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Armand M. Nicholi Testimonial

"The claim of Jesus Christ to be God and to have the authority to forgive sins left only one of three possibilities: he was either deluded or deliberately attempting to deceive his followers for some ulterior purpose, or he was who he claimed to be. As Lewis continued his reading of the New Testament documents, he agreed with Chesterton that the evidence weighed against this Person being evil or psychotic. (Psychiatrists do indeed see people who claim to be God; but they are invariably severely impaired in their functioning and have a distorted concept of reality.) For Lewis, the eyewitness accounts of the New Testament did not reflect the teachings of a lunatic . He notes 'the general agreement that in the teaching of this Man and of His immediate followers, moral truth is exhibited at its purest and best…it is full of wisdom and shrewdness…the product of a sane mind.' [Dock p156] Later he closed a chapter in his most widely read book with 'A man who was merely a man and said the things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic...or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice...You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.'

This resource is part of a series on Mere ChristianityClick here to listen to the full series.

Armand Nicholi

Armand M. Nicholi

Armand M. Nicholi (1928-2017), Physician,  was a clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital. His clinical work and research focused on the impact of absent parents on the emotional development of children and young adults. He was the editor and coauthor of the classic The Harvard Guide to Psychiatry (3rd edition, 1999). He was also a founding board member of the Family Research Council. 


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