Saturday, March 27, 2010

Argument for the Resurrection

I spend a good deal of time chatting with Christians and Christian apologists who are scientists or science-minded. I'm talking astronomers, physicists, geologists, and biologists who recognize that all of the most significant scientific discoveries of the last 100 years support the Christian understanding of the world in which we live. But some of these folks spend so much of their time making a case for the truth of Christianity from science that they are less well-versed on some of the other--historical and philosophical--arguments for Christianity. For example, one of my science apologist friends recently asked,
Doesn't any argument for the historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus depend upon the reliability of the Bible?
It is true, of course, that a very compelling argument can be made that way. It's a somewhat long argument, relying upon the internal cohesion of Scripture, fulfillment of prophecy in Scripture, the historical accuracy of the Bible, the amazing scientific credibility of early books of the Bible (written thousands of years ago, validated by the latest modern science), and such. Once it can be established that the Bible is reliable, the argument can then be made that the Resurrection occurred.

But my friend was wrong--there are compelling arguments for the bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth that do not depend upon first demonstrating that the Bible is reliable (much less inerrant). My favorite is known as the 'minimal facts' argument, and is put forth by Gary Habermas (in his book The Risen Jesus and Future Hope and in another he wrote with Mike Licona, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus).

As a run-up to Easter, I'll share the 'minimal facts' argument here in a series of posts.

No comments: