In Lee Strobel’s fascinating autobiography (made into a movie), A Case For Christ, the avowed atheist investigative reporter sets out to prove the resurrection of Christ is a hoax.1 In his investigation, he is stumped by the biblical documentation of over 500 eye-witnesses of Christ’s resurrection. He sought out Psychologist Roberta Waters, then President of the American Association of Psychoanalysts and leading authority on Human Behavior at Purdue University, to ask about the possibility that these “sightings” were actually mass hallucinations. Dr. Waters, an agnostic herself, responded,
“Hallucinations are like dreams – they happen in individual minds – they don’t spread like the common cold.” She continued, “500 people having the same dream would be a bigger miracle than the resurrection itself.”
Then the psychologist prodded in return, “May I ask you something?” Is this about your father? I’m just curious what your relationship with him is like?”
Strobel hesitatingly mumbled, “Ummm… complicated.”
Dr. Waters persisted, “Let me guess; distant, cold, doesn’t express much affirmation or love?”
“Guilty on all charges,” said Strobel. “Why do you ask?”
The psychologist said, “I imagine as a skeptic you’re familiar with history’s great names in atheism; Hume, Nietzsche, Sartre, Freud,…?”
“Yes, of course, some of my greatest heroes,” Strobel’s interest was piqued.
“Did you know that all of them had a father who either died when they were young, abandoned them, or was physically or emotionally abusive? In the world of therapy, it’s called a father-wound,” she said flatly.
“No, I was not aware of that. But with all due respect Dr Waters, I did not have a loving father, but it doesn’t mean that I have a problem with those who do. What I have a problem with is some made up loving father. If God was real I could accept that he loves me. I just don’t believe He is.”
Waters—“I don’t disagree”
Lee Strobel had believed a lie about fathers, and thus a lie about God and himself. Hundreds of thousand are incarcerated in the prisons of America and the world today who either don’t know their father or if their father ever loved them. The “father wound” perpetrated upon the human race is not an invention of modern psychology. It is the topic of the closing chapter of the Old Testament, the very last verse in fact, and the welcoming of Messiah in the New. The earth is smitten with a curse, a human epidemic of fatherlessness, but One is coming with a “fathering spirit” who will “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children back to the fathers” (Malachi 4:6). Jesus comes to show us the Father, and the way back home. For more, read The Abba Factor, by Dr. Kerry Wood, and see the striking contrast between “orphans” and “sons”, and the journey home.
1 Lee Strobel, A Case For Christ: One Man’s Journey to Solve the Biggest Mystery of All Time. Pureflix: 2017.
Dr. Kerry Wood | 2018 All Rights Reserved.