DAY 2 OF 7
If you are a skeptic who does not believe in God, you are safe here. If you were raised as a Christian but are no longer sure what you believe, you are safe. If you like Jesus but not the church, our inquiry is a safe place for you. If you are tired of Christianity being defined by bigots and political parties, you are safe too.
I have been all these things and more.
What follows is both evidence and observation of my investigation into how Jesus and his followers have impacted our world. I call it Jesus Skeptic because that is how I began my investigation—as a professional skeptic, a research journalist.
In my news career, I have gathered evidence and facts to build dozens of investigations. I have exposed the lies and abuses of powerful people. I have used the power of the pen to fight for the rights of racial minorities, women, immigrants, and many others. My news investigations have earned some of the highest journalism honors in the nation.
I am a millennial-generation journalist investigating Christianity’s record on matters of social justice, human rights, racial equality, and human dignity. This reading plan displays research of numerous historical artifacts of primary evidence—stories and facts about Jesus and the people He inspired—rather than a collection of opinions or feelings.
Jesus’s followers, I discovered, occupy key places in history, turning up in research where I least expected to find them. One example is Frederick Douglass, who escaped slavery a decade before the Civil War and then spent his life fighting to end this horror. Douglass became one of the most unstoppable forces to end slavery in the United States and then around the globe. By his own account, his journey was as much a spiritual quest—motivated by the message of Jesus—as it was a humanitarian quest.
Douglass’s life story—written by his own hand—is an example of Primary Evidence. From his biography, The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass: “[Charles Lawson] told me to ’cast all my care upon God,’ and this I sought to do. I finally found my burden lightened and my heart relieved. I loved all mankind, slaveholders not excepted, though I abhorred slavery more than ever.” This evidence speaks directly about Jesus’s impact on Douglass’s life.
As we gather and examine such evidence for ourselves, we better discover the impact of Jesus’s movement on the world.
Does the primary evidence of Douglass’s own words bring understanding to his personal faith that influenced his role as an abolitionist?
About this Plan
If Jesus existed, how did His influence and followers impact the world? And does His existence invite a personal response? A respected journalist set out to find answers—not from opinion but from history itself. The evid...
We would like to thank Baker Publishing for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: http://www.johnsdickerson.com/