Welcome to The Reasons to Believe podcast, episode #153. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.
Our Reasons to Believe Scripture Passage for today is Luke 24:2-3. It reads, “And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.”
Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from Thomas Arnold. He said, “I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.”
Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “The Resurrection, Part 6” from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.
The authors continue with the second part of this chapter subtitled, “The Meaning of the Resurrection: Ten Confusions.”
9. Resurrection is also not a myth. If we wish to distinguish myths from legends we may say that myths are symbolically true. For instance, the religions of the ancient Near East are full of grain gods and corn gods and vegetation gods who rise from death every spring. These gods do not exist, but the new life of vegetation does. So does the new life of Christ, which these myths, in the providence of God, seem to have confusedly foretold. But Christ’s resurrection, unlike myths, is pinned down to a real, specific, concrete time and place in history, and certified by eyewitnesses. The New Testament explicitly distinguishes Christ’s resurrection from myths and legends: “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Pet 1:16).
Modern demythologizers who say they believe the resurrection, but only as a myth, are altering the claim, fudging the data—as if one were to claim to be a Nazi and believe in Aryan racial superiority in some mythic sense while denying that the Aryan race is really superior. You’re not a party member if you deny the essential planks in its platform.
The demythologizers try to get around this by distinguishing heilsgeschichte (“sacred history”) from ordinary, secular history, saying that the resurrection really happened in the first, not the second. This seems to us either sheer obfuscation or downright deceit. This “sacred history”—did it ever happen or not? If not, don’t call it “history” but fiction, like Santa Claus. If it did, then it happened just as crudely and literally as births or wars happen, and we don’t need the distinction.
10. The resurrection of Christ must be clearly distinguished from what the modernists put in its place: a “resurrection of Easter faith” in the hearts and lives of the disciples. “Easter faith” without a real Easter is a self-contradiction or a self-deception. It is faith in what is not rather than faith in what is. And if it is a faith in faith, then we ask: faith in faith in what? Faith is like knowledge; it is essentially intentional. It needs an object other than itself. Otherwise, it is a hall of mirrors. Faith in faith is also perverse and unnatural. It is the attempt to get the taste of the meat without eating it, and is related to faith in facts as masturbation is related to copulation. It is spiritual auto-eroticism. There is no other. The disciples could never have experienced such a resurrection of faith and hope without a literal resurrection. If it wasn’t the risen Jesus, then who transformed them and converted the world?
Lord willing, we will continue this topic in our next episode.
Now, if you are listening today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, allow me to show you how.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Until next time, my friend, please keep in mind these reasons to believe. God bless!