by Mike Robinson 

Today,  I would say the claim concerning the resurrection is more impressive  than any by the religious competition (former atheist Anthony Flew).

It’s  worth noting that the apostles saw the risen Christ, touched the risen  Christ, and died tortuous deaths while proclaiming the truth of the  resurrection. They did this when all they had to do was deny it to avoid  persecution and death. Sure, many people die for lies, but no  collective, diverse group of people die for a lie when they have sure  knowledge that it is a lie. Furthermore, all known ancient documents  that refer to the subject report an empty tomb. Even though the manner  in which one accepts or rejects the evidence is controlled by one’s  presuppositions, the facts are mighty. The evidence is there and it is  impressive.

The  message is clear: Through His mercy and grace, God forgives sinners who  place their faith in Christ. Christ's righteousness is imputed to  believers, and God maintains His standard of perfect justice. Too  marvelous for words! (David Limbaugh). 

Evidence is Delightful

If  one had sufficient evidence to warrant belief in a particular claim,  then one wouldn’t believe the claim on the basis of faith. “Faith” is  the word one uses when one does not have enough evidence to justify  holding a belief, but when one just goes ahead and believes anyway  (Peter Boghossian, A Manual for Creating Atheists).   What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof (assertion made by Hitchens offered without proof).  In  short, I didn't become a Christian because God promised I would have an  even happier life than I had as an atheist. He never promised any such  thing. Indeed, following him would inevitably bring divine demotions in  the eyes of the world. Rather, I became a Christian because the evidence  was so compelling that Jesus really is the one-and-only Son of God who  proved his divinity by rising from the dead. That meant following him  was the most rational and logical step I could possibly take (Lee  Strobel).

The  Christian worldview alone offers a confirmed resurrection of a Savior  to demonstrate its authority. The Greek deities and other  pseudo-resurrected gods were not historical figures. The only documents  we have concerning the false gods/myths are the specific documents dated  hundreds of years after Christianity arose.

Evidence  is indeed wonderful. The Christian faith has an abundance of evidence  to support its claims. In truth, there is nothing but evidence for the  God of the Bible. Every star and every atom declares the majesty of God  (Psalm 19:1).

The Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Integrated with Assured Proof

Having  loved His own which were in the world, He loved them to the end. Often  had they been faithless and now, while addressing them, He knows that  they will all in a few hours forsake Him. Yet He trusts them; He commits  His cause to their keeping. And we must love as He loved.1

You  can see the resurrection effect in the waning movement of the Sadducees  (the priests and their sect)—people who doubled down on manmade  religion and their self-centered traditions. The growth of the church  through the resurrection of Christ made the sect of the Sadducees  (priestly) obsolete. Indeed, biblically, the world is opposed to the  Christian church, but unlike cultists, the church should not fear the  world. The church should aim to win souls from the world because God's  people are led by the Spirit of God.

The  world will bring its condemnation. They may even put their sword behind  it. But we know that the highest court has already ruled in our favor.  “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). If they reject  us, he accepts us. If they hate us, he loves us. If they imprison us,  he sets our spirits free. If they afflict us, he refines us by the fire.  If they kill us, he makes it a passage to paradise. They cannot defeat  us. Christ has died. Christ has risen. We are alive in him. And in him  there is no condemnation. We are forgiven, and we are righteous. “And  the righteous are bold as a lion.”2

The Excessive Evaluation of Reason

To  whatever degree men discard God’s word they must attempt to substitute  it with something within their own nature. In snubbing God, as the  ground for truth men, suppose that He is replaced by mankind's reason.  On every occasion where people banish God from their analysis, a void is  left which must be filled. When analyzing the resurrection of Jesus, if  one dismisses the accounts in the Gospels, one is not only left without  the best informational source, one is caught without a foundation to  account for the universal operational features utilized in such an  analysis.

As  scholars strive to fill that rational barrenness, they find it  necessary to act as magistrate over God and His word in questions such  as:

·  Does the true God exist?

·  Did God reveal Himself and truth?

·  Can one affirm God’s revelation in scripture?

To  deny God, unsurprisingly, leads to the elevation of man and human  reason over God’s revelation. One sees this in the work of the  Boghossian and the New Atheists.

God’s is the Ultimate Ruler of Reason

I  maintain belief [p] Christ’s resurrection because there are good  grounds to believe [p]. However, I believe in [p] because the Christian  worldview is and must be true since it furnishes the necessary  conditions for intelligibility—the structured necessary categories of  understanding. Above and beyond those truths, because of the  illumination from the Holy Spirit, I know [p] in a certain, undeniable,  and indubitable manner. The evidential burden for rational belief in the  resurrection can be set high since it is an essential feature of the  Christian worldview; the worldview that provides the universal  functioning categories of intelligibility.

So, regarding the Resurrection, there is worldview proof as well as proof by a preponderance of evidence.

I believe Christ is alive because:

 I.  The preponderance of the evidence supports the resurrection

 II.  The Christian worldview is true

 III.  Most significantly, God has revealed His truth to me by His grace through the Word and Spirit

Since  a believer and nonbeliever will assess the evidence differently, under  dissimilar presuppositions, this will affect how each assesses the  historical evidence. The divergent ways in which men interpret evidence  is one reason contending at the worldview level is so crucial. The  rational confidence in the truth of a historical account is not always  evidentially established. Non-evidential modus does not imply  non-rational. In fact, all knowledge can be connected back to one’s  ultimate commitments—unargued rational pre-commitments. Thus, there is a  direct appeal to the facts as well as the worldview that provides the  preconditions necessary for the discovery, examination, analysis, and  communication of facts.

Because  God is not only real, but necessary, the scholar who strives to analyze  and evaluate the resurrection of Jesus (or any subject) devoid of a  divine foundation understands only in terms of himself. He attempts to  comprehend that which is beyond him. This is the case since he is  assessing selected infinite features using his finite mind while he is  not in a proper epistemic position to discern such truth. God is  boundless in His knowledge, but humans are limited creatures who can  never provide the infinitely-broad operational features necessarily  utilized in all research. One needs God as one’s ground for reason to  account for all the implicit features of rational analysis.

Scholars  researching the resurrection of Christ should not presume the  entitlements of the all-knowing God. Man is fallen. People have sinned.  Acquiescing to the actuality of sin is requirement for real  conversion—one must repent from sin and trust in Christ. The accurate  researcher must consent to his finitude and its limitations. He must  understand himself in light of who God is and what He has revealed.  Nevertheless, many academics scrap both. Too often writers tackling the  subject of Christ and His resurrection approach the subject with  naturalistic presuppositions. Naturalism denies the fallen nature of man  and effectively makes human reason the controlling authority, the  rational zenith used to analyze the truth of God’s word. The positions  are then reversed, for the reason that God is then at best an  unnecessary idea. He is vulgarly dismissed as a superfluous invasion  into naturalism's domain.

Scholarship  that ignores God as the foundation for proper inquiry will go in the  direction that man’s fallen reason takes him. This scholarship overtly  overlooks both finitude and man’s fallen nature as it puts an impossible  encumbrance on man's reasoning. Indeed, reason is a necessary but  insufficient tool required for historical examination and inquiry. But  naturalistic methodology makes it the locus of preeminence. No sane man  should speak against human reason inasmuch as one must use it while  rebuffing it. But only God provides the necessary a priori conditions for the universal functioning aspects employed in the reasoning process.

The Boundaries of Human Reason

Reason  is limited by the finitude and sinfulness of mankind. People lack the  ontological capacity to understand and experience all the potentialities  within the cosmos—there are knowledge and ontic realms he cannot  experience at all. His rational ability is inadequate to account for the  tools of reason employed to investigate the resurrection of Christ.  People cannot understand everything they encounter and know. All the  combined minds of humanity throughout all history could not understand  complete reality, yet selected scholarship stresses that we should  understand God’s word by naturalistic presuppositions. The consequence  is an incoherent and unbiblical view of Christ as well as a jaundiced  understanding regarding the meaning of His life, death, and  resurrection. The atheistic presupposition about the reliability of  naturalistic concepts makes it and not revelation their ultimate locus.  The logic of these assumptions ends up excluding Christ from a  discussion about His own life, death, and resurrection.

In  an analysis of Christ’s resurrection, naturalistic assumptions must  give way to the foundation of intelligibility: God. Naturalistic thought is  principally void of any genuine notion of truth or knowledge. The  alternative is a thoroughly scripture-based worldview, which alone  provides the universal necessities required for historical exploration  and analysis.

God  (y) is a necessary condition for the possibility of historical analysis  (x)—since x is the case, it logically follows that y must be the case.

In  this way skepticism, regarding Christ’s ministry, crucifixion, and  resurrection, is overturned using arguments from ultimate criteria  (immutable foundation with universal reign: Christianity; the Christian  worldview vs. a non-theistic worldview which has a mutable non-universal  foundation).

The  skeptic accepts the reality of historical analysis, the necessary  condition of which is God.* This problem seems to be disabling for the  semi-skeptical positions of Boghossian, Aslan, Ehrman, and other trendy  critics. This is the case not merely because of skepticism’s dubious  coherence, but because of its ontological limitation—it lacks a source  that is lofty and majestic enough to provide universal immutables  utilized in historical analysis. In rational pursuits, including  historical investigation, there is no ontic cheating: you either have  the goods or you do not. If one’s worldview lacks the resources to  account for the universal operating features of reason, it is incapable  of underwriting such an enterprise.

The Assured Resurrection of Jesus

No amount of belief makes something a fact (James Randi).  

Now  I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which  you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if  you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:  that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he  was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the  scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he  appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom  are still alive, though some have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15:1-6).

He  observed that it was not possible for the apostles “to continue to  reaffirm the truth time after time, if in fact Jesus wasn’t resurrected  from the dead” (Simon Greenleaf, onetime skeptic; Law School professor  at Harvard: wrote the long-used text book for ascertaining legal  evidence).

Facts concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

1.  Numerous eyewitnesses testified under the threat of death that they saw  the risen Jesus, including 500 people at one time (1Cor. 15).

To  whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible  proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things  pertaining to the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).

2.  All the apostles, except John, died a horrible death knowing they  observed Jesus alive from the dead. Hundreds more died because they  would not recant the fact that they had seen the risen Jesus. Not one  apostle recanted to save himself from a torturous death.

3.  The resurrection was proclaimed in the city of Jerusalem where the  trial, crucifixion, and resurrection took place. If Jesus had not risen  from the dead, his enemies only had to produce his body and this new  religion that they hated would be terminated before it started.

4.  The conversion of the opponents of Christianity, including many Jewish  Priests and Pharisees (Acts 6:7, 15:5, 20:21), can best be explained by  the resurrection of Christ. The risen Jesus converted many of those who  executed Him because of the overwhelming evidence of His resurrection  and His many appearances.

On  the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took  the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone  rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the  body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly  two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In  their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but  the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He  is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still  with you in Galilee” (Luke 24:1-6).

5.   Ancient hostile sources and extra-biblical writers record the matching  facts of Christ’s death and empty tomb including Josephus in his  Testimonium Flavianum recorded below:

Now  there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call  him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men  as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the  Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at  the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to  the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he  appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had  foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him.  And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this  day.3

6.  The continuous defense of the resurrection in front of Roman government  officials from Paul to Tertullian was unchallenged by Rome and all  ancient historians. No plausible explanation, other than the  resurrection, existed or the precise government records could have been  employed to refute the Christian claims.

 I  don’t think that there’s any good reason for thinking that the  historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is not best explained  by the resurrection (William Lane Craig).

7.  Jesus’ tomb was secured and guarded by well-trained Jewish and Roman  guards. The tomb had a Roman seal to prevent tampering, with the threat  of execution for breaking the seal, yet the tomb was empty. Every  ancient historical source that discusses the subject verifies that the  tomb was empty.

Gary  Habermas concerning the uniqueness of Christ: “The reports of Buddha  and Krishna come hundreds of years afterward [after the Resurrection of  Christ]. No other major religious founder in ancient times was ever  crucified. Further, it cannot be demonstrated that there is even a  single pagan resurrection account prior to Jesus, whether mythological  or historical.”4

The only logical explanation for these historical events that can be given is that God resurrected Jesus (George Eldon).

The Genuine Battle

God  has never left himself without a witness to men. He witnessed to them  through every fact of the universe from the beginning of time. No  rational creature can escape this witness. It is the witness of the  triune God whose face is before men everywhere and all the time. Even  the lost in the hereafter cannot escape the revelation of God. God made  man a rational-moral creature. He will always be that. As such he is  confronted with God. He is addressed by God. He exists in the  relationship of covenant interaction. He is a covenant being. To not  know God man would have to destroy himself. He cannot do this. There is  no non-being into which man can slip in order to escape God’s face and  voice. The mountains will not cover him; Hades will not hide him.  Nothing can prevent his being confronted “with him with whom we have to  do.” Whenever he sees himself, he sees himself confronted with God.5

It  makes more sense to believe first century Jewish eyewitnesses than  twenty-first century occidental skeptics. Matthew wrote the following,  as a witness, two decades after the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

But  the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you  seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he  said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his  disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going  before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you”  (Matthew 28:5-7).6

Secure Proof for the Existence of God

Faith … is belief without supportive evidence (atheist Victor Stenger).


  • p: The God exists.


  • ~p: Presupposes atheism q.


  • ~p-->  q): If God does not exist, there is no intelligibility since God is the  truth condition for the immutable operational features required for  intelligibility.


  • ~q: Intelligibility.


  • ~ ~p: God does not not exist.


  • p: God does exist.

It  appears difficult to remain logical if one denies the foundation for  intelligibility while presupposing it. It is beyond challenging to deny  intelligibility while assuming it within that denial itself. Only the  Christian worldview accounts for intelligibility. In addition, affirming  or rejecting this argument presupposes intelligibility.

The knowledge pursuit is not merely about knowledge of material objects but of the necessary a priori conditions essential for our cognition of objects—the a priori factors in human knowledge are fundamentally more significant than knowledge of material objects.

Human  knowledge is not limited to experience within mere matter in motion—the  experience of some definite, individual physical thing which is only  experienced in conjunction with of other material things. Rather it is  knowledge that relies on a basic mode of being which is prior to and  permeates all experience. God necessarily exists as the truth condition  for human knowledge and being. God grounds human knowledge and  experience. God is the infinite reference and foundation required for  intelligibility. Man does not and cannot stand at the center of the  epistemic process since humanity is finite, mutable, and imperfect.

Capability, Capacity, and Proof: God

The  issue isn’t only about evidence for the Bible and God. The sure proof  for the Bible is that without God’s word, one cannot account for  evidence. This is the case because God is the precondition for  unchanging logical norms that must be utilized in marshaling and  pondering evidence. Non-theistic systems of thought fail to supply the  necessary a prior conditions for logical norms. Humanity and the  physical world are in a constant state of flux. A changing,  material-only conglomeration of the sum of human intelligence cannot  provide the needed a priori conditions for the unchanging laws of thought. The laws of thought require a transcendent and unchanging foundation.

There  is nothing a skeptic can assert without ultimately relying on theism,  since theism furnishes the preconditions for fixed logical norms. God is  the preexisting foundation for all deliberation and assertion.

 I.  Examination and analysis of evidence presuppose the universal operational features of rationality (including logical norms).

 II.  The universal operational features of rationality presuppose God.

 III.  Examination and analysis of evidence presuppose God.

Facts Concerning Christ’s Resurrection

The resurrection is more impressive than any by the religious competition7 (former atheist Anthony Flew).

It  is more than a bit interesting that all known ancient documents that  refer to Christ's grave report an empty tomb. Even though the manner in  which one accepts or rejects the evidence, on the historicity of the  ancient documents and other papyrus, is controlled by one’s  presuppositions. Yea, the facts are mighty. The evidence is there, and  it is impressive.

Resurrection Evidence Is Magnificent

If  Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if  he didn't rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said?  The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his  teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead (Timothy Keller).

We  see the evidence of God’s fingerprints in every corner of the universe.  Mankind discovers the proof and affirms many of the facts that the  Bible records and announces. The greatest miracle is the resurrection of  Jesus.

Jesus  Christ is alive! He is the only religious leader in history to rise  from the dead. He is the only one who promised a resurrection, and He  kept His promise. You can visit the tombs of all the deceased religious  leaders and find their remains still in the grave.

Dovtastic  shares his visit to Muhammad’s grave: “During my trip this year on Hajj  I had the great honor to visit our Prophet Muhammad’s … grave in the  Ottoman front portion of the Masjid Al Nabawi. This beautiful masjid  holds one million people in Medina and when the grave is open for  visitation, 1000s of people are passing through every minute.”8 This  man and millions others have seen the occupied grave of Islam’s  founder, proving that Muhammad remained dead. You can visit the graves  of leaders like Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph Smith, and David Koresh from  your computer by watching a video of their grave sites on Youtube. They  and all the others died and stayed dead; their occupied tombs attest to  it. Jesus, however, is alive. His grave is empty. When people visit His  grave it’s vacant.

Jesus  said, “All power on earth and heaven has been given to me” (Matthew  28:18). No force could have kept Him down. The Romans killed Him, put  Him in a cave tomb, and placed huge boulder at a downward angle in front  of the cave, pasted Caesar’s seal on the crypt, and posted Roman guards  to protect the tomb. They were only trying to prevent the inevitable.  Jesus had the power to rise, and nobody could stop Him. God used  Christ’s resurrection and His appearances before His disciples, and He  used the subsequent preaching of the apostles, to win many of Christ’s  enemies to salvation. The Bible tells us that “the word of God spread,  and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem; and a  great many of the priests were obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7).  Scripture also records that some Pharisees converted to Christianity  (Acts 15:5

For more unique arguments and proof see my book

or  Risen: The Evidence for the Resurrection HERE on Amazon

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NOTES

1.  Richard Fuller. Dictionary of Burning Words by Brilliant Men.

2.  John Piper. The Passion of Jesus Christ.

3.  Flavius Josephus. Antiquities 18.3.3.

4.  William Craig. God is Good.

5.  Cornelius Van Til. The Defense of Faith.

6.   Peter Thiede. Eyewitnesses to Jesus.

7.   Anthony Flew. There is a God.

8.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fra2HXFY31Y

9. David Limbaugh. Jesus is Risen: Paul and the Early Church.

Also see God's Paradigm: The Ancient Foundation That Makes Christianity True HERE on Amazon

or  Risen: The Evidence for the Resurrection HERE on Amazon

or

my paperback God Does Exist! HERE on Amazon

*God furnishes all the a priori essentials;  the necessary epistemic equipment utilized in all analytical pursuits.  God has the ontic attributes of omniscience, immutability, and  omnipotence (He has universal range and influence) enabling Him to be  the ground for the universal and immutable laws of logic that are  utilized in all thought and analysis. Any position that rejects the true  God, as the epistemic (knowledge) base, not only leaves an unnerving  fissure, but hopelessly fails. Consequently, whatever evidence one  discovers must be discerned and processed with the rational implements  that arise from Christian theism and the worldview that emanates from  God. The true God is the elemental requirement for all investigation,  proof, evidence, and analysis. He is the a priori verity  condition for the intelligibility of reality. The immaterial,  transcendent, and immutable God supplies the indispensable  pre-environment for the use of immaterial, transcendent, universal, and  immutable laws of logic (law of identity: A = A; law of  non-contradiction: A~~A). Atheistic thought, because it rests upon  mutable and non-universal ground, cannot furnish the necessary  preconditions for the immutable universal laws of logic; therefore it  results in futility because of its internal weakness.

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