Showing posts from April, 2012

Resurrection Series Part 10: Conclusion

Welcome to part 10 of the Resurrection series -- our final post based on the book The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus . You can find all proceding parts here . In this post, we will continue with a few more objections to the Resurrection before reaching the conclusion. I hope you have enjoyed this series! Christ is Risen: He is risen indeed! Though the Resurrection is not in dispute, many will try to downplay the witness of the disciples by comparing it to other religions. For example, Joseph Smith and eleven witnesses all claimed that they experienced supernatural appearances, so what is the difference between the supernatural experiences of Jesus and the twelve disciples? A close examination of this point will reveal that while Jesus’ disciples suffered for and died for their beliefs, six of the eleven witnesses to Moroni’s gold plates left the Mormon Church! But even if these witnesses had seen the golden plates, this does not mean that there is anything valid contained w

Part 9: The Resurrection of Jesus and God's existence

Welcome to part nine of the Resurrection series. Please see all preceding parts before continuing. Today, we will be talking about the importance of the Resurrection in conjunction with God's existence. Another issue that must be answered by the skeptics is Jesus’ claims about Himself. Jesus claimed to be “Son of Man” first. Was this really true of Jesus or was the title invented, as many skeptics would have us believe? In order to answer this question, we must first consider that the term is referred to in the New Testament only three times outside of the Gospels, and Christians writings within 120 years after Jesus only mention it three times. This debunks the claim that the church made up the title as “Jesus’ favorite self-description” (page 241) – the church did not refer to Jesus in this way! Secondly, all of the four Gospels use this title in reference to Jesus. Thirdly, this title actually places more emphasis on Jesus’ humanity; this in itself seems to disprove the

Resurrection Series Part 8: Resurrection In Non-bodily form?

Welcome to part 8 of the Resurrection series. You can find all preceding parts here. Today, we will be talking about the objection that Jesus' resurrection was in non-bodily form. To discredit the miracle of the Resurrection, however, many today claim that Jesus’ appearances were in non-bodily form; consequently, when the Scriptures mention the bodily resurrection of Jesus, critics claim that it is an embellishment added in as the events about Jesus were fading into the past. To answer this charge, let’s examine the Scriptures first. Throughout his epistles, Paul preached a bodily resurrection. In 1 Corinthians 15:4, Paul states (in the creed), “He was buried… he was raised,” signifying that “what goes down must come up.” Paul mentions this four additional times in that same chapter. Philippians 3:21 also mentions the bodily Resurrection of Jesus: “who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able eve

Resurrection Series Part 7: Science and the Supernatural

Welcome to part seven of the Resurrection series, based on the book, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus . Today, we will be talking about science as a means to explain away the supernatural. Please see all preceding parts before continuing. Since the “supernatural” of the alien theory does not work, another favorite approach of many skeptics is to use naturalism to explain the Resurrection. Appealing to science is a common tactic: “Only what science proves is true,” they say, in an effort to remain true to naturalism. But science has its limits; it relates to what is observable and testable. It cannot measure love, for instance, but this does not mean that love does not exist. Regardless, this is not an excuse to deny the Resurrection. It is important to also consider that when a scientist is placed in a room with all the latest technology, he cannot prove that “only what science proves is true.” Thus this tactic fails its own test; it is self-refuting. Additionally, “to re

Resurrection Series Part 6: More Objections

Welcome to part six of the resurrection series based on the book The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus. Please see all preceding parts before reading this post. Today, we will continue to talk about a few more objections to the Resurrection that are often brought up by the skeptics. The next method of the critic, then, is to claim that there are discrepancies in the Resurrection accounts, thereby calling into question the Bible’s inerrancy. But this approach does not call into question the Gospel writers’ “general trustworthiness when recording historical events” (page 122). Additionally, when a historian looks at an event, he does not immediately conclude that because there are discrepancies in the testimonies that the event did not occur. No one rejects other works of antiquity where discrepancies are present; instead, the data is examined more closely. In fact, the differences in the Gospels only points to more than one witness, giving the historian further proof of its reliabi

Resurrection Series- Part 5: Psychological Problems?

Welcome to part five of our resurrection series. Please see all preceding parts before reading this one to get a better understanding of what is being discussed. Today, we will talk about the psychological objection to the Resurrection -- the idea that the disciples had some sort of disorder which caused them to believe that Jesus rose from the dead. Some like to claim that the disciples experienced some psychological event, and therefore they claim that they saw the risen Christ. Let’s define some of these terms. Illusions are a distorted perception of something, hallucinations are “false perception[s] of something that is not there” (page 105), and delusions are false beliefs when there is evidence to the contrary. For the sake of argument, lets look at each of these as they would apply to the disciples, using an illustration. Suppose a widow’s husband has just died. A delusion would be for her to deny that her husband has just died despite the fact that he did – there is evi

Resurrection Series- Part 4: Opposing Theories

Welcome to part four of the Resurrection series. Please see part 1 , part 2 , and part 3 of the series for a better understanding of what is being discussed. In this post, we will look at four opposing theories to the Resurrection.  Despite the evidence for the Resurrection, there are numerous opposing theories. The first of these is the theory that the disciples’ claims to the Resurrection are all legendary; legends crept in over time and distorted the truth. However, the Resurrection story originated from the disciples. If skeptics wish to accuse them of lying or hallucinating, they may since the disciples themselves made the claim. But there is no evidence for the assumption that legend crept in after the disciples. But even if we suppose that legend did creep in to the Resurrection account, it is important to realize that Paul believed in Jesus separate from the disciples’ testimonies (as a matter of fact, he didn’t go up to Jerusalem for three years after his conversion, durin

Mike Licona On The Resurrection

Those of you who have been following the last few posts in the series "The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus" , know that I draw my material heavily from the book by the same title co-authored by historian Michael Licona. Here is a short video in which he explains why the Resurrection is the only thing that fits the facts portrayed in the New Testament of Jesus' death and resurrection. Happy Resurrection Day! :)

The Case For the Resurrection: Part 3

Welcome to part three of our series on the Resurrection based on  The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus  by Michael Licona and Gary Habermas! Please see parts one and two for ease of following along in this discussion.... All quotes are taken from this book unless otherwise noted. Last time, we talked about two of five facts agreed upon by almost all scholars: Jesus' death by crucifixion and the disciple's firm belief in his death and resurrection. Today, we will begin with what it cost the disciples to hold to such beliefs and what this means in relation to the Resurrection of Christ... Not only did the disciples preach what they believed – Christ’s Resurrection – but they did so boldly, even in the face of intense persecution. This is strongly evidenced in the New Testament; before, the disciples were so scared that they ran away from Jesus in the garden – but after His Resurrection, they boldly proclaimed this Gospel even in the face of persecution. Acts records

The Case For the Resurrection of Jesus: Part 2

The following post is based on The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Michael Licona and Gary Habermas. All quotes are taken from this book unless otherwise noted. This is part two of a series on the topic of Jesus' Resurrection; see part one here . I am posting this in honor of Easter weekend (which I believe is not about the Easter Bunny, chocolate, or eggs at all, but is about Christ's Resurrection). I am not sure how far I will get through this series before Easter's end, since it is rather long, but I do hope you enjoy the series! Be looking forward to the other parts in the series coming soon! A recap from the introduction : Throughout the centuries, skeptics have maligned the Resurrection of Christ, placing so much weight on theories and arguments that do nothing to support the real evidence. But what these critics fail to understand is that Jesus’ Resurrection is not just a myth that can be easily dismissed; it is a fact of history, and, as such, it is the

Science and Religion DO Mix

"It is...idle to pretend, as many do, that there is no contradiction between religion and science. Science contradicts religion as surely as Judaism contradicts Islam - they are absolutely and irresolvably conflicting views. Unless, that is, science is obliged to change it's fundamental nature."  ~ Brian Appleyard ("Science and the Soul of Modern Man") I recently read a simple, yet powerful, book called Men of Science, Men of God by Henry M. Morris, showing that many of the great scientists of the eighteenth century were Christians -- directly the opposite of what atheists will tell you, that science and religion don't mix and that virtually everyone believes in Darwinian evolution. In fact, many of the early scientists advocated for creationism and against evolution. Since today is Question Evolution Day, and International Atheists Day/April Fool's Day (see Psalm 14:1), I would like to share some of the things these men stood for. This is no