Was Jesus a liar? A crazy man? Or God in the flesh?
This trilemma seems to have been a fairly effective way in the past to bring people to a decision point on Jesus, but I don’t think the Lord, Liar, Lunatic trilemma is very effective today. I suspect the trilemma would be more effective today if the “lunatic” option were expanded to include any and all honest mistakenness, so instead of Lord, Liar, Lunatic people could be invited to wrestle with Lord, Liar, Mistaken. That mistakenness could be a result of madness or reading the situation incorrectly or even a result of us receiving inaccurate reporting about Jesus. I think the upside of this tweak to the old trilemma is that it invites someone considering who Jesus is to wrestle more honestly and deeply with all the claims about him. Where the old Lord, Liar, Lunatic trilemma seeks to quickly close the deal and strongarm someone into choosing the Lord option, this Lord, Liar, Mistaken trilemma shows respect to the person to whom it’s being presented and it invites a slower, more careful process of belief.
Matt Whitman believes in God and thinks things are funny. He was raised in Fort Collins, Colorado before moving to Chicago where he graduated from Trinity College and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He met his wife Camilla on his first day of college in his first class. They’ve got three kids together and now live in the mountains of beautiful western Wyoming where Matt works as the Senior Pastor of the Lander Evangelical Free Church. Matt’s a teach-straight-through-books-of-the-Bible kind of guy and uses his appreciation of history, humor, culture, and narrative to help people understand God’s Word. In addition to church and family, Matt throws a lot of time at filmmaking. He writes, acts, and directs and also hosts a YouTube program called The Ten Minute Bible Hour in which he teaches books of the Bible in a tight, informative, and funny format.