"A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. 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.” -- CS Lewis.
The more of Lewis' writing I read, the more creepy, disgusting and appalling I find him to be. "Kill him as a demon," eh? And people let children read books this man has written. As far as Jesus goes, if he existed, I think he might have been quite a nice guy, but not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and not the kind of person you'd want to have in charge of anything. Certainly not a worldwide organization of billions of people. Not even a small dog-grooming shop. You come back to the shop after leaving Jesus in charge for a minute, and:
"Jesus! What happened to the place?! Wait -- what happened to you?!"
"Some men came in while you were gone. One of them struck me on the cheek, and so I turned the other cheek and he struck that one, too."
"Oh, Jesus! When will you learn to take care of yourself? So, I guess those men stole all of our dog-grooming equipment too, huh? Don't see any of it anywhere."
"Yes, they took all of the money and the equipment. And so I gave them the dogs as well."
"Yes. My Father in Heaven told me that, because they took the money and the grooming equipment, I was to give them the dogs as well."
"Jesus: those weren't our dogs. Our customers will sue us. And they'll win. Our insurance company will drop us like a hot rock."
"The men jeered at me as they left, and threw a bottle of beer at my head, and so I blessed them."
I don't think I would dislike someone like that. I don't think I could. As angry as I might be about the way he had just ruined my small business, somehow, I can't imagine being angry at Jesus. Maybe because it would have been so clear that he simply didn't know any better, and was sincerely doing the very best he could. It's easy to imagine hanging out with Jesus and having fun. It seems that just about everyone likes the person they imagine Jesus to have been, atheists as much as anyone else. Maybe it's because most of us -- not CS "kill him like a demon" Lewis, perhaps, but most of us -- have a strong instinct to protect helpless creatures, and if ever there were a helpless human being... I might trust someone like Lewis, on the other hand, to run the dog-grooming shop, as long as I never had to see him or talk to him.