The whole of Christianity stands on the resurrection of Jesus. In fact, Paul states, "We apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised" (1 Corinthians 15:15-16). Paul says that without the resurrection of Jesus, they (the apostles) are all a bunch of liars.
One of the biggest evangelist of all times, the apostle Paul, gives atheism the blueprint for the destruction of Christianity. If I were an atheist, I would not waste my time calling Christianity false because I believe it to be a fairy tale, I would go right for the jugular - the resurrection. If I were an atheist, I wouldn't waste my time on evolution as the best explanation, I would attempt to destroy the Jesus story. If it can be shown that the bodily resurrection is untrue then Christianity is toast. If I were an atheist I would use Paul's blueprint to blowup the Christian religion.
One problem exists for the atheist - the bodily resurrection of Jesus fits the evidence of truth. Throughout the centuries various stories have been put forth to counter the bodily resurrection of Jesus, but all have come to naught. If I were an honest and open-minded atheist, maybe I should reconsider the evidence, but where would that leave me?
But I've read of some atheists who believe that Christ did bodily rise from the dead. The say something to this effect: "We do live in a chance universe and stranger things have happened. I'm sure there's a natural explanation for what happened at the tomb."
What do we do with that?
What we do with that is discount it, because if someone accepts bodily resurrection, that points to supernatural, not natural explanation.
that is the short-coming of evidential methodology.
CHRISTIAN: Jesus Rose from the dead!
ATHEIST: So? what of it?
I personally like the presuppositional method myself because not only does it use the evidence as a positive for the Christian claim but it points out to the atheist that their worldview is irrational.
But ultimately, what will heal the non-Christian from their arrogance is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. a presentation of the positive evidence for the Christian faith and how nothing else can in fact be true, followed with the call to repentance and submission to Christ because according to God's law they are a wretched sinner just as we are.
Although atheists want to control the playing field, the ball, the rules, their presuppositions and even move the goalposts, Christians are not allowed to use our own presuppositions. Presenting the gospel to someone who is intellectually closed as well as spiritually ("I cannot believe the Bible") is seldom useful.
Presenting evidence for the validity of the Bible and giving other apologetics to satisfy honest intellectual hindrances is good, but cannot be the end of the matter; you can win an argument but still not win a soul.
Therefore, I believe in presenting evidences and presenting the Word. And to call them on it when they insist on their "strictly naturalism" presuppositions.
By the way, my "Stormbringer's Thunder" Weblog has an article on the "Science of the Gaps" (drawing heavily from information by Greg Koukl, who really did all the work). This helps illustrate the faith of the atheist.
I agree wholeheartedly, Nick. Separating the fact (Jesus rose from the dead) from the meaning (Jesus is God) just doesn't fit with how the Bible presents it.
Have you listened to any debates with Greg Bahnsen or Douglas Wilson?
Good point. I actually have had several unbelievers tell me, "Okay, so you've proven the resurrection, so what?" I then responded with something like this, "Well, you need to repent and believe on Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords" and they both said something like, "You didn't prove *that*, just because a resurrection happened doesn't mean that Jesus is God." When that occurred, it caused me to seriously re-evaluate my apologetic methodology. Now I use the presuppositional method and once their worldview is reduced to absurdity, I preach them the historical resurrection of Christ as the only worldview that doesn't destroy knowledge but more importantly, redeems men from their slavery to sin.
Atheists often like to give the impression that they hold the rights to rational living because they reject the existence of God. Don’t be fooled by this. Atheism is an irrational conclusion on many levels. Consider 6 difficulties atheists encounter.
Hey, new Christian here. Great discussion.
Can someone point me to a book that presents in an orderly way the different branches of apologetics and the main arguments? I am talking about an introductory book, of course. I would like to have a general view before diving into specifics.
I'm curious what the 'presuppositional method' is that I've seen referred to a couple of times here...
I have never, not once, ever heard a fellow atheist say that a Christian has proven the physical resurrection of Jesus. EVER. I don't think you have presented the truth here, I think you're just making up imaginary conversations. There is actually no substantiated proof that your particular Jesus (it was a very common name, after all) existed at all. Please connect to reality.
As a former christian turned atheist, I can tell u that I never, nor has any atheist ever truly believed in the resurrection story. It doesn't make sense. Jesus was immortal - how could he possibly die? Moreover, we reject the bible. It isn't truth, it's a claim. And a baseless claim at that. Can you truly prove god's existence without using the bible? It goes against every part of your mind that wants to call it out as being utter BS.
Another thing is the hypocrisy that comes out the mouth of every single religious person. If the bible is truth, then you believe in unicorns (Job), talking snakes (genesis) support infanticide (psalm 137), slavery (genesis), forcible rape marriage (deut), not eating pork products (deut), shellfish(same), clothing of multiple fabrics (deut) etc etc As LITERAL FACT! Also, picking and choosing various rules.....its all so hypocritical. That's why I am an atheist. I simply read the bible
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