In his book The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel gives one of his many arguments to skeptics of religion, all of his arguments trying to convince skeptics to convert to Christianity. Jesus Christ is real, Strobel asserts, because of the measurable change Jesus wrought on his life. Before he became a Christian, Strobel testifies, he was grumpy and cross. After he became a Christian, he was not grumpy and cross. The change in his personality for the better was so profound, Strobel claims, that his 5 year-old daughter told his wife, “Mommy, I want God to do for me what he did for daddy.” Uh huh. That’s just what a 5 year-old would say.
Strobel’s argument, that the reality of Jesus Christ can be seen from the positive effects on Christians’ personality, sure is interesting. It makes me consider this passage on Richard I of England from God’s War by Christopher Tyerman in a new light:
All coronations acted as rituals of political demonstration and dialogue. In Richard’s case, denying access to the coronation feast to Jews who had come to pay their loyal respects provoked a riot when Jews were discovered in the crowds pressing to witness the banquet. The violence spread to Jewish districts in the city of London, where houses were destroyed and Jews murdered…. Some believed they were following royal instructions; others talked providentially of Christian destruction of the ‘enemies of the Cross of Christ’, the very theme of crusade preaching and recruitment campaigns.
See, they were probably much less grumpy and cross in their rioting and murdering than they would have been before they’d accepted Jesus as their lord and savior. Praise be.