Home Christian News ‘Reacher’ Star Alan Ritchson Discusses His Christian Faith With Atheist Bill Maher:...

‘Reacher’ Star Alan Ritchson Discusses His Christian Faith With Atheist Bill Maher: ‘I Want Less Vitriol in the World’

“I mean, you can get hung up in the weeds about Document Q or whatever you want to talk about with where this stuff comes from,” Ritchson continued, referring to a hypothetical document that many scholars believe served as common source material for Matthew and Luke. “But the point is very simple. You’ve got somebody who claims to be the Messiah pointing the way towards a whole, radically different, new way to love. And that’s through self-sacrificial care of your neighbor.”

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“And when you talk about just that, it’s a really beautiful thing that a lot of other religions don’t talk about,” Ritchson added. 

Maher went on to argue that “the biography of Jesus is anything but unique. In fact, it’s stolen,” drawing on previous archetypes. Ritchson shifted slightly, conceding that elements of the Genesis creation narrative were “absconded” from other ancient myths. 

“But the thing that makes it different is there’s a twist on every one of them that orients us towards, I think, a seed of truth that is worth inspecting and holding onto,” Ritchson said, going on to argue that the Genesis narrative subverted other Ancient Near Eastern creation myths by depicting creation not as the result of chaos but as part of God’s good plan. 

Shifting back to Jesus, Maher conceded that while he doesn’t believe Jesus’ biography was “original,” his “message was revolutionary.” 

“Nobody had ever been down the ‘meek shall inherit the earth’ road,” Maher said, adding that an emphasis on the afterlife and the kingdom of heaven was a unique feature of Christianity from its outset. 

Nevertheless, Ritchson argued that the coming of the heavenly kingdom doesn’t mean Christians “should take a dump on earth.”

“That is also not the message,” Ritchson said. “The message is that the kingdom is coming to us—that heaven is coming here, that our restoration, our salvation, and our heaven is earth, that we’re earthly creatures made for this place and that this resurrection will take place on earth.”

“So if you’re truly following the way of Christianity, you will be a good steward of this place because this is where heaven is,” Ritchson added. 

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In response, Maher joked, “You know, this would be a successful episode if you got me to be a Christian by the end of it.”