Today as we count the days down to Easter I will start a multi-part series on the resurrection of our Lord Jesus. Back in May of 2004 I was fortunate to take a class on the resurrection taught by Gary Habermas as part of some course work I was doing at Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES). At the time I was working on a masters in Christian Apologetics. Unfortunately health problems caused me to withdraw. However all was not lost. I believe that the training I received at SES prepared me for writing this blog. So here goes.
Why Revisit Criticisms
It only takes a few minutes of surfing the World Wide Web or browsing a major bookstore to see that the old arguments against the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are still there in plentiful supply. Type “atheist” or “non believer” in a search engine and sites, such as the American Atheist or Atheist for Jesus and Beliefnet, appear. All have articles questioning the Biblical account. Browse through the philosophy, religion, or fiction section of a book store and you will find the same. From classical philosophers, such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Emanuel Kant to Bertrand Russell, one will find plenty to say about the impossibility of the resurrection. Add to this the popularity of the The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and books on Gnosticism have increased in popularity and are found in the Christian sections of book stores.
For a non-believer, a new believer, or even someone who has believed all their life, these books and web sites bring up questions that many, if not most, are ill equipped to answer. They come clothed in what appears to be reason and truth. Some such as, The Da Vinci Code, even claim to be based on fact. People need to be equipped with the truth, facts presented in a manner that is both accurate and understandable.
While many of the arguments presented in this paper are no longer seriously debated in academic circles, they still circulate widely in the popular media. This paper will examine these arguments against the resurrection of Jesus, using mainly resources widely available to and understandable by the average reader. It is hoped that this will not only equip the reader to answer the critics, but also interest them in pursuing further study not only on the subject of the resurrection, but also on Christian apologetics
Next week we will start looking at the various criticisms leveled against the resurrection of Jesus and why they are not valid. As Christians we are indeed fortunate as the resurrection of Jesus is the best attested event in the ancient world.
Have a Blessed day,