Happy Easter!

(Carson Weitnauer) #1

Hi everyone! Happy Easter! He is Risen!

I’ll be worshipping at Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell! Crawford Loritts will be preaching. At our campus group for the spiritually curious, called Ask Your Question, Michael Licona will be sharing on evidence for the resurrection. I welcome your prayers for this time and that many will pursue Jesus with new faith and courage because of our time together and how the Lord works.

I pray God is at work in your lives and churches today!

(Jimmy Sellers) #2

I am singing He is Alive as I peck. First time my whole family was in the same church on the same pew in quite a while.:grinning: What a good day.

(Carson Weitnauer) #3

That is so encouraging. The dream of a Christian parent - to be together in worship!

(Tim Ramey) #4

I’m so glad for you! How many is the “whole family”? We had 2 of our children and their spouses and grandchildren and it meant so much to my wife whose birthday it is today as well!

(Carson Weitnauer) #5

Hi friends, a quick update with two photos from the class:


We had about forty people come out - we needed to bring in extra chairs to accommodate everyone in the room where we meet. It was an incredible opportunity to interact with Mike in such an intimate environment. There were a few skeptics in attendance and many Christians who have close family members who don’t know Christ. I was also encouraged that teenagers and senior adults were involved in the discussion.

Mike’s argument was “so simple you can put it on a napkin.” You can see the picture above. So that you can share this with friends, someone you meet on a plane, etc… in brief, here’s how he developed the argument:

  1. When I decided to investigate the resurrection, I had a problem. I was so biased to find evidence that it was true. So how could I reduce my bias? I decided to only work from facts that nearly every non-Christian historian of Jesus accepted. One fact that commands almost universal consent is that the original disciples of Jesus repeatedly, publicly claimed that Jesus had risen from the dead. Just like there are a handful of historians who deny the Holocaust, there are a handful of people who will even deny that Jesus existed. But they aren’t taken seriously by the vast majority of professional historians.

  2. The disciples made this claim either because Jesus had appeared to them or he had not appeared to them. That captures all the possibilities.

  3. If Jesus did not appear to the disciples, then two other options: either the disciples believed
    he had appeared to them or they did not believe that Jesus had appeared to them.

  4. If they believed that Jesus had appeared to them, this would be a hallucination. Mike carefully defined a hallucination as the perception of something that is not present. For instance, if you think your cellphone is vibrating in your pocket, but it isn’t - that’s a tactile hallucination. Importantly, like dreams, hallucinations are not contagious. The problems with this hypothesis:
    A. The disciples claimed Jesus appeared risen to them in groups, but hallucinations are an individual experience.
    B. Too high a percentage of people claimed that they had appearances of Jesus. Less than half of senior adults have a hallucination of their dead spouse, but in this case, 100% of the original disciples claimed to have seen the risen Jesus (when he was in fact, according to this theory, dead).
    C. Paul also claimed to have had an appearance of the risen Jesus, but he was not psychologically motivated to be grieving the loss of Jesus. He was a proud Pharisee who saw his opposition to the followers of Jesus as a good religious duty.

  5. If the disciples did not believe that Jesus had appeared to them, then either they were lying or were speaking of his resurrection metaphorically.
    A. But, it does not make sense that they were lying. Liars make poor martyrs. We don’t have historical evidence that all of the disciples were martyred for their public witness to the resurrection of Jesus, but we do know that they did experience continual suffering for their claims.
    B. Nor is it reasonable to understand that they meant ‘Jesus is alive’ in a metaphorical sense. A careful reading of, for instance, 1 Corinthians 15 demonstrates that Paul and the earliest followers of Jesus meant that Jesus was bodily risen.

  6. If Jesus did appear to the disciples, then that is possible either because he never died or because he did die and then was bodily risen from the dead.
    A. The possibility that Jesus survived crucifixion is extremely low. On one occasion, when Josephus asked Titus to prematurely remove three of his friends from crucifixion, and they were given the best medical care available, two of them still died. To imagine that Jesus, having been scourged, forced to carry the cross, impaled upon it, speared in the side, and buried without food or water, still survived the crucifixion is not historically reasonable.
    B. The only reasonable option left is that Jesus was bodily raised from the dead.

I hope this is helpful to you! There are many rabbit trails and further conversations to be had from this summary. For instance, Mike pointed out he didn’t even include the evidence for the empty tomb, and how this supports the resurrection, because a near complete consensus doesn’t exist among historians that the tomb was found empty.

(Jimmy Sellers) #6

Thanks for asking. I have two children, son 41, daughter 30, grand daughter 8 and a really old wife.:grinning:

(Tim Ramey) #7

Don’t give this stuff about an old wife as mine just turned 65 yesterday and I am 67. We have 7 children, 5 of them married with the oldest 43 and 23 grandchildren, I tell you this to help you realize Jimmy, that you are a spring chicken. We are old clunkers but don’t feel like we are!

(Natasha Morton) #8

This is fantastic!

Chip Ingram did a great sermon similar to this that I recommend - Why I Believe. It’s one of the reasons I really started digging into apologetics (the why of it all).