“A Simple Misunderstanding that Changed the Course of History”
The deep roots of Christian apologetics
“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” There is some truth to this claim, but not enough. Our distant ancestors—those who first believed that priests could channel gods—were not fools: they managed to survive in perilous environments, and that took some doing. Fools no, but not gifted with critical thinking skills either. They did have imaginations, however, and were thus very susceptible to stories—as we are today.
It seems we’re wired to become heavily invested emotionally in stories; modern examples include The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, Downton Abby, Harry Potter, and comic book superheroes; the characters grab us. We can’t get enough. But what if you can convince people that God himself had written a particular story? And that believing the story is the key for escaping death: you win eternal life if you accept the story with all your heart, mind, and soul. Religious professionals of all genres exploit this level of emotional investment.