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Jesus, Part I — Christ’s Resurrection: The Logical Answer That Still Shocks The World

And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. . . .
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. . . .
If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
                                          —I Corinthians 15:14, 17, 19

For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
He suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
                                               —The Nicene Creed (AD 325, 381)

On Easter we celebrate the glory of the Resurrection. It is the central event in the epic of Christianity, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and the event is part of what distinguishes Christianity. As the saying goes:
There are hundreds upon hundreds of worldviews throughout history whose leaders are dead: But there’s only one Empty Tomb.

If your secular neighbor asked you to defend the Resurrection, how might you respond?  

There are five possible theories about the Resurrection, and in a culture often hostile to Christian beliefs, Christians need to be equipped to defend their faith on the plane of reason — to give “a reason for the hope that is in you” (I Peter 3:15). Below we offer a sample of how to defend the historical, literal fact of the Resurrection using logic from the essay “Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ.” You can read the full essay here, or the book Handbook of Christian Apologetics in which it is a chapter. 

Cheers to a glorious Resurrection – from which, two millennia later, we still experience the great shock waves of divine love. 

The FPIW Team
Anno Domini 2024

* * * * *

Excerpt from “Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ”:

We believe Christ’s resurrection can be proved with at least as much certainty as any universally believed and well-documented event in ancient history. To prove this, we do not need to presuppose anything controversial (e.g. that miracles happen). But the skeptic must also not presuppose anything (e.g. that they do not). We do not need to presuppose that the New Testament is infallible, or divinely inspired or even true. We do not need to presuppose that there really was an empty tomb or post-resurrection appearances, as recorded. We need to presuppose only two things, both of which are hard data, empirical data, which no one denies: The existence of the New Testament texts as we have them, and the existence (but not necessarily the truth) of the Christian religion as we find it today.

The question is this: Which theory about what really happened in Jerusalem on that first Easter Sunday can account for the data?

There are five possible theories: Christianity, hallucination, myth, conspiracy and swoon.

1. Jesus died. Jesus rose. [Christianity]

2. Jesus died. Jesus didn’t rise—apostles deceived. [Hallucination]

3. Jesus died. Jesus didn’t rise—apostles myth-makers. [Myth]

4. Jesus died. Jesus didn’t rise—apostles deceivers. [Conspiracy]

5. Jesus didn’t die. [Swoon]

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