1 John 1:1–4 (NKJV)
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
This passage beautifully summarizes John’s motivation in writing. Mine too.
I didn’t start researching this topic in order to write a DEEP series. I did it for myself. I wanted a bulletproof baseline faith in the resurrection.
Specifically, I hadn’t seen anything that addressed the view I call “The Emperor’s New Clothes Theory.” That seemed credible. I had to hammer that nail flat or be bothered by it forever.
For the curious, I unconditionally recommend Evidence for Christianity by Josh McDowell, The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry by Frederick Zugibe, and Crucifixion by Martin Hengel.
The books by Bart Ehrman are not for everyone, especially anyone put off by their titles. That said, studying alternative points of view can be invaluable. Ehrman’s analysis was essential to some of the conclusions presented in this series. Thus, his books aren’t for Christians who are merely curious, but for advanced students who’ve already read the three mentioned above.
We’ve come to the end of the “Faith in What?” series. Christianity is the certainty that Jesus is Lord, combined with a genuine pledge of fealty to Him.
We can know that He is Lord because we can know that He rose from the dead.
We’ve shown that it must have been Jesus on the cross. We’ve shown that He suffered catastrophic injuries from which no one could recover. We’ve refuted the claim that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead because he wasn’t dead to begin with. We established that He appeared to many Christians (specifically including Peter and James) afterwards. History books record that Christians went on to live lives of testimony to what they witnessed. Many of them (particularly James) were martyred for that testimony.
Note that we ignored the claim that the whole thing is fiction—that Jesus wasn’t even a real person. No serious student believes that anymore. Josh McDowell’s book is a good reference on this.
So, the dots all connect. Jesus really lived. It was really Him on the cross. He was really dead. Some real, specific people thought they saw the risen Christ. They were sincere. They were not mistaken. He rose.
He is Lord. And always remember to confess that He’s “my Lord,” not just, “the Lord.” Case in point:
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