(sorry things got a little ahead of me… I just slept for twelve hours, it’s been a long week )
I think it’s quite likely that there was a man named variously Yeshua, Jesus, or Immanuel in first century Judea who claimed to be the Messiah, gathered a small following, came up with a moral philosophy I greatly admire, and was put to death by the Sanhedrin. I am not 100% sure, not having been around to see any of it; but I’m not about to accuse Josephus or Tacitus of being bad historians!
However, the Gospel accounts are at their most reliable simply overblown and at their worst outright mythical. And for all his preaching, traveling, and fame as recorded there, there’s very little mention of the Christ outside the Gospels and the books that didn’t make the cut for the New Testament.
Since I see no reason not to admit to an historical Jesus, C. S. Lewis offers me three choices in his trilemma: lunatic, liar, or Lord. The first one I see as a possibility. The second conflicts with his philosophy of morals, unless he believed the lie justified in order to get people to follow it – making him a lunatic. The third, obviously, I do not believe. So what’s left?
The trilemma is incomplete. Lewis ignores the possibility that there was a very real, sane, truthful preacher of morals from Galilee who never claimed to be anything more than human but was deified after his martyrdom.
(Also, given this and other topics you seem interested in, I have to recommend The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov to you, in case you haven’t read it yet )
[quote=Randy Carson]What if the divine chooses to be known?
Then that’s great for the person to whom it has been revealed, but it’s still just as opaque to everyone else. If God touches someone directly, that person has no choice but to admit to God’s existence – but those who remain untouched in such a way have no ability to ‘see’.