Psalm 61:3

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Why the Resurrection is the Only Answer that Matters

There seem to be some people who are confused as to why the resurrection of Jesus can make or break the argument for a young earth.  On the surface this is not obvious.

Why do Christians care how many days it took to create the earth?  I don't.  It could have taken God half a second.  I could have taken Him 40 trillion years.  Why do Christians (myself included) put stock in the fact that Genesis 1 states that it took 6 days?

Because Jesus Christ says that the Law and the Prophets (Genesis included) point to Him.  He endorses the Old Testament on several occasions, including a quote of Genesis 2 when discussing marriage and divorce.

Because Jesus Christ rose from the dead, a clear indication that the claims He made about Himself were true, including His endorsements of the Old Testament.  Jesus rose from the dead showing His followers that He really was the Son of God.

If Jesus did not rise from the dead we are, as Paul says, to be pitied above all people.  The resurrection proves that Jesus Christ has the authority to make the claims that He made.  But if He did not rise, then His authority is not real.  And that means we do not have to take seriously His endorsements of the Old Testament.

I have had several comments from people who seem to think that there is no evidence for this.  I challenge you, look into it.  Give it an honest look.  Compare the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus to the historical evidence for other ancient people and events.  The worst thing that can happen is you learn a thing or two about ancient world history.        


  1. The problem of course is that all ancient history is subject to considerably more uncertainty than that which is more recent. Literacy rates were low, historiography as we know it today was non-existent, and only a small fraction of what was written survives. Even if our sources for Jesus of Nazareth were as good as those for other ancient persons (which I do not think they are), we shouldn't imagine that we can have any certainty about the details of what he did or said or thought about himself.

  2. Our sources for Jesus are far better, and far more numerous, than other ancient documents. The only way this is even questionable is if you throw out the Gospel record based upon some bias against them rather than looking at their historical grounding. Again, we can have as much certainty as any other historical event of the same time period. I am not asking non-Christians to trust Christ as their savior. That takes the power of the Holy Spirit. I am asking them to grapple with the fact that you cannot discount the life of Jesus without calling into question every single historical event prior to the invention of the video camera.

  3. Can you imagine trying to figure out the truth about Joseph Smith if your only sources were biographies written by Mormons several decades after his death? The only reason that historians can write about Smith with any degree of confidence is because we have lots of contemporary source material from people outside the Mormon movement, non-Mormons who dealt with Smith and his followers and ex-Mormons who left the movement.

    For Christianity, we have no information from anyone outside the movement until Jospehus writing sixty years after the death of Jesus. Why should I trust the accounts of Christians writing decades after the fact any more than I would trust similarly dated accounts written by true believers in any other religion?

  4. Because they all lacked one significant thing: a reason to lie.

    1. They all did? How do you know the motivation of every person who transmitted stories about Jesus in the decades after his death? Prevarication is a common human shortcoming. Where did their immunity come from?

    2. Give me a good reason to lie about something that will get me crucified. By all historical accounts no Christians from the Apostolic era gained anything from what they preached. To the contrary, all but one died a martyr's death.