moon, played in his journey from atheist to one of this generation’s most significant Christian apologists.
But before you click on the “here” link above, watch and listen to the cut below and see if you can detect what it was in the lyrics that launched West on an epic spiritual journey. Yes, there is a hint in the above photo, which is by George Fitzmaurice on Unsplash: