Part 5: He has risen
Jesus has risen.
We’ve covered over the past few weeks why we can believe there’s a God. In our discussions we have been combined what science has told us with biblical truth to show that the two are not at odds and we can use the findings of science to point us to God. But at the heart of Christianity is Jesus Christ and our discussions must centre on Him.
The minimal facts argument uses information that is agreed upon by almost all scholars to establish the resurrection of Jesus. It does not assume biblical inerrancy and does not rely on the gospels as evidence. Ultimately the conviction of disciples, a sceptical brother and a Christian killer who died for what they claimed they knew was true should convict us that they were speaking the truth.
The minimal facts
Historians (theist and atheist alike) can agree on the following four facts:
- Jesus died by crucifixion
- The disciples believed that He rose from the dead and appeared to them
- Paul, a persecutor of the early church was converted when he believed to have seen the risen Christ
- James, the sceptical brother of Jesus was converted when he believed to have seen the risen Christ
The best explanation for all four of these facts is that Jesus rose from the dead.
- For what reasons do you think someone would tell a lie?
- What do you think are the options that explain the ‘minimal facts’?
- What would your brother have to do to prove to you that he was in fact the Messiah?