As the conversations continue with my tennis buddy, Olivier, we are approaching the point where he will be a special guest blogger representing a view opposite those who believe in God. After our mixed doubles tennis match this last weekend, he asked me if I was afraid that he may lead me or others away from our belief in God. He also asked me if I have any doubt whatsoever in the existence of God.
"No", I replied. "You are nuts", he retorted. "How can you believe in something that you cannot see?" Hmmm, that's two people in the last month, both polar opposites, that have told me I am a nut. "That is why God sent His Son, so that we could see God in the flesh." I asked him, "do you believe that there was a historical figure named Jesus?" "Yes, I do, His name is everywhere in history." I answered, "good, we have some common ground...we both believe that there was a Jesus who was here about 2,000 years ago. Do you believe He was nailed to a Cross and killed?" He was quick with his reply. "There is no doubt that He was killed and placed in a tomb."
We began do discuss the events that unfolded after He was placed in the tomb. I said, "Olivier, everything in my faith is about the Resurrection. It is the single event in human history that changed everything. There are different accounts about what happened. Roman soldiers were bribed to make up a story about the body being stolen from the tomb. If the Resurrection did not happen, then there is no hope for a great after-life."
We talked about being created in His image. I believe that He created us to live forever, with Him or without Him...it is our choice. "If there is a God, why did He choose to reveal Himself to only a small group of people? Why didn't Jesus heal everybody if He had the power of God?" he asked.
"Free will, we have free will. We were not created to be robots that are forced to serve our Creator. That is how much He loves us. Jesus could not heal everyone because many did not believe He was God. In his own town, people only saw Him as a carpenter's son and miracles did not happen."
I ended the conversation by assuring Olivier that I am not afraid to debate him. I do not believe it is a mere coincidence that we play tennis together weekly and that we are sharing our views about these very deep topics. When Olivier posts here, he will be my invited guest. Please treat him with dignity and respect. I will not allow personal attacks and welcome a healthy discussion. You will be invited to ask questions and interact, however, I reserve the right to delete any comments that are hurtful or derogatory. All of us are searching for the truth and this blog is evolving. Let's see how it unfolds as guest bloggers post their messages. I am really looking forward to point-counterpoint and to addressing your questions from around the world...