A friend of mine, Chris, a student in my Sunday School class several years ago, lost a friend from COVID early this year. Chris had prayed fervently for his friend, but God allowed the friend to die anyway. I shared Chris’ sadness as we talked together. He asked me to write an article addressing the question, “What is the character of God?’” The best place to discover the character of God is in His revelation, both His general revelation, creation, and in His specific revelation, the Bible.
Science requires that we repeat events. History doesn’t allow it. Does science prove that Jesus did not rise from the dead?
Last Easter I was reading an article in the Washington Post about the Resurrection of Jesus, a popular topic at that time of year. Considering the source, I knew that the author’s conclusion would be something other than affirming the physical, bodily resurrection that is the cornerstone of authentic Christianity. As Paul wrote, “if Christ is not raised then our preaching is vain and your faith also is vain (1 Corinthians 15:14).” Genuine Christians may disagree on many things, but to deny the bodily resurrection of Christ is to deny Christianity; no real Christian can do it. The article met my expectations, stating that the sightings of Jesus after the crucifixion had a “dreamy sense” and suggesting that His resurrection was either spiritual or illusory altogether. This is a standard line of secularists and others seeking to discredit Christianity. Unfortunately, such people never provide reasons for their arguments except that “people can’t rise from the dead.” This apriori assumption makes it impossible for those who hold it to ever believe in the resurrection of Jesus.
On the face of it no other reason is necessary because in all of human history, as far as many people know, everyone has died. There have been many stories of people physically rising from the dead, but most are rendered suspect by the circumstances. Was the person really dead? Did they merely resuscitate? Is the whole story a myth? In most cases, it is impossible to verify the medical diagnosis of death, which is typically brain death. In other cases, the story bears all of the traits of myth, such as the Egyptian story of the “resurrection” of Osiris. Considering the purported resurrections commonly noted in history, it is easy to conclude that since everyone else died and stayed dead, Jesus must have also. If this is true, there must be some other explanation for the story in the Gospels, and Biblical Christianity must be false.
Layman and scientists alike have discussed the Big Bang theory for how the universe began. Though disparaged by many Christians, the Big Bang, also known as the Inflationary Theory, is closer to the Genesis account than we might realize.
Last week I was an adult leader for the First Baptist Alexandria youth choir serving in Chicago. The choir sang, danced and acted at Uptown Baptist Church (UBC), Golf Road Baptist Church, the Pacific Garden Mission (PGM), and other places. When not performing, the group led sports camps and backyard Bible clubs. At UBC we also prepared and served the Monday evening meal for the homeless, refinished tables and pews, remodeled a bath room, taped and mudded drywall, painted, and did a host of other construction projects. At PGM we made beds, cleaned showers, served meals, stuffed envelopes, and typed scripts for their “Unshackled” radio drama series. Every evening the group did devotions, and sometimes we went sightseeing. It was a tremendous time of fun and ministry.