At least 10 “Nut Jobs” of historical significance who believed
“Anyone who believes Jesus is the Creator of universe is a complete nut job!”— Gary, former Christian turned skeptic
Let’s analyze that statement by looking at some of these so-called “nut jobs,” shall we?
1. Paul of Tarsus. [? -65 AD] A former Hellenistic Jew and well-educated religious leader, Paul persecuted the apostate Christian sect. Yet later, he became a Christian evangelist who wrote most of the New Testament and was eventually killed for his new faith. Historical records indicate he was beheaded by Roman authorities because of his involvement with spreading Christianity. If he would have recanted, and bowed down to the Roman “gods,” his life could have been spared.
Q = Why would Paul willingly die for something he knew was false? Because he didn’t.
He died for what he knew was true.
2. Constantine the Great.The emperor of Rome [272-337 AD], Constantine ruled in a time when persecution against Christians was widespread. But after his personal conversion, he reversed the persecution policies firmly established by his predecessors. He went on to summon the famous “Council of Nicaea,” which established the orthodox doctrines and canon of scripture so that worship throughout the empire could be standardized. This was the beginning of creating Christendom; the conversion of the entire Roman Empire to the belief that Jesus is God.
The Church had its problems, to be sure, but there is a tendency to focus on the negative things that the Catholic Church did, like the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc. Yes, we should not shrink from the mistakes that the religious leaders did, but to ignore the good contributions done by Christians is, frankly, unjust.
What are some of those good things? As a start, the monasteries served as places of sanctuary during times when barbarians pillaged towns during the Middle Ages. Motes were built to surround the monastery, along with thick brick walls. Thus, people came to the monasteries for refuge, and for healing (which eventually led to the development of hospitals). These places of worship were also used for study and teaching, which led to the creation of the university system.
3. Johannes Gutenberg [1398-1468]. Ever heard of the Gutenberg press? If not, go back to your history books. This guy was the developer of the first printing press. He had the desire to print the Bible, and get it into the hands of as many people as possible. He devised the printing press, and his printing technology also helped propel the Renaissance movement by assisting scientific publishing, a major catalyst for the scientific revolution.
4. Christopher Columbus [1451-1506]. Who doesn’t know of this famous historical person? A man of faith, Columbus was an expert navigator, who voyages opened the New World to Europe.
5. Leonardo da Vinci [1452-1519]. Perhaps the most brilliant thinker and creative person of his time, da Vinci was a Christian. He was the archetype of the term “Renaissance Man” because he was so good at many things: science, math, engineering, inventing, art, architecture, botany, music and writing. Wow!
6. Nicholas Copernicus [1473-1543]. He was the first astronomer to formulate a heliocentric – sun-centered – model of the solar system. The Catholic Church didn’t like that at first, thinking somehow that an Earth-centered system was God’s divine plan. (Personally, I like a “sun-centered” plan for its symbolism – not sure what the beef was from those religious leaders.) Copernicus was another “Renaissance Man” as he was a mathematician, astronomer, physician, artist, translator, scholar, jurist, governor, military leader, diplomat, economist and a Catholic cleric. Double wow!
7. Martin Luther [1483-1546]. Luther was a German priest and theologian who saw the corruption that had gripped the leaders of the Catholic church. And absolute power does tend to corrupt us. Luther, in my opinion, was the man God used to correct the church, as it desperately needed it. Luther set out a formal ‘protest’ by nailing his 95 Theses in 1517 to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. By doing so, he changed the course of Western civilization by beginning the Protestant Reformation.
8. Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de’ Galilei [1564-1642]. He has been described as the “Father of Modern Science.” Galileo was a pious Catholic who traveled to the Jesuit College in Rome in 1611 to argue his support of a Copernican sun-centered universe (galaxies and stars as other suns were unknown in Galileo’s time).
9. William Shakespeare [1564-1616]. The most famous of the English poets and playwrights, Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets are well known, from Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Much Ado About Nothing, to name a few. Some believe that he was raised Catholic at a time when being so was considered a crime in England.
One of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare, and one that perhaps hints at his view of God’s will versus humanity’s free will, is this: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Do you think Shakespeare was a Calvinist, then? (Ha ha.)
10. Rene Descartes [1596-1650]. A French thinker, known today at the “Father of Modern Philosophy,” was Roman Catholic by faith. His theological works include an ontological proof of a benevolent God, asserting that reason alone is the only reliable method of attaining knowledge. He argues for “dualism,” where the mind and body represent different natures though each affects the other: the mind (supernatural) and the body (physical) work together.
There are literally hundreds highly intelligent influencers who believe Jesus is God. I can’t list them all here because this blog would end up being a book, but here a just a few more smart Christian “nut jobs” — Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, John Locke, Sir Isaac Newton, George Washington, Mozart, and (gasp!) even Charles Darwin, the man who developed the theory of Evolution. Now, I realize each person listed here had varying degrees of belief, some stronger than others, and some perhaps falling from faith at certain points in their lives. It’s important to note that no one should be a Christian based on another person’s level of faith. Be a Christian because of who Christ is, not how faithfully His followers act Click To Tweet
The point is that to label all Christians as “nut jobs” for believing Jesus is the third person of the triune God disparages some of the most highly intelligent people who’ve ever lived. So much for the “nut jobs” who believe that Jesus is God, eh? I’m certainly honored, by being a believer myself, to be part of such a prestigious group of nuts.