I have read a few John Dickson's books. They're great -- his books are easy to read, not too difficult, not too many jargon, and are perfect for new believers or non-Christian to discover Christianity. However I have never had a chance to listen to him speak, until today.
From this week, John Dickson will be speaking at the City Bible Forum for 5 consecutive weeks, from one of his latest book, A Spectator's Guide to Jesus, and today's topic was on "Sources: How we know what we know about Jesus". It wasn't exegetic preaching from the Bible, but an analysis over the internal and external sources we have to prove the validity of Christianity (like Josh M's More Than a Carpenter) -- all done in 20 minutes! With a theology degree with Moore and a PhD on history, John certainly has the credibility when he spoke these things.
John is not just a great author, but also a fantastic public speaker with charisma and good humour. The bit where he tried to explain the origin of New Testament apocrypha was out right funny. But it wasn't just a full-on analysis, but John also left two challenges for his listeners to think about:
- We shouldn't think of Christianity as another religion that seeks moral teaching or miracle works, but it has actual historical nature and evidence.
- Therefore that should encourage us to read Jesus seriously.
I am looking forward to listen to him again next Wednesday (CBF for City North will be on Wednesday from next week onwards).