Another round of awesome posts for you, dear readers. Please keep me in your prayers as I have a kidney stone. Sad me. But happy you, because you have some great reading ahead! Self-harm, Easter, raising a son, tropical islands and creationism are all featured topics this week. Let me know your thoughts in the comments here, and be sure to let the authors of the posts know as well.
My Depression and Self Harm vs. Jesus Passion and Sacrifice– Christianity can speak to people in all walks of life and circumstances. Here is a beautiful post that compares the struggles of someone dealing with self-harm to the hope found in the sufferings and death of Christ.
Thoughts on Raising a Son– What is it like to raise a son in our day and world? My wife shares some thoughts on raising a son and the difficulties we face as parents. How can we teach him to not give in to a culture of inequalities?
My Favorite Atheist Easter Memes of 2015– Here, Jason Wisdom shares and analyzes a number of Easter memes atheists put out to “celebrate” this most holy day–the resurrection of God Incarnate. He provides some thoughtful insights into the mindset behind them.
Origins of a Tropical Island – The long road from lava to colonization– Do the formation of islands and their ecology fit into a young earth paradigm? Short answer: no. Check out this post for some reasons why.
The Greatest Risk of All– It is often noted that women were the first evangelists. Does this have any implications for our faith?
Five Errors to Drop from Your Easter Sermon– Check out this read on common mistakes made when talking about Easter.
Tie-Breaker– What happens when married couples come to a point where they are at an impasse? Does there need to be a marital tie-breaker grounded in notions of hierarchy of genders? Check out this thought-provoking post on the topic. For my own thoughts on the topic, check out my post “Who’s in Charge?” over at CBE.
Dean Koontz’s “Innocence”– From the author (links removed), Anthony Weber, “Dean Koontz is perhaps the most famous Christian author alive today. He has sold over 450,000,000 books, with 17,000,000 added each year. He’s sold more books than Stephen King…” That’s why you should care about the guy. Check out this look at a recent book from Koontz.
What I Needed to Hear as an Atheist (And How I Needed to Hear It)– Approach matters! Check out this fantastic post on how we may approach atheists who are wondering about the faith.
Cosmos Scrubs Religion’s Positive Influence from the History of the Scientific Revolution– The TV series “Cosmos” has seemingly purged any notion of the positive influence of religion from the history of scientific development. Check out this insightful article which explores some of this history and the way “Cosmos” has distorted it.
Now I want you to step back for a moment and think of your immediate response to that question.
Was it “Yes!” Well, why do you think so?
Was it “No!” Again, why?
I mean this very seriously. Read the question again, and now reflect on your answer. Does it come from a well-informed position or does it flow from your presuppositions or worldview? Why do you think Jesus rose or did not rise from the dead? Does your belief come from a careful study of the texts and the critical debate on the topic? Have you read sources from both sides of the debate, have you listened to top scholars in dialog about the topic?
Is it even important?
This one is for the atheists and skeptics out there: look at the picture I have posted on the top left. What feelings does it provoke within you? Disgust? Skepticism? Laughter? Joy?
Why do you think that is?
Christians, I ask you the same question.
What is the point of me taking this space to write all of this? I want everyone to be aware of the fact that when they consider the question I asked to start this post–“Did Jesus rise from the dead?”–they are influenced profoundly by their worldview and their starting point.
No, I want you to consider the evidence–both atheists and Christians. Christians, because it is your solemn duty to discern the truth of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:14-19); atheists, because you owe it to yourself to follow the evidence where it leads.
I’m not going to make a sustained argument here. Rather, I encourage you to investigate the topic yourself. A good starting point is this podcast, which argues from the “minimal facts” approach. A summary of the usage of this method can be found here.
Is Christ risen? That’s a question we all must answer, but let us not answer it based on dogma, on presuppositions, or on a dismissal of the evidence. Let us engage with the facts and formulate a hypothesis. Let us investigate the historicity of the event and follow the evidence where it leads.
I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me! (Job 19:25-27)