Tag Archives: Resurrection of the dead

Dogma

The conventional wisdom of macro-evolutionists is that they are on the side of science, facts, reason and logic and that Christians are not.  I addressed that falsehood here, but wanted to recap a conversation that is a good representation of many experiences I’ve had.

An educator with a master’s degree (though not in science) was trying to gig me about an initiative in his state that would have required criticisms of Darwinian evolution to be addressed in the high school curriculum.  It was clear that he strongly opposed it and that he (correctly) assumed that I favored it.

I know when I’m being baited, so I calmly and briefly replied with three things:

  1. Just one of the things I see as a major flaw in the Darwinian model
  2. Just one of the reasons I see for the merits of Intelligent Design
  3. Why I oppose the restrictions on academic freedom that most Darwinists support (this was pre-Expelled!, or that would have been a great homework assignment for him).

Considering that he brought up the topic, it was now his turn and obligation to reply.  He could have tried to refute any of my points with facts and logic or even started fresh with his positions.  But here’s the complete transcript of what I got:

[Long pause] “I can see you’ve studied this issue more than I have.”

That’s it.  That was the complete response of Mr. Science Person.  As much as I appreciated the concession speech, I rightly surmised that he had no intention of doing more research or changing his position.  But I’m the dogmatic one, right?

Now does that prove that I was right?  Not at all.  I think I am, of course, but that isn’t the point of this post.  Poorly informed Christians (and I concede there are many) aren’t evidence that there isn’t a God, just as poorly informed atheists don’t prove that there is a God, and vice verse.

But it does prove that he lives in Stereotype Land.  He isn’t pro-science, he’s just a pro-atheist cheerleader.  Despite his education, he knew nothing about what he was advancing and nothing about the opposing arguments.  He isn’t skeptical, he’s firmly entrenched in his dogma.  He isn’t a free-thinker, he’s picked a worldview and is deliberately ignoring contrary evidence.

I find his approach to be the rule, not the exception.

Contrast that with the Christian worldview, partly reflected in passages like this:

Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test everything. Hold on to the good.

1 Corinthians 15:12–19 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

That’s going to leave a mark — unless . . .

tomb.jpgOne of the unique things about Christianity is that it is falsifiable.  It makes a specific claim about a historical event: The physical resurrection of Jesus.  This is no small thing, as the Bible explicitly says that if there was no resurrection then we are not only wrong in our faith, we are offending God and are to be pitied above all men.

1 Corinthians 15:12–19 (ESV) Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But here’s the thing: The evidence points to the resurrection being real.

Here’s a short overview, often called the “minimal facts” approach: Nearly 100% of historical scholars from 1975 – present agree with the following statements:

  • Jesus really lived and was killed on a Roman cross.
  • Jesus’ disciples believed He appeared to them.
  • Jesus’ brother, James, went from being a pre-crucifixion skeptic to a post-crucifixion church leader.
  • The Apostle Paul believed Jesus appeared to him and he wrote most of the books attributed to him, including Romans, I & II Corinthians, Philemon and others. He converted from persecuting Christians to being the greatest evangelist ever, despite nearly constant challenges, persecution and ultimately dying for his faith.

75% of the same scholars agree that the tomb was empty.

I submit that the physical resurrection of Jesus best accounts for these facts.

Here are a couple very thorough sources:

The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary Habermas and Michael Licona

The Resurrection of the Son of God by N.T. Wright