Wednesday, March 23, 2016

“Intransigent historical claims”

From "Easter is not a Question Mark" by George Weigel at First Things
.... The grittiness of Lent, and the “intransigent historical claims” without which Easter makes no sense at all, should remind us that Christianity does not rest on myths or “narratives,” but on radically changed human lives whose effect on their times are historical fact. Within two and a half centuries, what began as a ragtag gang of nobodies from the civilizational outback had so transformed the Mediterranean world that the most powerful man in that world, the Roman emperor Constantine, joined the winning side. How did that happen?

It didn’t happen because of better myth-making. It happened because those first Christians met a young rabbi who promised that, should they believe in him, each of them would become “ a spring of water welling up to eternal life” [John 4:14]. Then came what seemed complete catastrophe: his crucifixion. But they met that teacher again as the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, and were infused by his Spirit. And after that, they didn’t sit around in the “presence of the question mark; rather, they told the truth of what they had “seen and heard” [cf. 1 John 1:1].

And thereby changed the world.
More about those "intransigent historical claims": "Is There a Witness to the Resurrection? Yes!" by William Lane Craig and Sean McDowell.
If the bones of Jesus were found, then Christianity would be false. Paul said, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17, NASB) Some religions may make untestable claims about reality, but Christianity makes claims about real events in history that can be tested. Let’s put it to the test! .... [more]
Easter is not a Question Mark | George Weigel | First Things, "Is There a Witness to the Resurrection? Yes!"