Alternative History, No
Alternative Interpretation, Yes
Origins by Mark Henrikson is Sci-Fi with a twist. It is written from an alien perspective but is based on historical record (the biblical account of the Exodus).
It comes in two formats: paperback and ebook. Both available through Amazon. I received my copy free through BookBub.
The story’s timeline spans some three thousand years (plus/minus) beginning with the period just before the Exodus and extending into the present. The narrative oscillates between the two ends of that period and follows four plot lines: aliens in Egypt, an alien (Hastelloy) visiting a psychologist in the present, an NSA agent (Mark) attempting to interfere with NASA’s deployment of communication devices and archeologists researching Egypt’s pyramids.
The book also makes reference to thousands of years prior. The lead character, Hastelly, is 25,000 years old. Read more
Salvation Is So Possible
Simply put, Jesus Saves, full stop.
We can expand on the application of that idea, on it’s simple and singular meaning, but not by adding limitations. It isn’t Jesus Saves, But. The phrase can’t be nuanced in a restrictive way.
Jesus wants to save. He is anxious to save. And He is constantly ready to save any willing person, at any time, in any place.
In his Mars Hill speech Paul made it clear that God makes Himself accessible and knowable to every person in every generation so Jesus Saves means exactly that, without qualification. Jesus Saves.
You may qualify salvation. You may say a person must have faith, they must be willing to be saved and accepting, but you can’t put a limitation on the Savior.
Schedules Don’t Inhibit Jesus
Jesus is constantly ready, able and willing to do His work. There is no down time, no maintenance period during which He is inaccessible. Coffee breaks, vacation time, national holidays, sick days, afternoon slumps and personal time do not factor. You call, Jesus responds.
There’s never a moment Jesus is not immediately ready to save.
Geography Doesn’t Inhibit Jesus
No location is too out of the way. Extreme environments don’t inhibit Him. He is just as comfortable in a rain forest as in an asphalt jungle. Like the Psalmist said:
If I ascend up to heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there. Psalm 138:8
Meaning, of course, that no person is geographically out of salvation’s range.
Politics Don’t Inhibit Jesus
No governing philosophy violates His sense of correctness to such an extent that Jesus withdraws the offer to save. He doesn’t mingle with capitalists and shun communists. He doesn’t associate with Republicans and sneer at Democrats.
No person rises to His standard or falls out of reach. He saves law enforcers and abusers alike.
Social Standing Doesn’t Inhibit Jesus
Class isn’t a problem for Jesus. He saved the wealthy, the poor, the sick and the rulers. Wealth was a barrier to those who had it but it never stopped Jesus. He interacted with many wealthy and saved several. Power blinded those who had it but it didn’t effect Jesus. He never lost sight of His purpose.
Jesus worked salvation’s miracle in every strata of society.
Religion Doesn’t Inhibit Jesus
And religion? Is there a religion or religions that effectively lock Jesus out? Not at all.
All truth is God’s truth wherever you find it: in church, out of church and in any kind of church. And all truth eventually leads to God, which in turn leads to Jesus.
Jesus doesn’t save in some churches and not in others. He’s not that sensitive.
Any person who hears salvation truth in any church, and believes it, will be saved. It really is that simple. Jesus really is that unlimited. And Jesus made the point best.
Truly, truly I say to you. The person that hears my word (any person, in any place, in or out of church, at any time) and believes on Him that sent me, has everlasting life (present tense, immediately at the moment of belief, in the very place of belief), and shall not (ever) come into condemnation but is past (definitely and finally) from death unto life. John 5:24 (parentheses added for emphasis)
In other words, Jesus Saves!
Would A Visible Jesus
Be Easier To Believe?
I know some of the places Jesus traveled and the roads He walked on but I’ve never walked those roads with Him.
I know He traveled by foot and the roads were dusty, but I’ve never observed Him washing the feet of others.
I know Jesus ate fish, honeycomb, figs, olives, bread and lamb, among other things, but I’ve never shared a meal with Him. I’ve never observed Him while He ate.
I know what Jesus taught and what He said in prayer but I’ve never heard the sound of His voice.
I know He had face to face conversations with individuals but I’ve never had the benefit of reading the approval, the concern or the frustration in His eyes.
I have no visuals of Jesus. I don’t know the shape of His beard or the length of His hair. I can only guess at how tall He was or how much He might have weighed.
I’m guessing He wasn’t overweight but I have no visual to prove that.
A limited number have claimed to have seen and conversed with Jesus on earth following His ascension. Some claim His healing powers are just as active today as they ever were.
I know it may seem negative to say it but I’m skeptical about those claims. Before you criticize me too sharply I would qualify my skepticism by saying I’m not cynical.
I have no doubt that Jesus could do all the things I’ve mentioned – walk with us, talk with us, eat with us – and I don’t blame people for wanting that to happen.
I just can’t figure out why He would do these things so sparingly now, when He was so generous with His presence or powers in the first century.
I also think His physical appearance may not be as much of a boon for Gospel as many think.
People often exclaim:
It would be easier to believe if Jesus would just show Himself to us! If He walked with us and talked with us, belief would be automatic! How could we deny Him in the face of His physical presence?
But there are several reasons I’m skeptical about that too. Read more
Belief Cures Cynicism
And Prevents Fatalism
Belief is simple. It isn’t restricted by age or intellect or culture.
It comes naturally to all of us but doesn’t always stick around. It shifts. It shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Paul preached it. Peter preached it. Both were following the example of Jesus, who preached it before them. Obviously, it’s important.
It’s a timeless universal response common to all Christians. We shouldn’t allow it to get lost in the jargon or smothered by bad attitudes. Following are a few facts to consider. Read more
At The Foundation
This is the first post in a series on Christian Basics. By Basics I mean essential issues, issues that apply to everyone.
Five such basics are: Belief, Baptism, The Lord’s Supper, Organization and Purpose.
These are more than foundational. They form the superstructure of Christianity as well.
A house is never just a foundation or slab.
Start a discussion around any one of these topics and the conversation either becomes heated or confused. Neither the glazed-over look nor frustrated response is unusual.
But these are basics. Simplicity should be the rule.
There are only so many issues to consider and there are only so many questions to ask.
The problem is the more we ask, the more complicated the answers become. They expand. They grow. And they become proprietary as well. Read more