There’s a Difference Between Evidence and Proof

Several years ago I presented a talk at the Apologetics Canada Conference in which I examined the reaction Bart Ehrman had related to the textual variants he found in the Biblical text. As he pursued his education over the years and poured over the manuscripts of the Bible, he evaluated the evidence and eventually decided that Christianity was false. Ehrman is clearly a very smart man, raised in the Church and well educated:

Bart Ehrman
Studied at Moody Bible Institute
Graduated from Wheaton College
Received his PhD and MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary
Former President of Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical Literature

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Why the Resurrection Matters

Sorry to rain on your Easter parade, but most people in the world don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead. That shouldn’t surprise you since less than a third of the people living today claim to be Christians. But even among self-proclaimed Christians, the number of Jesus-rose-from-the-dead believers is shrinking.

With packed churches on Easter and the proliferation of Christian apologetics books (The Case for Jesus anyone?), you would think a growing number of people would be convinced that Jesus is alive. But just the opposite seems to be true. I have a theory as to why this is, but I’m saving it for the last couple of paragraphs (feel free to read ahead if you’re short on time).

Actually, doubts about the resurrection have been around since that first Easter morning. Current day agnostics like Bart Ehrman, the fundamentalist Bible college student turned agnostic professor of religion, may think they have developed an original “Jesus is not God and He didn’t rise from the dead” shtick, but they’re wrong. These scholar/skeptic types who badly want to keep Jesus in the grave are following a 2,000-year-old narrative.

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Everyone Wants to Save Judas, But He's Dead

Scholars have been trying to save Judas, but Judas is already dead. The real question is why? Why have they been trying to revive this infamous villain? Because Judas is an unfortunate Son worth a fortune. (Do you hear Creedance Clearwater Revival playing?) Judas was worth cash money in the first century because he could betray Jesus. And he is worth dough now. Save Judas’ reputation and you are famous—you get media hype and you sell books. But the sleazsters didn’t think it through; they were wrong. Scholars wrong? You betcha.

 

Here’s what went down. Back in 2006, the Gospel of Judas publicly surfaced after being locked in a safe deposit box since 2000. The box and manuscript was owned by Frieda Nussberger-Tchacos.

Tribes at War: Fundamentalism, Liberalism, Atheism and Biblical Scholarship

I hate fundamentalism, liberalism, atheism, and biblical scholarship alike. But I love the people from those tribes. I have watched the patriarchs from these clans pillage the weak minds and faith of those camped on the outskirts of a rival camp. I have been horrified as supposedly strong men and women became bounty. I have seen intellectual war and fought in the bloody battles—I have been victor and captive. All the while, all the tribes left me unsatisfied and sad because their rogue leaders and followers are hurting inside as much as the rest of us.

So, why do I love them? Simple answer: They are people (Matt 22:34–40). Complicated answer: Because I have been in their sandals. (Well, at least in some of their sandals. And man, some of them have big feet and big egos. Others wear uncomfortable shoes for the sake of fashion or because their buddies called them trendy.)
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