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Five reasons to believe Jesus rose from the dead

Five Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead Pt. 6: Why It Matters – Adam4d.com

Over the last 5 days we have been examining 5 reasons for the resurrection as presented by Adam Ford of adam4d.com.

If you have missed any of the last 5 posts, don’t worry, take a look at Adam’s original piece.

To summarize, Adam pointed out that there are 5 good reasons to think Jesus rose from the dead namely:

  1. The Empty Tomb
  2. The Post-Mortem Appearances of Jesus
  3. The Conversion of Saul of Tarsus
  4. The Boldness of the Disciples
  5. The Explosion of Christianity

Taken in isolation, any one of these events can be explained without having to revert to non-naturalistic explanations. For example, the empty tomb could be explained by the disciples stealing the body; or the Boldness of the Disciples could be attributed to an “experience/vision” of the risen Christ.

However, taken in concert, it is hard to see how any naturalistic explanation accounts for all of these facts. Such an explanation, is a veritable “Frankenstein’s Monster” of an explanation, being neither simple, nor plausible, but rather a monstrous and freakish mishmash of doubtful and tenuous theories. In fact, such an attempt to explain the previously mentioned facts seems to betray the strongly biased presuppositions of the proposer; namely an unwillingness to entertain the thought of a non-naturalistic explanation. Without justification, such a presupposition seems arbitrary and even irrational, why not be open to the possibility of a supernatural intervention?

However, that is not the question for today. Rather, in light of the evidence we have examined together, what are the implications for us today in the 21st century. What if Jesus rose from the dead? What if he didn’t? Let us turn again to Adam, and see what He says.

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Five reasons to believe Jesus rose from the dead

Five Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead Pt. 5: The Explosion of Christianity – Adam4d.com

Welcome back, If you missed part 1, part 2, part 3 and or part 4 check them out.

Today we are looking at a 4th piece of evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as expressed by Adam Ford from adam4d.com, the spread of Christianity after the crucifixion.

If you like this comic, please check out adam4d.com, and even consider supporting Adam in what he is doing.

Tomorrow, we will conclude with why all of this matters.

Enjoy!

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Five reasons to believe Jesus rose from the dead

Five Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead Pt. 4: The Boldness of the Disciples – Adam4d.com

Welcome back, If you missed part 1, part 2 and or part 3 please check them out.

Today we are looking at a 4th piece of evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as expressed by Adam Ford from adam4d.com, the boldness of the disciples who proclaimed the gospel message.

If you like this comic, please check out adam4d.com, and even consider supporting Adam in what he is doing.

Enjoy!

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Five reasons to believe Jesus rose from the dead

Five Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead Pt. 3: The Conversion of Saul of Tarsus – Adam4d.com

Welcome back, If you missed part 1 and or part 2 please check them out.

Today we are looking at a third piece of evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as expressed by Adam Ford from adam4d.com, the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, an early persecutor of the church who became the apostle to the Gentiles.

If you like this comic, please check out adam4d.com, and even consider supporting Adam in what he is doing.

Enjoy!

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Five reasons to believe Jesus rose from the dead

Five Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead Pt. 2: The Post-Mortem Appearances – Adam4d.com

Welcome back, If you missed part 1, please check it out.

Today we are looking at a second piece of evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as expressed by Adam Ford from adam4d.com, the post-mortem appearances of Jesus after his death.

If you like this comic, please check out adam4d.com, and even consider supporting Adam in what he is doing.

Enjoy!

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Five reasons to believe Jesus rose from the dead

Five Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead Pt. 1: The Empty Tomb – Adam4d.com

There an excellent christian web-comic written by Adam Ford called adam4d.com. He regularly posts humorous web-comics about apologetics and theology, and his latest strip summarizes 5 reasons to believe Jesus rose from the dead. As we have just finished celebrating the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, it seems appropriate to ruminate upon the evidence that supports Jesus’ historical resurrection.

Because there are five reasons, I will post a different reason each day. The way Adam has created the comic means that some days will overlap, meaning you can get a taster for what is coming the next day!

If you like this comic, please check out adam4d.com, and even consider supporting Adam in what he is doing.

Enjoy!

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mars steps

Diamond in the rough – Why Christianity is unique

In my previous post, we explored the falsifiability (or lack thereof) of some world religions. Here we will dive straight into the credentials of my personal favourite – Christianity.

We left off with you asking a question – How is the Christian religion any different from the others? Wasn’t Christianity founded by a solitary, subjective figure ? Didn’t Jesus claim to hear directly from ‘The Father’? Isn’t he also circularly impervious to the attacks of the enemy?

Yes, Christianity is founded on one man, claiming to be God. And yes, he does command your trust by virtue of him being God and owning you.  So far, so circular. The differences become clear when you take a look at the biblical authors approach to this issue. Rather than falling back on their divine authority and declaring “Believe, because I said so”, like Muhammad, the Buddha, and Joseph Smith, the biblical authors say, “Take a look for yourself”. Christianity invites investigation.

In his first letter to the Corinthian church, the Apostle Paul addresses the bodily resurrection of Jesus to a culture steeped in pagan philosophy and mythology. See Paul’s words below:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for the our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:3-6)

Paul is reminding the Corinthian church of the basic theological foundation that he lay when he was ministering in Corinth – in fulfilment of the Old Testament Scriptures, Jesus Christ of Nazareth was murdered, buried, and resurrected to claim a people for himself. The Corinthians didn’t have hearsay and rumours to go on with these claims, but actual witnesses of the events. While some of them had fallen asleep (died), others lived and continued to shine as beacons of testimony. Paul’s appeal to eyewitnesses to solidify the flesh-and-blood resurrection of Jesus from the tomb mirrors that of the Gospel writers. Frequently in their accounts, names of seemingly inconsequential people are given to add some extra oomph to the eyewitness accounts. To put it another way – “If you don’t believe me, go ask this guy.”

Paul goes a step further in the following section of his letter:

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. 

If Christ has not been raised, you faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

If in Christ we have hope for this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:14-15, 17, 19)

Let me try to put this in an even more provocative way – if Christ was not raised from the dead, then Christianity is pointless. Did you hear that? You are of all people most to be pitied if you have given your life for a cause still six feet under. If you are of the persuasion who thinks that even if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, then the Christian life is still worth living because of the “family values and strong morals” it breeds, go for it. But don’t call it Christianity. As for me, I am going to eat, drink (a lot), and be merry, for tomorrow I die.

By staking the the future of the Christian religion on an historical event that did not happen in a corner, the biblical authors willingly opened themselves up to scrutiny in a way that no other religion has or ever will. While the followers of Muhammad, Buddha, and Joseph Smith point to their leaders’ enlightened, mystical authority as unquestionable proof, the Christian bases their Leader’s authority by pointing to an empty tomb and saying, “Take a look for yourself”

Ravi Zacharias on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The theme at the Ligonier National Conference conference this year was standing for the truth of God’s Word. At the conference, Ravi Zacharias gave a message on the resurrection, discussing it’s context, why it matters, and what it means for us today. You can listen or view the rest of the conference talks at Ligonier.org.

Closing Thoughts on the Resurrection Debate

Over the last few months we’ve been hosting a formal written debate between myself and Malcolm Trevena on the historicity of the resurrection (see here, here, and here). Unfortunately I have decided to formally close the debate.

Before setting out on the exchange, Malcolm and I both agreed to several rules or guidelines for the debate. One of these was that we would reply to our opponent’s posts within five days. At the time, this sounded like it would afford plenty of opportunity to respond adequately to each other and keep the debate moving swiftly. While writing my opening statement however, I quickly realized that this would be a struggle to maintain. I therefore suggested to Malcolm that if he wanted to take a week or two to write a good response, then this would be fine with me and we could count the original guideline as flexible. Afterall, we are both active people with full, active lives. However, it has now been 5 weeks since I have heard anything from him. Not just a response to my first response, but any communication whatsoever. And so I believe it best that we close the debate and open it up to the readers for their comments.

I thought I would offer four reflections on the debate ending.

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William Lane Craig on the Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus

William Lane Craig offers historical and Biblical evidence for the conclusion that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Q&A follows the main presentation.

The lecture was delivered at Southampton Civic Hall, on the 2011 UK Reasonable Faith Tour. The tour was sponsored by Damaris Trust, UCCF, and Premier Christian Radio.

Part 3: In Defense of the Historicity of the Resurrection

This is the first reply in a formal written debate between Stuart McEwing and Malcolm Trevena. The question of the debate is “Is the resurrection of Jesus fact or fiction?”

Preliminaries

I would first like to thank Malcolm Trevena for his opening statement responding to my defense of the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. I am grateful for the importance he places on the truth of the matter and that he chose to attack my arguments without attacking me. I hope to replicate this gentlemanly manner.

Introduction

To begin I would like to look back and recall my opening statement.

In support of my first contention that there are at least four facts which any adequate historical hypothesis must explain, I offered four facts, namely, the burial of Jesus after his crucifixion, the empty tomb, the post-mortem appearances, and that the disciples radically came to believe that Jesus rose bodily from the dead, and also outlined the reasons why each of those facts are commended to us by the majority of experts in the relevant fields.

In support of my second contention, the hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead  is the best explanation of the aforementioned facts, I assessed that hypothesis using the conventional criteria historians use for determining the best explanation.

I concluded that Trevena, in order to establish that the resurrection of Jesus did not occur, in the absence of some overwhelming proof of atheism, must propose an alternative naturalistic explanation of those facts which exceeds the resurrection hypothesis in fulfilling those criteria.

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Part 2: A Case for the Non-Historicity of the Resurrection

This is the second opening statement in a formal written debate between Stuart McEwing and Malcolm Trevena. The question of the debate is “Is the resurrection of Jesus fact or fiction?” Trevena makes his case for the resurrection being fictitious.

Thanks to Stuart McEwing for the chance to respond to the premise on the truth or lack thereof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Why would I state that I don’t think Jesus was resurrected?  Is this a question that should even be debated in the first place?  Am I the Devil himself for even entertaining the thought?

There is a truth out there in the universe.  Either Jesus was or was not resurrected.  Mr. McEwing is either 100% correct or 100% wrong.  There is no middle ground here.

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