Every Easter season, it seems that at least one old supposed refutation of the resurrection of Jesus the Christ is itself resurrected and trotted out to ridicule the central tenet of the Christian faith: that Jesus was crucified, died, and by His own power was raised from the dead three days later.
I was a bit surprised to see what is commonly referred to as the ‘swoon theory’ being used by quite a few people this time around, particularly since it has been so thoroughly disproven many time in the past. But, since it seems to be fairly popular once again, I’ll briefly deal with it here.
The variations of the swoon theory all state that Jesus did not really die when crucified; he merely became unconscious (“passed out” or ‘swooned”) and woke up while in the tomb. Sometime before the discovery of the open tomb, he either rolled the stone away himself, or someone opened it for him, and he simply walked out.
There are so many ways to refute this argument that it is hard to decide where to start. I’ll begin with a quick rundown of the relevant facts of the case, using the eyewitness accounts recorded in the Gospels. Continue reading
(Note: for those of you who’ve been lamenting the lack of pictures and embedded media in the last few posts, there’s a video a the very end just for you!)
I’ve been working through the essential beliefs of the Christian faith – those facts that are necessarily true for Christianity to be a worldview based on transcendent truth rather than man-made fantasy (such as Darwinian evolution, hyper-rationalism, or any of a multitude of religious traditions or ‘roll your own’ brands of paganism.
This installment deals with the central, core tenet of Christianity – the death, burial, and resurrection of the Christ and the implications of those historical events upon the eternal destinies of every single human being who has, does, or ever will live.
As usual, let’s start with a list of just what the essential beliefs are:
1. The infallibility of the Bible in the original manuscripts
2. God’s sovereign rule over all creation
3. Human depravity
4. The necessity of God’s grace
5. The virgin birth
6. Christ’s sinlessness
7. The full humanity and deity of Christ
8. The triunity of God
9. The atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Christ
10. The necessity of faith
11. Christ’s second coming, final judgement and reign.
The first thing we come to with #9 is that weird word ‘atoning’. Just what does that mean, anyway? Continue reading
It’s that time of year again. The time of year when we as a culture celebrate mythical egg-laying rabbits and are bombarded on with ‘earthshaking special reports and documentaries’ that proclaim the latest (or rehash old) ‘discovery’ that supposedly disproves the resurrection of Christ.
There are a LOT of resources (some linked to at the bottom of the page) that explain and refute the popular theories about the resurrection, but I don’t have a lot of time to write this week, so I’ll just give a brief summary of what Gary Habermas calls the ‘Minimal Facts’ approach to showing that the most probable and reasonable explanation for the resurrection story based on the evidence is that it actually happened.
The argument is that the historical, eyewitness evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is even better and more contemporary than the accepted historical accounts of other events of the time – and can be demonstrated using ONLY those minimal facts that are generally accepted by the great majority of even the most skeptical scholars of ancient history. Continue reading