The resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part One

Skeptics will ask me, “Even if God exists, why your god, and why Christianity?” My short answer is the resurrection.  As Dr. Gary Habermas has stated, “If the resurrection is true, then Christianity follows.” And as Paul told the pagan Athenian philosophers: 

29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:29-30 *)

In fact, the apostle Paul banked everything on the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. (1 Cor.15:14-19 *)

Understand that “eternal life” is dependent on the resurrection, not the crucifixion. If Christ is not alive, we have no life in Him (Rom.6:4-10; 8:11; Gal.2:20).

But unlike many believers do today, and even many other religions, Paul did not rest his case on personal revelation only. He pointed to the resurrection event as evidence that God made Christ Lord over all. He literally staked his life on it.

This is the case I will make in this short series. I will not appeal to the Scripture as divinely inspired to do this (although I believe it is). I will treat the Bible like any other history book and show that our faith is firmly grounded in historicity.

How can we use the Bible as a reliable historical document? We can by following what Dr. Habermas calls, “The Minimal Facts Approach.” Metaphorically speaking, it’s basically arguing with one hand tied behind our back, using only seven of the 27 New Testament books that all textual scholars regard as historically valid (using the other books as secondary references). They’re all Pauline epistles: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, Galatians and Philemon. And that’s more than enough to make our case!

But we also need to understand how historicity works:

“Historiography does not reconstruct events; it cannot bring Caesar back to life of reenact the battle of Actium. Historiography does attempt to provide a hypothetical description and analysis of some past events as the best explanation of the present evidence.” (Aviezer Tucker, Historiographical Counterfactuals and Historical Contingency, p.258 *)

Also bear in mind about burden of proof:

Mere skepticism and setting the bar extremely high will not challenge a historical case for the resurrection…. If I say that Jesus rose from the dead then I need to demonstrate such a theory best explains the evidence and other theories cannot. However, it’s a double-edged sword…. Because if one wants to counter the argument that they have a better explanation of the data, then the burden of proof is on them to prove that the resurrection is insufficient to explain the data.

“The burden in history is always on the one making the claim. The burden is also on the one making the rebuttal or opposing claim.” (D.H. Fischer, Historians’ Fallacies)

An agnostic can refrain from making any claim, but that doesn’t make an objective argument against someone who is making a historical claim, nor does it challenge or refute the presented argument. If they wish to do that, then they need to propose an opposing theory and back it up with evidence and make a case for plausibility.” (Quotes from video: “The Resurrection of Jesus (Introduction)” by InspiringPhilosophy *)

My goal is to show that the resurrection is the best explanation of the evidence. I will show this through quotes, articles, and video clips from experts in this field of study.

The “present evidence”

Here’s an article by historian and textual scholar, Dr. Habermas, titled “Experiences of the Risen Christ,” a five year study of well over 2000 sources on this topic, published from 1975 to the present in German, French, and English. It concentrates on the common historical content recognized by virtually all researchers.

In my last post, “New Testament hymns and creeds,” I showed that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was central to the faith, recited, sung, and memorized by Christian followers going all the way back to the resurrection. This is not disputed by textual scholars, whether they be agnostic, atheist, or Christian.

Of course, since the resurrection itself is a supernatural event, you will have to decide what to do with that. If you don’t believe that miracles are possible, then no amount of historical evidence is probably going to convince you. Your a priori naturalist worldview will not permit you to see the facts objectively.

Consider what Antony Flew, an atheist turned deist philosopher, once said while still an atheist:

“The evidence for the resurrection is better than any other for claimed miracles in any other religion. It’s outstandingly different in quality and quantity…” (“Did the Resurrection Happen?”, p.85)

Make no mistake. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith. Without it there is no Christianity. But it’s also our strongest suit! Our claim stands on solid historical ground.

Here’s a YouTube video by InspiringPhilosophy on the historical evidence for the resurrection. It’s longer than their other clips, but necessary, because it shows why the resurrection is the best inference to the evidence by comparing it to three popular counterclaims by skeptics. These counterclaims are categorized as follows:

  • Mythic Theory
  • Conspiracy Theory
  • Hallucination Theory

Here’s the video. Beloved followers of Christ, fear not! We do have strong evidence to make our claim.

NOTE: Please confine your comments to the subject matter of the post and video. Also, please keep your comments concise (under 500 words, preferably much shorter).

* New King James Bible translation. All emphasis added.
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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 36 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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107 Responses to The resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part One

  1. Pastor Randy says:

    and of course Philippians 3:10–“I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.”

  2. Arkenaten says:

    To be perfectly clear, if an argument was presented to disprove outright Habermas’s min. facts argument would you ditch your faith immediately?

    • Mel Wild says:

      No. My faith is not based on the minimum facts argument! I didn’t even know about it until recently. The minimum facts argument is simply to show historical evidence from the lowest common denominator among scholars. It has little to do with believing faith.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Actually the minimum facts argument is an ideal primer for uniformed apologists or 1st year seminary students. Otherwise it is not a very strong argument at all – weak in fact- built largely upon presupposition.
      So why are you doing the resurrection and citing Habermas if you hang it all on faith anyway?

      And may I ask why you are also citing Acts?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Built on presupposition? How so? The text used is agreed on by almost all textual scholars to be valid.

      I used Acts as a secondary source (remember, I personally believe all 27 books belong). While it doesn’t fit in the minimum facts argument, it does show how Paul would argue his case with pagans. You can disagree with that if you want.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Ah … no, rhanks, Mel.
      As you have already stated Habermas’s argument is incidental to your faith there seems little point in stringing out a refutation merely to have you say so what?
      Which you will of course, yes?

      And the same applies with Acts.
      You claim scholars back Habermas’s argument because of the validity of the texts yet textual scholars have now established Acts is largely a work of fiction, not to put too fine a point on it.
      So you are back to cherry picking once more.
      As I said previously, why not be open and up front and simply stick with faith.
      When you try to assert ”historical facts” you come unstuck very quickly.
      Faith is cool.
      It requires no facts and no evidence.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Ark, you seem to link believing faith with evidence, like whoever wins the argument will believe or not believe. That is fallacious. Believing is a heart issue, not evidential. But it doesn’t follow that there’s no evidence. That is also a fallacious conclusion. There were people who physically saw Jesus with their own eyes when He was on the earth and they still did not believe. No one ever believed simply because of the evidence. If your heart is not open, it doesn’t matter what the evidence might be given to you. You still won’t believe. But to say we believe in spite of the fact that there’s no evidence is an ad hoc claim. We believe and there’s evidence for our faith.

      And skeptical scholars believe Acts is largely fiction because of circular reasoning. They don’t believe in miracles; Acts is full of miracles, therefore Acts is fiction. But, with the minimum facts argument, we’re not debating that. We are purely looking at the historicity of the resurrection event.

      And how am I becoming unstuck? You have proven nothing. You have not given a better argument to the historical evidence. You just make ad hoc claims.

      For instance, you say Habermas’ minimal facts argument is full of presuppositions, but just saying that does nothing to refute it. I have made an introductory case for it through the articles and video. The burden of proof is on you to make a counterclaim that better answers the evidence. But if you don’t wish to do so, we’ll leave it at that. Just don’t expect me to take your comment seriously.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I am not going to bother to refute it. Much much better people than I have already shredded it. And it will make no difference as far as you are concerned.
      He, like you, cherry picks his facts and his scholars .

      You already cited Acts so that demonstrates how behind your are on scholarship and how much you are prepared to ignore it in order to push your agenda.
      Habermas want us to accept his 75% of scholars nonsense re the resurrection yet he apparently rejects the case for evolution, something around 99% of all scholars accept as fact.
      If you are convinced of the resurrection why are you bothering posting about it?

    • Mel Wild says:

      “I am not going to bother to refute it. Much much better people than I have already shredded it. And it will make no difference as far as you are concerned.”

      Right. People have “shredded it” fits your own presuppositions and worldview. And I don’t agree with you, so there we are. I’ve heard the arguments and they shred nothing. And all of this will make no difference to you either, Ark. It never has, so according to your own logic, why are you commenting here at all?

      “Habermas want us to accept his 75% of scholars nonsense re the resurrection yet he apparently rejects the case for evolution, something around 99% of all scholars accept as fact.”

      Not only are you making a baseless accusation (his statement about what percentage of scholars), you’re committing your typical ad hominem-faulty comparison fallacy again. His expertise is in textual criticism and specifically, the resurrection. He is regarded as an expert in this field by his peers, Ark. What in the world does that have to do with evolution?

      If you are convinced of the resurrection why are you bothering posting about it?

      I don’t post anything to be convinced, Ark. I’m posting it to debunk all the false arguments anti-theist know-it-alls post on the Internet who confuse unwitting believers with their myopic naturalist worldview. As I said before, I post these to show that we can trust the historical record given to us in the New Testament in spite of anti-theist’s attempts to destroy it. I post it to show that what people like you believe about Jesus and the resurrection is the myth.

      Again, you are only proving here that you cannot refute the arguments themselves; you only make your fallacious comments to try to dismiss what is being said. But, again, you refute nothing.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Well, firstly there are 25% in his ”files” who reject the resurrection.
      And still we should disregard these scholars without even seeing these files and accept his word for the 75%,? Oh really? None of which, by the way is peer reviewed. Even Licona has apparently not seen these files.
      Yet he rejects around 99% of scholars and scientists etc who accept evolution!
      And I mean proper scientists, Mel.

      Debunk anti-theists?
      You include Acts in your first salvo and claim you are debunking anti-theists?
      That s an insult to basic intelligence.

      Did you read my post on why we can’t trust the New Testament?

      If I were looking for an apologist to help me better understand Christianity you would be the last person I would turn to.
      Okay maybe not the last … but probably pretty close. Wally would in the mix too.
      Your arguments are appalling.
      Stale, regurgitated unoriginal and ignorant.
      You have a hissy fit because I won’t accept miracles but neither do
      historians.

      You go on and on about historical evidence but produce nothing any genuine historian would even look at and certainly not include in any respectable history book.
      There’s a reason why the bible is not on the non-fiction shelf in the library.
      I wonder if you have the intellectual capacity to work out why?

    • Mel Wild says:

      You go on and on about historical evidence but produce nothing any genuine historian would even look at and certainly not include in any respectable history book.

      Nonsense. There are historians who do write on it and treat the evidence as valid. I have given you some examples. There are many more. And, in the actual field of New Testament historicity, almost all scholars, including atheist scholars, accept the seven books I mentioned as authentic. Many accept the other books but not near as many as do the seven. As I said before, I am only arguing from the lowest common denominator here. You are not making an argument that textual scholars would make concerning the resurrection account.

      There’s a reason why the bible is not on the non-fiction shelf in the library.
      I wonder if you have the intellectual capacity to work out why?

      That’s easy. It’s called prejudice, Ark. If they honestly treated all history with the same standard they use on the historical narrative in the New Testament, we would have no history at all! That bogus argument can be soundly refuted by simply making comparisons of the evidence we have for other historical events in ancient history. Secular historic events aren’t even questioned that only have a fraction of the historical data that we have for the New Testament.
      The other reason is that the Bible is not considered primarily a history book. It’s considered a religious book, so it get categorized that way.

      So, again, more fallacious arguments from you that have nothing to do with the subject of this post.

    • Arkenaten says:

      That’s easy. It’s called prejudice, Ark. If they honestly treated all history with the same standard they use on the historical narrative in the New Testament, we would have no history at all!

      Utter nonsense.

      You never find the details of the Jesus story in a history book, like you would for Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great. Why is that? Why is the Bible not cataloged in the library in the History section?
      The Alexander story is a plausible natural story with excellent supporting evidence (coins with his likeness, cities with his name, stele with his laws, the spread of Hellenism and the creation of the successor empires, records of his conquests from outsiders, and so on) and a few miracles. The natural part is the noteworthy part; the miracles don’t add much.
      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2012/09/historians-reject-the-bible-story/

      That’s two examples,
      I could probably find you fifty more.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You never find the details of the Jesus story in a history book, like you would for Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great. Why is that? Why is the Bible not cataloged in the library in the History section?

      The closest reliable record we have for Alexander the Great is over 400 years after his death! Yet, we don’t question it because it doesn’t violate any anti-miracle bias we have in the West. The closest manuscripts copies we have for Julius Caesar, Plato, and Aristotle are at least 700 years removed from the original. Yet we don’t question them either. And I could go down the list and it would be the same. So, no, Ark. It’s pure prejudicial bias.

      Of course, we cannot prove miracles. We cannot prove history either. We can only make the best inference based on the limited evidence we have.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Yes, Mel …Miracles!
      These are NOT regarded as history.
      They are not verifiable and never have been verified.
      For exactly the same reason you do not believe Mohammed flew to Jerusalem on a winged horse.
      Or the witnessed miracle claims of Saki Sai Baba.

      Pure prejudicial bias.

      This is why I say keep telling you to stick to faith.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, Mel …Miracles!
      These are NOT regarded as history.

      Which has nothing to do with the historical evidence I have given with the articles and video in this post, so your point is irrelevant.
      You have not made any counterclaim that would provide a better explanation for the historical evidence we do have (and is not disputed), so my claim stands.

      Yours is the purely prejudicial bias when you dismiss the evidence with no better explanation. Again, you are not refuting the evidence itself. You are simply saying you don’t believe in miracles. Which is why I keep telling you that it doesn’t deal with the evidence.

    • Arkenaten says:

      You have not made any counterclaim that would provide a better explanation for the historical evidence we do have (and is not disputed), so my claim stands.

      Of course it is disputed!
      Every non-christian in the world disputes it. What a rather silly thing to say?

      Furthermore, you don’t believe in Islamic claims of miracles or the miracles of Saki Sai Baba – which have apparently been witnessed by thousands!
      So you are worse than me as you are applying double standards, which is even more bias.~In fact, this makes you a hypocrite.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Every non-christian in the world disputes it.

      Which non-Christian textual scholars dispute the evidence that was presented? We’re not talking whether they believe in miracles or not. We’re talking about the evidence that scholars agree on. The point is, give a better explanation for the evidence, Ark. Saying that “everyone” disputes is saying nothing at all, not to mention, false.

      Furthermore, you don’t believe in Islamic claims of miracles or the miracles of Saki Sai Baba – which have apparently been witnessed by thousands!
      So you are worse than me as you are applying double standards, which is even more bias.~In fact, this makes you a hypocrite.

      No evidence has been presented to me to believe or disbelieve it. And all you’re doing is throwing out more red herrings. What does this have to do with the evidence that’s been presented? AGAIN…give a better explanation that provides explanatory scope and power and is feasible, based on the evidence. If you cannot provide a better explanation, then you cannot prove that we’re wrong.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Which non-Christian textual scholars dispute the evidence that was presented? We’re not talking whether they believe in miracles or not. We’re talking about the evidence that scholars agree on. The point is, give a better explanation for the evidence, Ark. Saying that “everyone” disputes is saying nothing at all, not to mention, false.

      1.Well, 25% of the scholars that Habermas has on his list for one thing.
      And I would be very interested reading why they dispute his claims. But as far as I know none of this material has been peer reviewed or released for general scrutiny. I stand under correction, of course.

      2. Every single Muslim scholar in the entire world rejects it out of hand. In fact, Muslims do not consider the character Jesus died on the cross, and their textual interpretation is rather good actually.I have read it. But I doubt you would give it the time of day, would you?
      But Just in case:
      Was Christ Crucified by Ahmed Deedat.
      I have a light blue booklet that I found in a box of mixed paraphernalia in a second hand book store a few years ago.

      Not a Red Herring at all. Over a billion Muslims accept it as fact.

      And you haven’t actually presented any evidence; you are only linking Habermas and his minimal facts arguments.
      Carrier has refuted this. Would you like a link so you can read his argument?
      he is after all a fully qualified historian with a PHD
      Not a single genuine historian accepts miracle claims from any source … because they are claims without any way to support them.

      And the better explanation is, it is simply a story, made up and written down decades later by people who weren’t even there and were living in another country.

      And as you refuse to accept Islamic miracle claims then you are most definitely a hypocrite.
      However, if you wish to ensure that your miracle claims are valid while all others aren’t, then you should you tell me why their evidence is lousy. Because to me irt is all nonsense.

      I will remind you, that you keep saying it is all a faith and a matter of heart, not evidence. And I have agreed with you more than once.
      Stick with that belief, Mel. Believe me, it is the best you are ever going to get.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, it is a Red Herring! You’re not dealing with the evidence presented at all. It has nothing to do with Islamic miracles. Don’t you get this? Deal with the evidence that’s not disputed by almost ALL scholars. The consensus among textual scholars is that Jesus did exist, He was crucified, the tomb was empty, and that the disciples and Paul genuinely believed that He rose from the dead. You’re talking about everything BUT the evidence presented.

      Now, give a better explanation that provides explanatory scope and power. To say that you and your atheist friends don’t believe in miracles does NOT answer the question. If you can’t answer it, fine. But then you have no argument that refutes the evidence.

    • Arkenaten says:

      None of this demonstrates that the character was resurrected.
      Try again …
      Now, give a better explanation ….

      It is a piece of fiction.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I disagree.

      You have made a claim now that the events are fiction. Now the burden of proof is on YOU. You have presented NO explanation thus far. Name the New Testament textual scholars who believe the events themselves are fiction and their explanation for that conclusion. Don’t give me your circular “I don’t believe in miracles” answer. That says nothing at all.
      Try again…

    • Arkenaten says:

      I already have … the 25 % of scholars on Habermas’s hard drive.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I already have … the 25 % of scholars on Habermas’s hard drive.

      What? No, you haven’t! I’m still waiting for a better explanation of the historic evidence (NOT miracle claims) that has greater explanatory scope and power for the event.

      The 25% disagreement is only on the empty tomb.

      “Contemporary critical scholars agree that the apostle Paul is the primary witness to the early resurrection experiences.  A former opponent (1 Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13-14; Phil. 3:4-7), Paul states that the risen Jesus appeared personally to him (1 Cor. 9:1; 15:8; Gal. 1:16). The scholarly consensus here is attested by atheist Michael Martin, who avers: “However, we have only one contemporary eyewitness account of a post-resurrection appearance of Jesus, namely Paul’s.”[Michael Martin, The Case Against Christianity (Philadelphia: Temple University, 1991), 81.]

      Virtually no critical scholar questions that the disciples’ convictions regarding the risen Jesus caused their radical transformation, even being willing to die for their beliefs.  Their change does not evidence the resurrection appearances per se, but it is a clear indication that the disciples at least thought that they had experienced the risen Jesus. Alternatives must account for this belief.”
      [For critical agreement in various elements here, see Willi Marxsen, Jesus and Easter (Nashville: Abingdon, 1990), 66; J. Dore, “Croire en la Resurrection de Jesus-Christ,” etudes, Vol. 356 (1982), 536-537; Funk, Honest to Jesus, especially 270; Wedderburn, 46-47; Hengel, 65; J.K. Elliott, “The First Easter,” History Today, Vol. 29 (1979), 210, 215, 218; Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jesus–God and Man, second ed., trans. Lewis L. Wilkins and Duane A. Priebe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1977), 96; Michael Grant, Saint Peter: A Biography (N.Y.: Scribner, 1994), pp. 89, 96; Sanders, 11, 276-280; Hugh Jackson, “The Resurrection Belief of the Earliest Church: A Response to the Failure of Prophecy,” The Journal of Religion, Vol. 55 (1975), 419-422; Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels (NY: Random House, 1979), 8. Emphasis added.]

      These came from the article I linked by Gary Habermas here.

  3. Arkenaten says:

    Make no mistake. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith. Without it there is no Christianity. But it’s also our strongest suit! Our claim stands on solid historical ground.

    No, it doesn’t.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, it does! So, there we are, Ark. 🙂
      You have not given a better argument that provides explanatory scope and power to explain the historical evidence, so the statement stands as is.

    • Arkenaten says:

      There is no verifiable evidence only a story in the bible.
      There are lots of stories in the bible.
      Exodus is a story. Adam and Eve is a story. So is Noah’s Ark.
      No verifiable evidence and both recognized as fiction by all secular scholars and a large proportion of religious ones as well.

      So … just a story. Faith … fine.
      Evidence … nope.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Again, you only prove you cannot stay on topic. So…fine. But you refute nothing here.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Acts is largely a work of fiction as demonstrated after 11 years of study and investigation by the Westar Institute, and now largely accepted by mainstream bible scholarship.

      Acts refuted.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Okay, we’re getting off track with the book of Acts, but since I quoted from it in my post I will make this comment.

      When you say “mainstream bible scholarship” do you mean liberal and skeptical scholarship? Westar Institute gave us the “Jesus Seminar” with the likes of John Dominic Crossen! Not exactly balanced scholarship. Not that we should dismiss them for that reason, but their findings are certainly debatable with their “Jesus Seminar” findings and not representative of all textual scholarship.

      The classical scholar and Roman historian, Dr. Colin Hemer (The Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History) lists 84 specific facts from the last 16 chapters of Acts that have been confirmed by historical and archeological research–ports, boundaries, landmarks, slang terminology, local languages, local dieties, local industries, and proper titles for numerous regional and local officials.

      Here’s a lengthy defense of the gospels and Acts by Dr. Timothy McGrew that give a very thorough refutation of the idea that Acts is fiction, showing its historicity and comparing it to that of other works.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Yes … but as I have stressed so often the term is historical fiction.
      Just as is the Pentateuch.
      And I am still waiting for you to acknowledge if you understand this term?
      If not, I will explain it to you or you can simply Google it.
      Acts is, otherwise, palpable nonsense.

      McGrew is a Christian. You might as well quote Lane Craig.
      You seem to be struggling with the idea of why Christian scholarship in this regard is practically worthless?

      Secular history and its historians Do. Not. Recognize. Miracle Claims.

      Therefore, if you have any integrity and wish to make a convincing argument you must supply scholars who understand this fact.

      And you can also supply the reasons why 25% of Habermas’s scholars do not accept the Resurrection as historical fact.

    • Mel Wild says:

      McGrew is a Christian. You might as well quote Lane Craig.

      And you might as well quote Richard Carrier or any other atheist historian or theologian! Shall we also dismiss Westar Institute then, since they have agnostics and atheist scholars, too? That knife cuts goes both ways, Ark. And Christian scholarship is regarded as worthless? By whom? You? Your Internet wannabe self-proclaimed experts? Now you are making stuff up!

      Again, what does not believing in miracles have to do with the authenticated historical data found in the book of Acts? I have given you real historical evidence from scholars that shows that Acts describes the data accurately. You keep trying to change the subject and avoid the data.

      I really don’t care what you think is nonsense. Prove it with a better explanation that provides explanatory scope and power.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Again, what does not believing in miracles have to do with the authenticated historical data found in the book of Acts?

      Nothing. This is what historical fiction is, Mel.
      I did say I would explain it to you but it seems you are patently not interested in understanding anything about what history really is, are you?
      But if you want it explained … ask … or Google the term ”Historical Fiction”.

      Genuine historians do not consider any miracle claims, this is why Mcgrew has no worth in context of what we are trying to establish here.
      Carrier, is worthwhile as he is an historian that has no religious bias and does not consider miracle claims.

      And to illustrate why acts is Historical Fiction, consider the shipwreck on the island which is regarded by pretty much all scholars as Malta.
      Now Malta is real and therefor can regarded as geiographical sound and perfectly acceptable as an historical setting.
      Now lets’ look at the ”tale”
      Paul gets bitten by a poisonous snake .
      Pat close attention to the next part …..
      There are no poisonous snakes on Malta and even if there were the location where he was bitten confines this episode to the realm of fantasy.

      Do a bit of research on herpetology.

      Oh, and I found this link just now.
      How cool is Google?

      https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140219/opinion/Which-viper-bit-St-Paul-in-Malta-.507396

      I think it time you call it quits. Your arguments … which you haven’t even made, come across as simply nonsensical and spurious .
      In fact, you are becoming quite toxic to even have a decent discussion with.

      Therefore, when you are prepared to present an argument without such apologetic bias I may feel inclined to continue.

      Once again, Mel … stick to faith.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Nothing. This is what historical fiction is, Mel.
      I did say I would explain it to you but it seems you are patently not interested in understanding anything about what history really is, are you?

      I told you when you first brought this irrelevant point up about historical fiction that, no, miracles are not included in history because they are not provable by naturalistic standards. I’m not interested in your red herrings here. Why don’t you get this? Or, are you purposely avoiding the question? We’re not talking about miracles, Ark. We’re talking about providing a BETTER explanation for the evidence provided that scholars do agree on. If you keep up here with your fallacious comments, I will just have to conclude that you don’t have a better answer.

      Once again, Ark. Answer the question.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I gave you one …. well two, answers actually.
      1. The 25% of scholars who disagree with Habermas’s hypothesis.
      2. A historically unsupported work of fiction.
      Simple as that.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You just don’t get this, do you? That does NOT give a BETTER EXPLANATION for the historical data presented! I’m still waiting for an answer.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Habermas’s 25% of scholars who disagree with his hypothesis.
      Now prove them wrong …

    • Mel Wild says:

      Ark, the burden of proof is on you to give a better explanation for the data I presented. Stop your fallacious avoidance behavior.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I am not avoiding it. I cited the 25%. of scholars of Habermas’s list. Why do you have an issue with this?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I am not avoiding it. I cited the 25%. of scholars of Habermas’s list. Why do you have an issue with this?

      I have issue with this for three reasons, Ark. First, do the math. 25% it’s the minority opinion; hardly a better explanation! Second, citing 25% of scholars who doubt the empty tomb, when 75% do believe it, does not provide a better explanation of all of the evidence we have. It does not provide explanatory power and scope. All of these scholars agree on other points, like the historicity of Paul’s seven books that include resurrection data. They all agree that Paul and the apostles believed that Jesus rose from the dead. You have to provide a better explanation for this.

      Which brings me to my third issue. You actually haven’t given any explanation for the data. All you’ve said is that 25% disagree about the empty tomb.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Of course. But 25% is a substantial amount. We cannot just sweep their objections under the carpet. And after all, they are all highly qualified scholars … apparently.
      So o.. on the basis that Habermas will likely have cherry-picked primarily religious scholars, I am going with the 25%.

      However, if you still insist on this asinine approach I will accept your terms if you agree that Habermas’s reason for rejecting Evolution and the 99% of the scientific world is not only wrong but utterly ridiculous.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Of course. But 25% is a substantial amount.

      For one piece of data. It doesn’t deal with the rest. Ark, you don’t seem to understand that you are not providing a BETTER EXPLANATION, just your own “cherry-picked” answer that does not deal with ALL the data (only those that doubt the tomb was empty, which is a very weak argument and why 75% dismiss it); therefore, it does not provide explanatory scope or power. In other words, you have provided NO EXPLANATION whatsoever!

      For instance, we have already looked at and debunked the mythic, conspiracy, and hallucination theories from skeptic scholars in the articles and video. Those would be examples of explanations, although we have shown they do not provide a better explanation than the resurrection theory. So, what is your superior theory to theirs?

      However, if you still insist on this asinine approach I will accept your terms if you agree that Habermas’s reason for rejecting Evolution and the 99% of the scientific world is not only wrong but utterly ridiculous.

      Asinine approach? You mean, the historical approach (making the best inference based on the data that provides explanatory scope and power)?

      You see, this is all I get from you is your fallacious red herrings! Give me a better explanation for the data presented or we end the conversation here. I don’t have time for this inane avoidance. Either put up or shut up.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Just to be absolutely clear.
      You are not prepared to acknowledge the utterly nonsensical stance of Habermas’s refusal to accept the global scientific and scholarly consensus that evolution is fact?
      Do I understand you correctly on this point?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I understand that to be a red herring. You still have not answered my question.

    • Arkenaten says:

      We are trying to establish balance and a level of integrity of the one making the claim.

      Why Red Herring?

      You are expecting me to accept an argument – basically on faith – as there is no evidence we can verify.
      An argument that does not even have consensus.
      So, please, are you telling me you are not prepared to acknowledge the utterly nonsensical stance of Habermas’s refusal to accept the global scientific and scholarly consensus that evolution is fact?

    • Mel Wild says:

      It’s a red herring because Habermas’ belief in evolution has nothing to do with his expertise in the New Testament and the resurrection in particular. I could care less what he believes about evolution. Now, answer the question. Your avoidance is text book red herring (avoiding the issue) fallacy.

    • Arkenaten says:

      It has everything to do with it.
      He may be able to present a brilliant argument ( he doesn’t)
      But he wants us all to believe that the only conclusion we can possibly draw is that the character, Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead.
      With no verifiable evidence to back his claim. Evolution can be demonstrated, and there is evidence everywhere that can be checked.

      Now, once again, are you not prepared to acknowledge that Habermas’s denial of 99% of relevant scientists and scholars across the world is utterly nonsensical?
      Yes or No.
      Then perhaps we can move on …

    • Mel Wild says:

      But he wants us all to believe that the only conclusion we can possibly draw is that the character, Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead.
      With no verifiable evidence to back his claim.

      Everything in your statement about the evidence is patently FALSE. All the evidence presented has been attested by scholars. You have given NO explanation that better explains this evidence, so the claim stands as is.

      Evolution can be demonstrated, and there is evidence everywhere that can be checked…
      Now, once again, are you not prepared to acknowledge that Habermas’s denial of 99% of relevant scientists and scholars across the world is utterly nonsensical?
      Yes or No.

      This is a classic amateurish ad hominin attack fallacy known as guilt by association.

      Gary Habermas makes claim A for which he is an expert (resurrection); but he’s wrong about Claim B (evolution), therefore claim A is false. That is fallacious! You are a piece of work!

      Okay, enough of this nonsense. Since you simply cannot deal with the evidence and present a better argument, I will assume you don’t have one, so yes, let’s move on.

    • Arkenaten says:

      How can anyone be an expert on resurrection?
      And from a book without any evidence either!
      So why not do a minimum facts for Lazarus?
      Is it because we know this is might just be a plot device? And one not crucial to your … faith
      At least, there were witnesses. Well … according to the bible.

      So I take it then by your refusal to acknowledge Habermas’s ridiculous stance on evolution you too concur with his views?
      Is this correct?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Then let’s just throw out all history, Ark. Because, according to your standard, no one qualifies! We cannot know anything about anything in the past!

      Just drop it. I can’t talk to someone who’s just practicing avoidance by bringing up fallacious questions. You’re just being stubbornly ridiculous now. Let me know when you actually want to have a legitimate conversation on the topic. Bye…

    • Arkenaten says:

      No, but we can disregard all miracle claims as this is what historians do.
      But you are simply too indoctrinated to even try to understand this, aren’t you, Mel?

    • Mel Wild says:

      No, Ark. DEAL WITH THE EVIDENCE! You are the one who’s indoctrinated. You have made no better claim. You cannot just dismiss it.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Me indoctrinated? Not at all, in actual fact. But you are, aren’t you , Mel? You beleive in nonsense and the fact (sic) you are going to lock yourself out of heaven if you do not admit to being a naughty sinner and accept the claim that Jesus of Nazareth Nowhere is Yahweh in human disguise, yes?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Red Herring Fallacy
      Attempting to redirect the argument to another issue to which the person doing the redirecting can better respond. While it is similar to the avoiding the issue fallacy, the red herring is a deliberate diversion of attention with the intention of trying to abandon the original argument.”
      Mel: The Resurrection event has strong historical evidence, given in the articles and video, attested by historian and most scholars…
      Ark: But Gary Habermas doesn’t believe in evolution. You must agree or disagree with his stance before we can go on.

      IRRELEVANT and fallacious!

    • Arkenaten says:

      No, because it demonstrates his bona fides.
      And now it demonstrates yours as well.
      But we knew yours’ were dreadful from the outset …and I did tell you Habermas’s argument has been shredded before and I wasn’t going to bother, did I not?

    • Mel Wild says:

      No, because it demonstrates his bona fides.

      Well, apparently Richard Carrier is a Jesus Myth kook, so we cannot trust anything he says either.

      “Carrier asserts that originally “Jesus was the name of a celestial being, subordinate to God, with whom some people hallucinated conversations” and “The Gospel began as a mythic allegory about the celestial Jesus, set on earth, as most myths then were” (“So…If Jesus Didn’t Exist, Where Did He Come From Then?”

      Really, Ark. People actually believe this nonsense? Talk about extreme bias! This is fringe scholarship. So, according to your standard, we cannot accept anything Carrier says either.

    • Arkenaten says:

      So we should just stick to the arguments then?
      Fair enough.
      Carrier’s argument trashes Habermas’s every which way and exposes it for what it is … palpablke bullshit.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I read Carrier’s article. He’s only disputing Habermas’s 75% claim on the empty tomb (making suppositions and conjectures since he doesn’t have the actual data Habermas has for the number). That doesn’t deal with all the data. You are still stuck having to give a better explanation for ALL the data, that provides explanatory scope and power.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I have …. it is fiction.
      And if Habermas refuses to give up the data …. even his SIL Licona hasn’t seen it, apparently … then how do we know he is being straight with us?
      I mean, personally, I think he is bound to be telling the truth, as what Christians would tell lies for gods’ heavens’ Gary’s sake, right?
      However, for his own peace of mine he should let everyone see who all these …. writers are, don’t you think so, Mel? So we clear up any misunderstanding
      Oh, by the way, It is against Christian morals to show one’s data in public?
      Do you think Gary is not allowing Mike to see his data in the interests of public decency, bearing in mind what happened the last time Mike alluded to the fact resurrected Saints wandering around Jerusalem might somehow damage the faith?
      As my granddad used to say….
      ”I don’t want to know , I was only asking.”

      As an aside, but still relevant, who do you reckon rolled away the stone? Yahweh, the Angel, the gardener, Jesus li’l ole’ self, or Mott the Hoople?

    • Mel Wild says:

      All of Carrier’s accusations are suppositions and speculations. Is that honest? He doesn’t know for certain that Habermas is keeping data away from anyone. Only that Habermas has not released it. So, please spare me all your moralizing here.

      And what is Carrier’s better explanation for the data? That it’s all a myth? That theory is so full of holes you could use it for a colander.

    • Arkenaten says:

      http://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/4857
      Read the section on Habermas.
      Brilliant in its simplicity and devastates Habermas’s claims in 2683 words.
      The best twenty minutes you will spend reading.
      This is my argument.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Haha! I just knew you would eventually bring out Carrier. Right, we should believe anyone who thinks Jesus was just a myth. Ark, this is about as fringe as you can get when it comes to New Testament textual scholarship.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Btw, this latest comment is one of your favorite fallacious tactics…

      Red Herring Fallacy
      “Attempting to redirect the argument to another issue to which the person doing the redirecting can better respond. While it is similar to the avoiding the issue fallacy, the red herring is a deliberate diversion of attention with the intention of trying to abandon the original argument.”

      Mel: The Resurrection event has strong historical evidence…
      Ark: Exodus is a story. Adam and Eve is a story. So is Noah’s Ark.

      Argument against the resurrection? Nope.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Your religion has many, many facets.
      You don’t WANT to look at the minutiae and, when you see the truth you shit your pants.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thank your for your well-reasoned argument to refute the historicity of the resurrection.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Grow up. You’re not an idiot so stop behaving like one.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Grow up? You’re the one who seems to be having a fit because I call you out on your fallacious arguments.

  4. Arkenaten says:

    Furthermore, Habermas is obliged to sign a Statement of Faith at his Liberty University, which says, in part, “We affirm that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, though written by men, was supernaturally inspired by God so that all its words are the written true revelation of God; it is therefore inerrant in the originals and authoritative in all matters.”

    No bias here, right?
    How do you propose he can be objective under these conditions.

    Licona slipped in 2010 after the release of his 700 page book and saw his arse and subsequently lost two jobs, didn’t he?

    • Mel Wild says:

      He’s about as objective as a radical anti-theist Myther like Richard Carrier, I suppose.

    • Arkenaten says:

      But his argument is better and honest.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Haha…of course you would say that.

    • Arkenaten says:

      But it is the truth. And that’s got to hurt, no matter what universe you are form, right?
      There will come a time when you will begin to wonder why people such as Habermas and more so Lane Craig and his unsavoury ilk are treated with emotions ranging from indifference to outright disrespect.
      Why people who were once Christian and would almost swoon when blokes like this rattled off their brand of apologetics, yet as non-believers some almost gag at the sheer audacity of the tripe theses apologists put out and, that they as believers, swallowed it hook line and sinker … and all because they did not want to burn in hell.
      But if you truly believe that this is the only (non) event you have to wholeheartedly believe in to be a Christian then you are walking a very narrow path indeed.
      But one feels obliged to ask why you bother with all the other stuff if this is the Pauline Be All And End All of your very dubious faith- based world view?

      If it is all heart and faith why do you care about anything else in fact?

      And of course, the real question …. why the Gehenna did you convert in the first place?

    • Mel Wild says:

      The only thing I wonder is why you could never give me a better explanation for the data. Instead of giving me an actual counterclaim like I asked a dozen times, you indulge in ad hominin attacks and other fallacious arguments, which is your MO.

      Obviously, you were heartened by the Carrier article you found so you could focus on attacking Habermas rather than answer the question, but Carrier has the same problem you have. No feasible answer that better explains the historical data.

      So, you can stay in your little dream bubble and believe that everyone in the world will eventually leave the faith and bow down to the superior intellect of the likes of Carrier or Dawkins if you want. But prepare to be disappointed.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I did. It is fiction.

    • Mel Wild says:

      And the mythic theory was refuted on the video.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Are you referring to the the character Jesus being a myth?

    • Mel Wild says:

      It can include that but no. The mythic theory on the resurrection. Did you watch the video? It lays out the theory that the resurrection story was fabricated by the disciples after the fact, etc. The video shows that this theory is full of holes and does not provide the best explanation for the data that provides explanatory scope and power.

      You’ll have to do a lot better than dismissing it as fiction.

    • Arkenaten says:

      I skip scanned it this morning before work.
      It is fiction, as is begins with an unsubstantiated presupposition.
      Can you guess what that is?

    • Mel Wild says:

      “It is fiction, as is begins with an unsubstantiated presupposition.”

      And I disagree, so there we are. Calling it fiction refutes nothing.

    • Arkenaten says:

      If you disagree that it is an unsubstantiated presupposition, then first give me a definition of what supernatural is.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I disagree that the historical evidence outlined were unsubstantiated. These are agreed by New Testament textual scholars.
      We infer this by the following points:
      – His disciples said Jesus appeared to them alive
      – Skeptics (Paul, James) reported Jesus appeared to them
      – Conversion of skeptics Paul and James
      – Expectation of the Gospel to the surrounding world
      – Low status of women in the ancient world
      – Immediate proclamation in Jerusalem
      – Voluntary suffering of the disciples and witnesses
      – Empty tomb

      You need to provide a better answer than mythic or hallucination theories. These counterclaims don’t adequately address the data.

    • Arkenaten says:

      ”We infer …”
      No. You infer.
      I consider it fiction because you have not adequately demonstrated that this was a an historical event. Neither have you given me a definition of what supernatural is.
      And I am not interested in what it isn’t but what it is.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Inference to the best explanation is the only way you can determine what’s historical, Ark!

      “Historiography does not reconstruct events; it cannot bring Caesar back to life of reenact the battle of Actium. Historiography does attempt to provide a hypothetical description and analysis of some past events as the best explanation of the present evidence.” (Aviezer Tucker, Historiographical Counterfactuals and Historical Contingency, p.258)

      The points I have listed are generally agreed as authentic points. It doesn’t mean all scholar agree that Jesus was actually raised from the dead, but you still have to deal with the evidence and provide a better explanation for ALL the data. In other words, you must provide a better naturalist explanation since you don’t believe in the Bible’s supernatural explanation.

      And do I really have to explain what “supernatural” means? The dictionary: “(of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.”

    • Arkenaten says:

      “(of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.”

      And how do you test for that?

    • Mel Wild says:

      You don’t test, Ark. Didn’t you read the definition of historiography? You infer to the best explanation that provides explanatory scope and power for all the data we do have. Here’s the argument:
      – The disciples claimed and believed that Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to them. This is not disputed by most textual scholarship.
      – You disagree with this claim because you don’t believe in miracles. SO, you MUST provide a BETTER naturalist explanation than the claim.
      – The mythic/hallucination theory won’t cut it, as the video pointed out.

    • Arkenaten says:

      If you don’t test, and by that I mean you cannot, test then you cannot test the veracity of the claim either, and the ONLY thing you can do is make a claim that this was a supernatural event.
      If you are stating it is a miracle you have to be able to demonstrate it is a miracle/ a supernatural event.
      But as you cannot test for supernatural and we are, as we know, effectively blocked from doing so, then you have no way of showing it is a miracle.

    • Mel Wild says:

      If you don’t test, and by that I mean you cannot, test then you cannot test the veracity of the claim either, and the ONLY thing you can do is make a claim that this was a supernatural event.

      You can’t test anything in history, Ark. You can only infer based on the data you have. Why don’t you get this? And you have shown that you cannot provide a naturalist counterclaim that better explains the data.

    • Arkenaten says:

      The primary claim is that Jesus of Nazareth came back to life after dying.
      An assertion you claim to be a supernatural event.
      I don’t believe in the supernatural and you have not adequately demonstrated the veracity of the claim.
      And as I do not believe in the supernatural how do you think you are going to convince me?
      And this surely is the object of the exercise is it not?
      You are surely not trying to convince your flock, or IB if she is still lurking, or Wally or any evangelical style Christian as they already believe … because of their faith .
      Evidence is not really a requirement for them … or you, and never really has been has it, Mel, as you all believe the gospels to be god-breathed, am I correct?
      So if your claim cannot be tested then I consider it the height of monumental arrogance that you state ”based on the data” that this bloke must have been come back from he dead/ been resurrected.
      And by this you mean resurrected himself or resurrected by Yahweh, for whom we also cannot test.

      If you want to believe it … and you most surely do, are absolutely desperate to believe it is true in fact … then, good for you. This does not make it true.
      Not now, 2000 years ago or when Habermas used this argument for his dissertation.

      And infer from the data that is is fiction.
      Prove me wrong?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Again, you’re not believing it does not refute the claim. And you DON’T test ANY history, Ark! So please stop making absurd and irrelevant points.
      Again, what is your counterclaim for the evidence presented? Simply not believing is NOT a refutation. Prove the claim wrong with a better explanation instead of giving me circular reasoning for not believing in miracles.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Again, what is your counterclaim for the evidence presented?

      You cannot prove the veracity of your claim so I am under no obligation to disprove it.
      Therefore, simply on the grounds of probability the better explanation is that is should be regarded as fiction.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You cannot prove the veracity of your claim so I am under no obligation to disprove it.

      Of course, we cannot prove any event in history. I said this several times now. Why don’t you get this? We weren’t there. We cannot run tests. But I can have an explanation that best explains the evidence. You certainly are under no obligation to disprove it but then understand that you have not disputed the claim. Simply disagreeing does not address the evidence.
      As I pointed out with the quote in the post itself:

      “An agnostic can refrain from making any claim, but that doesn’t make an objective argument against someone who is making a historical claim, nor does it challenge or refute the presented argument. If they wish to do that, then they need to propose an opposing theory and back it up with evidence and make a case for plausibility.”

      And “grounds of probability” is not a good argument since the disciples did not claim that this was a probable event. Quite the opposite, they proclaimed that it was a unique event to Jesus Christ Himself. And if God does exist, then it is plausible for God to do something not probable for us. So, the argument stands unless you can provide a better naturalist explanation that answers all the criteria.

    • Arkenaten says:

      But I can have an explanation that best explains the evidence.

      No. This is simply your opinion. Nothing more.

      And it can not be regarded as a unique event . What utter nonsense!

      In fact, history is littered with after-death appearances. Start with Appolonius of Tyre.
      And are we to attribute Resurrection to all of them?

      So, once again, based on the grounds of probability, the story/claim is likely ficticious.
      That, in fact, is the much better explanation and thus your argument fails once again.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Saying it’s fiction is NOT a counterclaim that provides a better explanation.

      And it can not be regarded as a unique event . What utter nonsense!
      In fact, history is littered with after-death appearances. Start with Appolonius of Tyre.
      And are we to attribute Resurrection to all of them?

      Congratulations. Now you’re committing the Reductio ad Absurdum fallacy, saying that if one thing can be true then we must accept all other claims. This is fallacious because it does not follow that all other claims are true. We must view them one claim at a time based on the evidence.

      And starting with Appolonius of Tyre? What? Now you’re spouting utter nonsense! First, this myth showed up around the sixth century AD! If anything, this was a copycat of the Christian resurrection.

      Ark, this is a total myth that you anti-theists propagate that Jesus’ resurrection was not unique in history. No one, Jewish or pagan, claimed a bodily resurrection like the Christian claim. Here’s a video I wasn’t planning on showing that outlines the truth about this and debunks your popular fiction.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Congratulations. Now you’re committing the Reductio ad Absurdum fallacy, saying that if one thing can be true then we must accept all other claims.

      Well, Habermas considers the bible is innerent so he is also making the same claim.
      How, in that case is my claim any different?
      In fact my claim has more veracity because we actually do have known evidence that flatly refutes such biblical claims.(Adam and Eve, Exodus etc)
      Therefore, based on the evidence, are you finally acknowledging that Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, the Exodus and conquest, to name but a few, are simply nothing but fiction?

    • Mel Wild says:

      More fallacies, I see. Adding more red herrings again this time. I don’t have time for this.

    • Arkenaten says:

      What fallacies?
      You really don’t like it when the tables are turned on your argument now do you?
      And you simply refuse to answer them.
      It matters not. The archaeological and scientific evidence stands for all to see and makes a mockery of your claims.

      Habermas is an innerantist. He denies evolution.
      I presume therefore, he is obliged to sign a statement of faith at Liberty.
      So much for objectivity, right?

      You don’t have time? Really?
      Then why did you write the post?
      Your flock already believes.

      Oh, and it was Apollonius of Tyana. Silly me!

      So that sorts out your ”unique” issue.

      And we finally blow your argument – or rather biblical innerantist and fundamental evangelical Christian Gary Habermas’s argument out the water.

      What next? CS Lewis?

      I’ve been telling you all along, Mel. Stick with faith it is your best and only option.

  5. Arkenaten says:

    I showed that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was central to the faith, recited, sung, and memorized by Christian followers going all the way back to the resurrection.

    Claimed resurrection. If we’re being scrupulously honest, yes?

    • Hi Ark…

      This is not an argument. I’m smart enough to know that I could not hold a candle to you in a theological debate. You are undoubtedly very knowledgeable. I just wanted you to know why I would choose to believe in a God whom I have never seen and whom you say does not exist.

      There are many reasons, primarily a peace which passes all understanding, but one non debatable miracle sealed the deal for me. I remember being in church and seeing another member seeming to have some type medical problem. This man was an old biker who resembled a ZZ Top band member. He always wore his leather vest and blue jeans with the wallet chain. He has a souped up Harley that would make a grown man drool. Days went by and turned into months. Eventually, I saw his family members escorting him to a pew. It was then that I realized he had gone blind.

      To shorten this story…One day the pastor called for all who needed a miracle of healing to come forward. This man was led up front (mind you he had been blind for months). As the preacher laid hands on him and prayed, “In the name of Jesus,” to be healed, the man blinked a couple of times. With about as much fan fare as you can get from an old biker, the man smiled and nodded that he could see.

      He then picked up his cane and walked back to his seat. To this day, I see him walking down the corridors of the church. No fanfare…no interviews with major religious organizations. He is who he is…

      I wrote this to say that as much theological argument and debate as can be may be thrown about by either side. However, no one will ever convince me that God does not exist. I’ve seen Him in operation too many times. I know that I know.

      Again, this was not an argument but a reasoning why I believe.

  6. Pingback: The resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part Two | In My Father's House

  7. Pingback: The resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part Three | In My Father's House

  8. You wrote.. “If you don’t believe that miracles are possible, then no amount of historical evidence is probably going to convince you.”

    Sadly, this thought applies to the Church as well…

  9. Arkenaten says:

    @Patrick

    You are undoubtedly very knowledgeable. I just wanted you to know why I would choose to believe in a God whom I have never seen and whom you say does not exist.

    For the same reason you do not believe in Allah, or the Buddha, or Vishnu or Hannaman or Quetzalcoatl.
    And this is the same reason why believers in those gods do not believe in yours.
    And they all have similar experiences as you all claim miracles, all claim peace etc etc …
    Seriously, you really have to exercise some critical thinking here Patrick.
    And also be brutally honest with yourself.

    Oh, and I generally hold the view that the evidence for all gods … yours included … is not only completely un-convincing but also non-existent and has not to date been demonstrated satisfactorily and can therefore all be dismissed with impunity.
    And no I do not know what would convince me, I would imagine an omniscient deity would know the answer to this so I do not bother myself with the question.

    However, I am open to evidence. If you feel you have a better argument/evidence then please … go ahead and present it. I am serious. Maybe it’s one I have not heard before? Maybe you have the piece of evidence that will convince me?

    Your story is cool! Seriously, I am thrilled for the bloke. Who wouldn’t be?
    But why would you ascribe his recovery to intercessory prayer and not natural spontaneous recovery?
    Maybe the biker’s illness was psychosomatic?
    I am not saying it was … but maybe?
    Or was there another reason for the blindness? Cataracts perhaps? Perhaps the pastors hands were the key?
    Let’s remember a certain biblical character called Saul of Tarsus supposedly had a temporary bout of blindness did he not?

    Was this biker subsequently diagnosed by a medical professional?
    Was his condition professionally diagnosed before his recovery
    Has the pastor healed the rest of the blind people in your community?´
    Has he been approached by the Association for the blind to come work with other blond people?
    Maybe you should approach them yourself and tell them of this pastor and his work?

    These are questions I would imagine any curious … and honest seeker of truth would ask.
    have you asked these questions?

    • Arkenaten says:

      Blond people? *Sigh*
      I think that was a ”blond” moment.

    • Lol…the blond folk might have something to say about that…

      Like I wrote, I just wanted to explain my personal reasoning. No arguments from me nor trying to change you with my vast intellect. 🙂

    • Arkenaten says:

      I hear you …. but personal reasoning is more likely to be suspect if you have jumped at the answer that you not only expect, but, if you’re truly honest want want to believe.
      Blind guy – church-pastor -hands on – prayer – guy sees!
      Has to be a miracle, right?
      And sadly several million blind people who can’t get to this guy’s church or likely don’t know about it and probably never will, are destined to remain blind for the rest of their lives.
      And 150,00 of them are Christian as well.
      And 132 of them live in your damn state, too! 3 of them within 15 m minutes driving distance. I’m serious, just 15 minutes away for goodness’ sake! You could fetch them yourself, Patrick.
      And how hard would it be for your Pastor to pick up the phone to the local Association for the Blind or even the other churches in the vicinity? Even if he can’t cure them all it’s worth a shot don’t you think so?
      You could even suggest it to him. We’re not tempting God here, but calling on him for a bit of help. After all, he said we could, didn’t he? Anytime. And it’s not like you are dealing with a total deadbeat non believer like me is it, but the die-hard faithful.
      So it’s worth a shot, right?

      Hmmmm …. put like this, something about the incident now doesn’t feel quite right any more, does it, Patrick?

      Put your critical-thinking hat back on again .
      What does it tell you now?

  10. Pingback: The resurrection of Jesus Christ – Part Five | In My Father's House

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