Saturday, 8 September 2012

Ghosts, weeping statues and the resurrection, part two

The previous post set out the background to this challenge - why do Christians believe only in their own miracle reports and not any of the other millions of reports which have just as much or better evidence. We are looking at reasons why the evidence for the resurrection of Christ is unlike any other religious or supernatural claim, and the first reason was in light of the culture.

The next point I want to highlight is to do with the claim itself. many claims of the miraculous or supernatural have to do with mere momentary, one-off experiences, things to which there are any amount of alternative explanations. The claim of the disciples was not like that. They did not merely claim to have seen Christ, they claimed to have seen Him for a period of 40 days; they claimed to have met Him in group settings in which they all heard and saw the same thing; they claimed to have handled Him, spoken with Him, touched Him, and looked at His wounds. Now those claims are such that you can't be mistaken about them - they are either truthful claims or the people making the claims are liars. There's no possible way they could have been sincerely wrong. For 2,000 years people have attempted to produce an explanation that keeps the Lord in death but maintains the disciples weren't blatant deceivers, but every attempt has died a swift death! Sometimes the corpses of these arguments are exhumed, and they still stink! No argument has or can survive.

So, either Christ rose again, or the disciples deliberately set out to deceive people. That will bring us to our next consideration - the character of the people making the claim.