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)
Arguments about Jesus’ resurrection are fascinating, and can be extremely useful in the question of theism. See this great article which features rigorous application of probability theory to the arguments from the resurrection.
Richard Dawkins’ book, The Greatest Show On Earth claims to show the undeniable evidence for evolution. Does it succeed? Jonathan Mclatchie does not think so and has written an excellent, lengthy review to show how Dawkins fails.
Philip Payne, the author of “Man and Woman, One in Christ” (which I reviewed here) has an excellent web site which responds to many criticisms of his positions. Those interested in the issue of women in the ministry should look into it.
No peer reviewed papers advocating intelligent design? False! Check out this list.
After birth abortions? Basically the logical conclusions of the general pro-choice position. Read more.
Prosblogion conducted a survey about philosopher’s opinions on theistic arguments. The results are mostly unsurprising, but interesting nevertheless. Check it out.