There are only a handful of religions rooted in historical events rather than in philosophy. When something is historical, we can examine it by looking at events, documents and other historical records. Out of all of the religions in the world, only one provides a concrete, objective means for testing to see whether or not it is true: Christianity.
Critics of the Gospel’s Resurrection accounts often allege the story of Mary Magdalene and the “other Mary” visiting the tomb of Jesus contains contradictory details. For instance, Matthew 28:8 states “And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.” Contrast this with Mark 16:8, which says, “And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.”
It seems we have a contradiction on our hands! Not so fast. There are at least two plausible suggestions for a resolution. Continue reading
Sometimes we expect that a few good arguments will unlock salvation’s door. When we find that they don’t and that we are met with a glaring sneer instead of a grateful embrace, we are hurt and conclude that “apologetics doesn’t work.” We then swing to the opposite – “I’m going to simply let my good works speak for the Gospel.”
Admittedly, in our post-Christian society where people have been warned and inoculated against the Gospel, it might be better to lead with good works in most cases. However, we are instructed to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that [we] have” (1 Peter 3:15). Therefore, I want to present a rationale for this. Continue reading
Following the birth of Jesus, Scripture indicates that Mary went on to have other children. I quote Mark 6:3 below:
“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him.” (NASB)
My question is, what would it have been like to grow up with a perfect older brother? Some of you may have had to endure being compared to older siblings. Being the first born in my family, I have not had this experience.
Was the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth found empty three days after he was crucified? If not, then Christianity is the biggest lie and the biggest waste of time in history. While the historicity of the empty tomb does not, by itself, constitute a convincing argument for the Resurrection, it plays an indispensable role as Jesus could not have risen from the dead if his tomb was not empty. There are several good historical reasons to accept the historicity of the empty tomb. Contrary to common belief, it is not something that needs to be taken solely on faith.
1. The belief in the empty tomb predates the Gospels and even the writings of Paul. Continue reading
In his first letter to the Corinthians the apostle Paul testified that Christ appeared to him after being raised from the dead (1 Cor. 15:8). This experience transformed him from a leading opponent and persecutor of the church to its most famous missionary. The record indicates that Paul spent the last three decades or so of his life after this experience traveling around the Roman Empire testifying to others about the truth of the Gospel based on the reality of what he had experienced. He finally died a martyr’s death in Roman custody. Continue reading
Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally
One Easter, a relative cornered me at a family reunion and wanted to talk about the resurrection of Jesus. Let’s just call her my dear Aunt Sally. Some people try to stay away from politics and religion a parties. Not Aunt Sally. :-)
Aunt Sally was Religious Studies major and she started off by telling me that Jesus didn’t come back from the dead in any real sense–that the story of Jesus’ resurrection just emerged over decades after the crucifixion. She said that Jewish peasants who missed Jesus and needed a Messiah figure basically made the whole thing up–probably because it helped them feel better emotionally and things like that.
But she said something else, too. She said that it doesn’t really matter if the resurrection of Jesus actually happened. After all, can’t we draw inspiration from a story even if it’s not true? Continue reading