The Historicity of Jesus’ Resurrection | William Lane Craig

This video last 34:05 and is William Lane Craig’s standard presentation on the historicity of the resurrection.  He gave the talk in April 2016 at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois.  Craig was originally from Peoria.

Thomas Aquinas on Islam

According to Thomas Aquinas, Islam appealed to ignorant, brutish, carnal men and spread not by the power of its arguments or divine grace.

(a 3-minute read; 664 words)

Source: Why Thomas Aquinas Distrusted Islam – Breitbart

Definitions of Darkness

Relevant scripture:  2 Peter 1:19

atheism – “disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.  This found at Google: atheism.”  This found at Google: atheism.

naturalism – “a philosophical viewpoint according to which everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.”  This found at Google: naturalism.

philosophical naturalism – “the doctrine that the natural world is all there is. It is also called metaphysical naturalism and ontological naturalism.”  See this and more at Conservapedia: Philosophical naturalism.

methodological naturalism – “a strategy for studying the world, by which scientists choose not to consider supernatural causes – even as a remote possibility.”  See this and more at Conservapedia – Methodological naturalism.

secularism – “a belief system that rejects religion, or the belief that religion should not be part of the affairs of the state or part of public education. The principles of separation of church and state and of keeping religion out of the public school system are an example of secularism.”  Found at YourDictionary.com: secularism.

scientism – “belief in the universal applicability of the scientific method and approach, and the view that empirical science constitutes the most “authoritative” worldview or the most valuable part of human learning – to the exclusion of other viewpoints.”  This and more found at Wikipedia: Scientism.

***

polytheism – “the belief in or worship of more than one god.”  Found at Google: polytheism.  Polytheism dominated the thinking of antiquity, but holds no sway in modernity.  I include it in this post only for making that point that “darkness” as defined by the Scriptures took different form in biblical times than we see it taking since.

The Hallucination Hypothesis of the Resurrection of Christ

In his post WILLIAM LANE CRAIG AND JAMES CROSSLEY DEBATE THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS, (April 24, 2011), Wintery Knight wrote “This is my favorite debate on the resurrection.”  (The debate itself was held March 6, 2007 at Sheffield University in the United Kingdom and titled “Was Jesus Bodily Raised from the Dead?”  The debate was chaired by Hugh Pyper.)  In the post, WK wrote “…Crossley is a solid scholar…”

I also came across another WK post referencing Crossley titled GARY HABERMAS AND JAMES CROSSLEY DISCUSS THE MINIMAL FACTS CASE FOR THE RESURRECTION  (August 13, 2015).  In this post, WK wrote, “James Crossley is my favorite atheist ancient historian, such a straight shooter, ” and “He’s on the skeptical left, but he has a no-baloney way of talking that I really like.”

Therefore, in the comments section of this second post, I asked him, “WK, of all the debates about the resurrection of Jesus that you have watched/heard/read, who, in your opinion, has put forth the best argument against it? (When I reject an argument I want to know that I’m not just rejecting a weak version of it or a weak spokesman for it.)”  You can see my question and his response here.

By the way, here is Gary Habermas writing about the issue at hand in an article titled “Explaining Away Jesus’ Resurrection:The Recent Revival of Hallucination Theories.” (2001).

In one of WK’s responses to me, WK links to a 2007 post on William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith blog titled Dale Allison on the Resurrection of Jesus.  Craig is answering a question about Allison and begins by saying this:

I’ve never seen a better presentation of the case for scepticism about Jesus’ resurrection than in Allison’s Resurrecting Jesus: The Earliest Christian Tradition and Its Interpreters (New York: T. & T. Clark, 2005). He’s far more persuasive than Crossan, Lüdemann, Goulder, and the rest who actually deny the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection. That Allison should, despite his sceptical arguments, finally affirm the facts of Jesus’ burial, empty tomb, post-mortem appearances, and the origin of the disciples’ belief in Jesus’ resurrection and hold that the resurrection hypothesis is as viable an explanation as any other rival hypothesis, depending upon the worldview one brings to the investigation, is testimony to the strength of the case for Jesus’ historical resurrection.

Thus we have WK saying that the best argument against the resurrection of Christ that he has heard is Michael Goulder’s in Jesus’ Resurrection: Fact or Figment?: A Debate Between William Lane Craig and Gerd Ludemann, which Craig therein refutes.  And we have Craig himself saying that the best argument against the resurrection he has ever heard (he says specifically that it’s superior to Goulder’s) is Dale Allison in Resurrecting Jesus: The Earliest Christian Tradition and Its Interpreters which Craig then goes on to refute in the post itself.

In summary, two of the best known scholarly supporters of the resurrection of Christ (William Lane Craig and Gary Habermas) both see the “hallucination hypothesis” as the best argument skeptics have…but that it’s still decidedly inferior to the resurrection hypothesis as an historical explanation, even when articulated by the most effective spokesmen.

P.S. Since Eric Chabot had also posted on the Craig-Crossley debate (A Look at William Lane Craig and James Crossley Debating the Resurrection of Jesus), I posed to him the same question about “best challenge” to the resurrection of Christ that started the line of thinking that led to this post.  You can see my question and Eric’s response to me at the post.

Why the Ancient Christian Record About Jesus Is the Most Reliable | by J. Warner Wallace

In this substantive post, Wallace includes a three-column chart showing the major historical claims about the life of Jesus from the point of view of the biblical writers, hostile Jewish witnesses, and hostile Gentile witnesses.

(13-minute read; 3,103 words)

Source: Why the Ancient Christian Record About Jesus Is the Most Reliable | Cold Case Christianity

(HT: Greg West at The Poached Egg of Ratio Christi)

Documentary: Mining for God by Brandon McGuire

The full title of this documentary is Mining For God: A Search for Ancient Truth in a Modern World.  It’s in color and lasts 64 minutes.  You can find out more at www.mininingforgod.com.  Here’s a portion of its description from that site:

America has long been called a Christian nation. In fact, over 70% of adults in America identify themselves as Christian. Yet when filmmaker Brandon McGuire heads to the streets to ask a few clarifying questions about how Christianity is defined within our culture, he is shocked by the answers he finds.

I’ve included three video clips below.

  1. A 9:37 excerpt dealing with the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This is actually very meaty and includes many reliable authorities.
  2. A 2:31 trailer of the movie.
  3. A 4:57 trailer of the movie, which includes footage of the director explaining what he discovered about Christianity in Africa and what it taught him about Christianity in America.  He describes his film as answering the question “What is Christianity?”

 

Jesus Is Jehovah

Tim Barnett of Stand to Reason (Greg Koukl) gives six examples of indirect evidence that Jesus in the New Testament is Jehovah of the Old Testament.  These are cases where Jesus describes Himself with attributes that had previously been descriptive only of Jehovah (YHWH, “I am”).

Top Christian Resources on the Marriage Debate | Center for Strategic Apologetics

Opening excerpt:

It’s the most difficult and contentious issue facing Christians in the Western world today, and we all need the best possible information available. This is especially true in the U.S, now that the Supreme Court has made gay marriage the law of the land.

Source: Top Christian Resources on the Marriage Debate (Books, Articles, Videos, Podcasts on Gay Marriage/Same-Sex Marriage) | Center for Strategic Apologetics

Reviews of Books about the Historicity of the Resurrection by Christopher Price and John Sabatino

Books Reviewed

Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus
by William L. Craig

I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus
by George Eldon Ladd

The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus
by Gary Habermas and Mike Licona

The Death of Death, Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought
by Neil Gillman

The Formation of the Resurrection Narratives
by Reginald Horrace Fuller

In Defense of Miracles: A Comprehensive Case for God’s Actions in History
ed. R. Douglas Geivett

Jesus’ Resurrection, Fact of Fiction: A Debate Between William L. Craig & Gerd Ludemann
eds. Paul Copan & Ronald K. Tacelli

The Resurrection According to Matthew, Mark, and Luke
by Norman Perrin

The Resurrection, An Interdisciplinary Symposium on the Resurrection of Jesus
eds. Stephen T. Davis, Daniel Kendall, and Gerald O’Collins

Resurrecting Jesus: Earliest Christian Tradition and its Interpreters
by Dale C. Allison

The Resurrection of Jesus: A Jewish Perspective
by Pinchas Lapide

The Resurrection of the Son of God
by N.T. Wright

The Resurrection: History and Myth
by Geza Vermes

Risen Indeed: Making Sense of the Resurrection
by Stephen T. Davis

The Son Rises: The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus
by William L. Craig

Source: Reviews of Books about the Historicity of the Resurrection

Craig Evans on the Reliability of the Bible

The link below is to the transcipt of an interview with New Testament scholar Craig A. Evans of Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Evans is a good source of information on the Bible for many reasons, but particularly because he is not given to hyperbole and because his assurance about the Bible’s historicity is based upon subtle but important facts – such as its verisimilitude wherein so many of its details are corroborated by other historical sources from its times.

For example, Evans says:

If you have an old document, one of the first tests is to ask, Does it really reflect life back then as we know it? If it does, the historian takes it seriously. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, the book of Acts—these are the basic narrative books of the New Testament. They talk about real people, real events, real places, and the archaeologist can show that; so a fictional, nonexistent Jesus makes no sense of the actual hard data we have.

Evans thus demonstrates how the biblical documents are historically valid as well as theologically informative.  This is indeed helpful scholarship and he is gentleman as well.

(12 min read; 2,986 words)

Source: Interviews: Is the Bible Reliable?