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Wednesday, April 13. 2022
WSJ: The Challenge of Easter - Whether you’re a believer or not, there is no way to ignore the radical claim of the Resurrection
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Truth. If the resurrection of Jesus did not actually happen, at a time and place in history, then the Christian faith is a complete farce.
Yet logic demands an understanding of what happened afterwards.
Borrowing from Charles Colson:
“I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren't true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn't keep a lie for three weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”
None of them gained wealth or fame. None of them benefited materially from their assertion to the resurrection or their work to spread the gospel. Every single one was imprisoned, beaten, tortured, and most eventually killed, for their stance.
Paul, after his Damascus epiphany, went on to experience unimaginable suffering, but was never deterred, not by shipwreck, beatings, imprisonment, and eventual death at the hands of the Romans.
What could have prompted this? Had they known the resurrection was a falsehood, how many would have recanted and gone on with their lives? None did.
That is the conundrum that confronts us.
Seriously? "You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years?" And you believe this is true because you read it in the bible??? Seriously? It is illogical. This pap was used by religious leaders thousands of years ago to keep power over ignorant people. It wasn't true then it isn't true today. There is no conundrum. There are those who believe and want to believe and those who do not. And often, as you have, those who believe say the most ridiculous things, and I suspect actually believe them, in defense of what they believe.
Going to their deaths decades later, with none of them recanting, is at least unusual and an indication. The reality is that conspiracies are rare and usually fall apart, which is the usual downfall of any proposed conspiracy theory about hundreds of thousands of doctors fudging death reports about covid or vaccines for no reason, for example.
You explode in objection and offer a highly speculative argument complete with insults. Maybe you are the one who needs a mirror. An observer from Mars would likely declare you have the burden of proof to show clean motive at this point. Don't assume that all of your opponents have not thought about these things just because you know some who have not. That is called confirmation bias.
"Going to their deaths decades later" You saw this or is it something you read in a book???
"You explode in objection" LOL! So you've never seen an explosion, right?
"Maybe you are the one who needs a mirror." Project much? You are the one with the reputation of endless arguments over things you are convinced you know better than any other human on earth. You seriously need a mirror. Ironically I question your sanity, unless all your previous rants and posts were humor.
It's generally taken as an allegory, among phil. lit. types.
Whether one believes in Christ's Resurrection or not, the message is one of faith, redemption, forgiveness, salvation. These are human properties, maybe the best, most noble properties to experience and understand as humans seeking spiritual peace. Thanks for sharing this with us.
God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. - 1 Corinthians 1:27
Christianity would have come to a screeching halt, all the Romans and Jewish council had to do was produce the body
Which they did not have
I ignore radical claims all the time, since they rarely arrive with radical evidence.
That said, for believers, the Resurrection is what makes all the difference. All you have to do is believe it.
If you KNOW it happened, faith is unnecessary. If you have FAITH it happened, reason is unnecessary.
The different stories in the Gospels present logical inconsistencies, therefore the story can only be understood through faith. Therefore faith is the main requirement in order to accept the Resurrection as true.
In my view, anyone who claims to KNOW is really talking about faith, not knowledge.
Also, as a non-subscriber, it's mildly annoying to follow a link to a WSJ subscriber-only story.
I have some agreement, but as a taker of histories of people in the present day, inconsistencies rather than some sort of fabricated agreement is actually a sign that people are telling what they remember. There is plenty evidence about eyewitnesses to filmed events disagreeing. That doesn't mean the event didn't happen. To go that route takes one away from literal inerrancy of Scripture, yes. But what you get back is very early records of people saying "That's the way I remember it, and I'm not changing my story." Good trade.
The Church asks that we use faith and reason to guide us. There are logical reasons to choose that God exists and logical reasons to choose that Christianity is the true path. If one hasn't question his faith in a reasonable manner, then that faith is likely weak.
I could only guess at the author's point from the first paragraph because I don't subscribe.
Lent is deceivingly simple as we prepare for Easter. Just as being stranded in the desert can appear simple, or covering all images in church simplifies the experience of the service, or fasting from certain pleasures seems to simplify your life.
But it's uncomfortably complicated. We know we are going to fail. We know that this emotional time will pass just as we pass into ordinary time after the Easter season. We have to face the fact that when, on Palm Sunday, we shout out "CRUCIFY HIM!" that it is each one of us, as individuals, that nailed Jesus to the cross. On Wednesday of Holy Week we are forced to recognize that we have things in common with Judas. On Thursday, today, we will leave the empty church in silence and the Mass unfinished, knowing the parts we played in this drama, but also knowing there is an end to the darkness. The church on Good Friday is a lonely, silent place.
Easter isn't as much complicated, as it is a relief.
Loved your final words “it is a relief”. As a reformed Catholic (aka Lutheran) I identify pointedly with the relief that follows Lent. I gave up barley and malt beverages this season. My Tuesday night bluegrass meet ups (jams) at a local brewery have left me to drinking a bottled A&W root beer. I probably sang and played better without any alcohol. But I’m going back enjoying my singing and playing more Tuesday next. Relief indeed. Alleluia!!!
I was busy yesterday and missed the opportunity to enjoin this discussion. This bantering verbalized here touches me. Salvation in the Christian sense cannot be bought, stolen, or earned. We must only believe. That is what the message of the Resurrection along with God’s existence boils down to.
A contemporary writing on the matter of Christ crucified and resurrected that makes sense to me is “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell. There are others books on the matter but I believe McDowell covered the logic well in that publication.
Striving to be the best version of myself that I can muster…