Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bones of Mr. Christ

Our friends, the apologizers have chimed in with what it would take for them to give up their faith. Lets take a good look!

Several blogs ago, EG asked a fair question in response to Flew’s question of his fellow atheists…what would it take for you to believe in God? It was what would it take for you as a Christian to reject Christianity?

That’s a great question! I can’t wait to see how you weasel your way out of this one

Not wanting to shift the question,

Nice weasely start!

but I will let the Apostle Paul take a stab at that one.

Weird since you were asked the question and Paul’s dead, but okay.

In 1 Cor. 15:17, he says, if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is worthless. So Christianity rises or falls with the resurrection of Jesus of Nazereth.

Got it. Jesus had to be resurrected or Christianity all falls down like a house of cards.

There are other strong challenges to the Christian faith (e.g., religious pluralism and the problem of evil), but none of these–strictly speaking–provide a game, set, match disproof of Christianity in the same way that digging up the bones of Jesus would.

Some kind of ironclad proof that God doesn’t exist sure seems like it would be game, set, and match. Or perhaps another visiting god could stop by and explain what it’s all about with soil samples of Nirvana, photos of the last picnic held in the Happy Hunting Grounds, and video of the wicked game of darts between Thor and Zeus.

I feel like you haven’t really given this serious thought if all you can come with is digging up bones. It’s almost like you really did think about this and tried to come up with something that sounded good, but really isn’t…Nah! Couldn’t be that!

NT Theologian George Ladd captures this point well:

“The uniqueness and the scandal of the Christian religion rests on the mediation of revelation through historical events. Christianity is not just a code for living or a philosophy of religion. It is rooted in real events of History.

Events that are curiously absent in accounts by Jesus’ contemporaries. Funny, huh?

To some people this is scandalous because it means that the truth of Christianity is inexplicably bound up with the truth of certain historical facts. And if those facts should be disproved, Christianity would be false.

The scientific process is pretty harsh that way. The people who actually use it run into that problem all the time. You might want to look into it yourself!

This however, is what makes Christianity unique because, unlike other world religions, modern man has a means of actually verifying Christianity’s truth by historical evidence.”—George Ladd

It’s too bad that evidence keeps not fitting with the guesses that some middle eastern tribes made a couple thousand years ago.

So I will agree with Paul…I would reject Christianity if the resurrection is false.

Great! There’s one. Now how would this be proven to you? That is, of course the next step and I’m certain that you’re about to clarify this point.

Since Easter is almost upon us, what better time to discuss the historicity of the resurrection? That is what we will do for the next couple of blogs. I look forward to the dialogue about the central claim of Christianity.

Oh. You’re not.

But wait! You said we could disprove Christianity by digging up Jesus’ bones! So if we dig up some bones, how do we know they’re Mr. Christs’?

And if we fail to dig up those bones, how do we tell if this means there was a resurrection, we just haven’t found them yet, they got ground into powder in the intervening centuries, or he just flat out didn’t exist in the first place?


Is anyone still here?


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