Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Featured Article: Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ by Dr. Peter Kreeft


In this week's featured article, apologist Peter Kreeft presents a compelling case for the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Kreeft begins his case by presupposing only two things, both of which are empirical: 1) The existence of the New Testament texts as we have them 2) and the existence (but not necessarily the truth) of the Christian religion as we find it today.
Kreeft writes:

"We believe Christ's resurrection can be proved with at least as much certainty as any universally believed and well-documented event in ancient history. To prove this, we do not need to presuppose anything controversial (e.g. that miracles happen). But the skeptic must also not presuppose anything (e.g. that they do not). We do not need to presuppose that the New Testament is infallible, or divinely inspired or even true. We do not need to presuppose that there really was an empty tomb or post-resurrection appearances, as recorded...The question is this: Which theory about what really happened in Jerusalem on that first Easter Sunday can account for the data? There are five possible theories: Christianity, hallucination, myth, conspiracy and swoon." [1]

Click here to read Dr. Kreeft's article, Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ, in it's entirety.

I pray you are encouraged by this work.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

Reference:
1. Peter Kreeft, Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ, http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/resurrection-evidence.htm, 1994.

15 comments:

Dante said...

Thank you so much for posting this article!

I found out about this blog just recently and I'm so glad I did. There's just a huge amount of resources here for people who want to learn more about apologetics. I find it very valuable, and I'm excited as I explore all the materials.

Please do keep on sustaining this site!

God bless you!

Chad said...

Dante,

Hello and welcome to the blog! I'm so thankful that you found this article helpful. It's one of my favorites in regard to the resurrection.

Also, your feedback means a lot. The purpose of this blog is to educate those who desire to learn about apologetics and to also challenge those who don't know Him.

Hope to hear from you again and rest assured- I will be sustaining the site. I'm so glad you found it.

Thank you again for your encouraging comments.

Btw, I have been away for 3 days so I'm sorry it took awhile to respond.

Godspeed

Dante said...

That's okay, Chad. :)

Yup, I'll be exploring this site more. Honestly it's one of the best blogs on apologetics I have ever come across. I'm slowly learning apologetics and these materials are very helpful and encouraging.

God bless!

Chad said...

Dante,

I'm so glad; I greatly appreciate your kind words.

Godspeed

Thom said...

It's amazing that you use articles like the one written by Dr. Kreeft. So much of what he writes can be questioned or dispelled. A few examples: 1) He uses the gospel known by the name of John, which is the gospel in time most removed from the actual events. It is the one most easily questioned with regard to its reliability and truthfulness. 2) His use of Pascal suggests that he conveniently forgets the doubters of Math 28:16-17. If not forgetting them he assumes that these doubters, whoever they were, would have acted in a way that makes sense to him. He assumes, in other words, that they would have cared what others were doing. Perhaps they simply didn't care and would have taken an approach similar to the one by Gamaliel in Acts, not that I'm willing to grant that success would have proven anything. Too many things have succeeded that were not true. 3) Dr. Kreeft says that the disciples were "simple, honest, not cunning or conniving..." This, of course, flies in the face of what the New Testament tells us. Peter, for example, was a hot-head, carried a weapon, and was a liar who quickly denied that he even knew Jesus. 4) Dr. Kreeft states that if the resurrection was a lie the Jews simply had to produce the body to dispel it. I quote from the article, "The fact that the disciples were able to proclaim the resurrection in Jerusalem in the face of their enemies a few weeks after the crucifixion shows that what they proclaimed was true..." First of all, over forty days is a bit more than a few weeks, and obviously the tomb where it was believed that Jesus had been was empty. Now in the light of this resurrection preaching the Jews are expected to produce the body, as if they know where it is? Are you kidding? You call this an argument to substantiate the resurrection. No wonder it's so easy to debate the resurrection. I could go on at much greater length, but I have neither the inclination or energy. Arguing against the resurrection is a fun challenge, however. People like Dr. Kreeft make it easier.

Chad said...

Hello Thom,

Welcome! How extensively have you studied the historicity of the resurrection account?

Thank you

Thom said...

Hello, Chad, I thought that perhaps you would have responded to the few comments I made concerning Dr. Kreeft's article. I suppose you inquired of Dr. Kreeft how extensively he had researched the historicity of the resurrection accounts, as well. Perhaps there is no need, since, I suppose, he is a professional. Let me say this. I am an amateur, stickly speaking, which is to admit only that everything I do with regard to the resurrection is done for the love of the study, research, and pursuit of what I hope will be the truth. It is not done as an apologetic which is simply done to defend a position. This makes it all the more frustrating when an apologist like Dr. Kreeft says and writes things which really only reveal his tendenz, not his genuine search for answers.This is especially true when he says things that are patently not true or simply preposterous. Now, back to his article and the few points I raised. Thanks.

Thom said...

Thanks, Chad. Still waiting.

Chad said...

Thom,

Your obvious pushiness and sarcasm is noted. I will answer when I get a chance and am under no obligation to respond, nor publish your comments. Further sarcastic comments or pushiness will result in your comments no longer being published.

Finally, the comment section on this blog is for answering sincere questions for those who want sincere, well thought out answers.

Please keep in mind that this blog is a church ministry. Debate boards can be found elsewhere.

When time allows, I will answer your assertions.

Thank you

Thom said...

Chad, sorry that I misunderstood the nature of your blog. I happened upon it by chance, and thought I'd read some of the articles that were being offered. However, in defense of my apparent pushiness and sarcasm, I remind you of your original response to my observations with regard to Dr. Kreeft's article. Yours was very antagonistic and challenging, which appeared to be an attack of some type upon my credibility. Physician heal thyself might be the admonition. If you chose not to publish this response, I will certainly understand. An exchange of ideas, however, is normally a positive thing. My original remarks of Dr. Kreeft's article, however, remain. I regret the apparent rift. Simply put I thought your blog was a space for an exchange of ideas and observations. Sorry to have thought incorrectly. Hope you are well. I'll not bother you again. Thom.

Chad said...

Thom,

For any misunderstanding on my part, you have my sincere apology.

First, regarding Dr. Kreeft, his background and works are available via his website for public view. You, on the other hand, have an anonymous profile so I do not have the benefit of knowing your background. So, my intention in asking how much you have, or have not, studied the historical resurrection account was to simply learn more about you. This seems completely reasonable, in my view.

Second, you seem to imply that Dr. Kreeft’s position, or motives, call his conclusions into question. I find this to be a fallacious assertion. All authors, regardless of background or worldview, have an agenda or motive. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be writing. If we are to apply your same reasoning to all non-theistic authors, one wouldn’t be able to trust anything anyone wrote. In short, everyone has a bias; the question is, “what is the right bias?”

Third, your statement regarding John is simply an assertion with no supporting evidence. Surely you don’t expect me to launch an entire defense of the book of John’s reliability?

If you are interested in more on the validity of John’s gospel, I would suggest checking out the works of Mark Roberts, Craig Blomberg, or Norman Geisler (Baker Encyclopedia of Apologetics). Many have found them helpful.

Dr. Kreeft states in his article:

“We do not need to presuppose that the New Testament is infallible, or divinely inspired or even true. We do not need to presuppose that there really was an empty tomb or post-resurrection appearances, as recorded. We need to presuppose only two things, both of which are hard data, empirical data, which no one denies: The existence of the New Testament texts as we have them, and the existence (but not necessarily the truth) of the Christian religion as we find it today.”

So, with that in mind, your point regarding John’s gospel, is a non-point.

Fourth, your second point, regarding Pascal’s quote and the like, is merely speculation. An assertion without evidence is not an argument, respectfully. It’s not enough for one to simply offer alternative theories to the resurrection, but one must also be able to present first-century evidence to substantiate their proposed conclusion.

Fifth, you point regarding Peter actually speaks to the authenticity of the record we have. When one considers the principle of embarrassment, used by historians to evaluate a documents authenticity, the fact that the gospel writers include these facts at all speaks to their honesty. Further, does it follow that because Peter was a flawed human he therefore deserves to be labeled as “conniving or convicting?” One wonders what Peter and the other 11 (I include Judas’ replacement in that number) thought they would gain in making all this up. Also, it’s important not to ignore all of the positive character traits attributed to Peter in the gospels accounts as well.

Sixth, the fact of the empty tomb is one of the best attested facts we have regarding the historical passion narrative (See Craig and/or Habermas). I believe the point here, which you seem to agree with, is that the tomb was empty. If the body was in the tomb, the Jews could produce it. The body was not in the tomb; therefore, the Jews could not produce it. This argument is merely to support that the tomb was empty.

You and I share a love of study, research, and pursuit of truth. I’m sorry that you didn’t find Dr. Kreeft’s article helpful.

I encourage you to continue your study and research, as I plan to continue my own. The Bible even encourages us to “examine everything [carefully;] hold fast to that which is good;” (1 Th. 5:21; NASB).

I pray that your search for truth is rewarded.

Take care

Thom said...

Chad, wondering if you received the e-mail I sent you at your e-mail address? Thanks, Thom

Chad said...

Hello Thom,

I did not receive an email from you; strange. I will check my SPAM; sometimes emails get sent there for no reason.

Sorry about that. My email is djspidey67@yahoo.com

Take care

Thom said...

Chad, I have re-sent the e-mail. Error was on my end from yesterday. Thanks, Thom

Chad said...

Thom,

I received your email. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I will reply as time allows.

Hope all is well with you.

Take care