Reading the accounts in the four Gospels of the Easter Sunday discovery that the tomb of Jesus was empty prompts questions about the reliability of the New Testament, thanks to what appear to be variations or even outright contradictions in the details.
Matthew says, for example, that “after the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.” But Mark reports that “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.”
Some read these accounts, note the apparent differences and then conclude that Matthew and Mark aren’t credible because of their different details in describing the same event.
But what would somebody say about that approach who is experienced at sorting out differing details reported by witnesses to serious crimes? Jimmy Wallace, like his father, Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace before him, makes his living in law enforcement doing just that. Check out the following video for his fascinating assessment:
Paul the Apostle put it bluntly in I Corinthians 15: 12-19 when he said that, if Christ was not really resurrected by God from the dead three days after His crucifixion, then Christians are among all people “the most to be pitied.”
Why? Because Christianity depends absolutely for its credibility upon the truth of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. If He was not raised as He said He would be prior to the crucifixion, then the faith is based on a falsehood. If Christ did not conquer death, then He cannot save us from our sin, which leads to eternal death.
So, how do we decide where we stand on this issue of the truth or falsehood of the Resurrection? Like any other issue, it’s a matter of finding the evidence, assessing the possible explanations, then reaching a conclusion as to which one of the potential explanations best accounts for the evidence.
Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace is one of the world’s best judges of evidence and how it fits potential explanations. For much of his adult life, he was a convinced atheist, but then he applied what he learned as a Los Angeles Police detective who specialized in solving the coldest murder cases to the evidence for the resurrection. He explains what he concluded and why in the following short video:
Breaking the law of man is one thing, but breaking the law of God is quite another. The former act makes the person doing it a criminal, with consequences that are temporal. The latter act makes the individual involved a sinner, with consequences that can be eternal.
The law provides justice by requiring the criminal to “serve time.” But God provides mercy to those who seek it through His Son, Jesus Christ, who “served time” for His followers via the cross.
Cold-case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace explains:
Yes, there are people who call themselves Christians who are intolerant of all kinds of things. But don’t confuse them with the biblical faith defined by Jesus Christ, who saves men and women of all races, nations, creeds and ideologies.
The truth is that bigotry and intolerance are found among individuals of both genders, who are from all races, nations, creeds and ideologies. Some are more intolerant and bigoted than others and some are waaay more.
If the answer to the question in the headline above is “no,” then there is something God cannot do, which means He isn’t omnipotent and the biblical claim that “all things are possible” with Him is false.
But, as cross-examined.org’s Dr. Frank Turek explains in the following video in response to a student’s question, there is a logical fallacy lurking within that headlined question:
If a friend tells you they really do love you and, to prove it, they tell you they deposited $1 million in your bank account, how would you know if you should believe them? You check your bank balance, of course!
If the million bucks aren’t there, you know your “friend” is not to be believed. If you verify that you are now a millionaire, however, well then, you probably should accept that person as a genuine friend.
There is one essential claim upon which all of Christianity stands or falls. Paul the Apostle even says if this claim is false, then he and every other disciple of Jesus is a liar. One way to verify the claim is understanding the credibility of the four Gospels. NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace explains in this video:
Quantum Mechanics demonstrates beyond any shadow of doubt that the universe can be explained entirely by the physical properties of matter and how they interact, so there’s no longer any place for God, right? Right???
Not so fast, says Mind Matters’ Eric Holloway.
“If human observers are necessary for physical final causality to occur, how do humans come to have the capability in the first place? This question points to a yet even higher source of final causality that extends beyond the human realm, and is responsible for the final causality that humans exhibit,” Holloway writes.
Even if you are like me and are universes away from being able to claim to understand Quantum Mechanics, Holloway’s analysis will likely fascinate you and it will certainly give you some important new insights about our world and how it got here. Go here.
Tradition has it that all of the original surviving 11 disciples of Jesus died as martyrs while defending their claims that Christ had been resurrected on the third day after being crucified.
Thomas, the skeptical disciple (i.e. the “Doubting Thomas”) who refused to believe the resurrection until Jesus appeared to him and invited him to touch his crucifixion wounds, is believed to have taken the Gospel to India where he died as a martyr.
As Biola University Professor Sean McDowell explains in the following video, there is no independent corroboration for this tradition, but there is good historical evidence to support the conclusion that there is truth in the account:
It turns out in scripture that only God the Father knows when God the Son, Jesus, will return at His second coming, but that raises a question: If Jesus is fully God and fully man, why doesn’t He know when He’s returning?
Great question, according to crossexamined.org’s Dr. Frank Turek, who in this video not only responds to that question but includes an adaption of that famous Abbot & Costello”Who’s on First” routine that will put a smile on your face:
Conspiracy theories are becoming more common these days in the political debate in Congress, the national media and in public forums across the nation, digital and otherwise.
The Watergate coverup by President Richard Nixon and half a dozen of his chief aides was a real conspiracy and it cost him his presidency when he became the only American chief executive ever to resign the office.
What if evolution is true, both in terms of micro and macro changes over time? If it is, does that mean there is no room for the Christian God as creator of the universe and everything in it, including humans and animals?
Cross-examined.org’s Dr. Frank Turek says no, there still must be an explanation for the existence of the first molecule. Evolution properly understood is an explanation of how God did it, not an argument against the existence of God in the first place.
Turek was asked about this issue earlier this month during a presentation, noting that he’s an advocate for micro-evolution, but stops short of the “molecule to man” version of macro-evolution. Even so, he explains why God is essential regardless.
It seems to happen every time now when there is a mass shooting incident like those that just days ago killed and injured dozens of innocent people in an El Paso Wal-Mart and a Dayton night spot.
Democrats demand new gun controls and Republicans offer their “thoughts and prayers for the tragic victims of this latest horrible nonsense.” There is a growing chorus on each side that the other’s response is not appropriate, but the Democrats’ criticism of “thoughts and prayers” as inadequate seems especially strong in the wake of the most recent tragedies.
Not being one who follows ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” I wasn’t aware of the epic blow-up that occurred recently when Luke sort of asked Hannah if she would remain celibate until marriage.
Thanks to Chrissy Clark of The Federalist, however, I not only know about it, I’ve also benefitted from reading the author’s interesting take on who was right and who was wrong in what was an extremely revealing argument that was hardly flattering to either of the participants.