John L. Stoddard

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In his fantastic book, Rebuilding a Lost Faith, author John L. Stoddard examines the incredible facts concerning the life of Christ:

Born in a manger; of a lowly origin; dwelling for thirty years not only in a conquered country, but in Galilee, — an insignificant province of that country, and in one of the obscurest and least-esteemed villages of that province, — Nazareth; a member of a narrow and self-centered race; speaking, not one of the world’s great languages, Greek or Latin, but a dialect of Aramaic; pursuing the humble occupation of a carpenter; leaving no record of his personal appearance, or of His views concerning science, history, art, literature, or philosophy; associating all His life with simple, poor, uneducated people; having no wealth, and wishing to acquire none; winning His followers by no earthly favours; taking no part in politics; protected by no influential friends in either the Roman government circles or the Jewish priesthood; on the contrary, denouncing many of Jerusalem’s aristocrats as “whited sepulchers, hypocrites, and broods of vipers”; selecting His disciples and future Apostles among humble fisherman; founding no philosophical school; never writing a line Himself, or dictating a line to others; leaving behind Him not a trace of personal correspondence; living for three years only in the public gaze; and, finally, before reaching middle life, dying the shameful death of the Cross, between two thieves, and owing His place of burial and even His cerements to the bounty of a stranger! Could anything seem less likely than such a record to transform the world? Yet, in spite of all these apparently unsurmountable obstacles to success, Jesus of Nazareth has affected human though, human character, human ideals, and human history more deeply than all the other children of mankind combined; has won the adoring love of countless millions; and has been worshiped as the Son of God for nineteen hundred years!

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