4/13/2011 | Share this article:By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~
My friend Carl S. shared something with me today that I thought ExChristian.net readers would find entertaining. A relative of his mailed to him a page torn out of the American Family Association (AFA) Journal (July 2010). The page contained an article by Tim Wildmon, the AFA president. The article title is “The facts say the resurrection is real.”
Image via WikipediaNaturally I was curious. The article summarizes the work of Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, an apologetics Web site. Mr. Wildmon writes, “One help to remembering the overwhelming evidence for the bodily resurrection is to think of the ten A’s which Kerby says attest to the historical event.”
Okay. Let’s take a look at this “overwhelming evidence” provided by the ten A’s (abbreviated for space considerations).
- Accurate predictions: “Both the Old and New Testaments contain predictions of Jesus’ death and resurrection.” Great. So they (Wildmon and Anderson) want to appeal to the evidence of the book to prove that what the book says is true. They give no hint that they even suspect the circular reasoning in this. Do you suppose they would think it okay to use the Quran to establish the truth of the Quran? What’s even funnier is that most of the ten A’s appeal to the same book, the bible, for evidence.
- Attesting miracles: “Jesus had consistently demonstrated His authority over the material universe, from turning water into wine, to walking on the water . . . to raising Lazarus from the dead.” Ingenious! Using a list of miracles to prove another miracle! (And, again, using the book to prove the book.)
- Agonizing death: “No one is going to go through a Roman scourging and crucifixion as a hoax.” True, but did the “scourging and crucifixion” actually happen? Could it be that the whole story is a hoax? That Jesus himself is a hoax?
- Angry authorities: ". . . Jewish authorities wanted to put a stop to people believing in Him. Producing the body of Jesus would have been the best way to do this. Even with support from the Roman authorities, they were never able to produce a body.” So this means the body must have ascended to heaven? Does this mean that whenever the body of someone murdered is never found, that the body has ascended to heaven? These folks seem to be ignoring any other possibility, like maybe the body was fed to a lion?
- Absent body: “No one has ever found any credible evidence that the body of Jesus was anywhere to be found on this earth.” And this proves . . . what? That the lions did it? Actually, I would counter that no one has ever provided any solid evidence that Jesus even existed in the first place, so it’s not terribly surprising that no one ever found a body.
- Amazed disciples: “After Jesus’ arrest, most of His disciples fled. . . Two of His disciples did not recognize the risen Jesus even as He was teaching them the Scriptures related to Himself. Their skepticism and shock showed that they clearly were not part of some preplanned hoax.” Hmmm. If his disciples didn’t recognize him, then maybe it wasn’t him, and maybe that is evidence of a hoax? No, I don’t really believe this, but notice how easily one can make the exact opposite case from the info provided. More likely, it wasn’t a preplanned hoax, the resurrection just never happened; no hoax, just one big fat fabrication.
- Agreeing eyewitnesses: “After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to over 500 people. They testified to his resurrection. We do not have a record of anyone disputing their testimony. . .” This one always gets me. The faithful never see the obvious problem with one man claiming 500 others saw something, and that one man never producing even one of the 500 to prove his claim. This is what modern courts call hearsay evidence. Perhaps they “do not have a record of anyone disputing their testimony” because the testimony never existed. Why or how would anyone dispute a testimony that was never produced? Why do the faithful never see a problem with this 500 witnesses claim? Now that’s the real mystery.
- Apostolic martyrs: “People don’t die for something they know to be a hoax. Yet, many of these eyewitnesses accepted death rather than deny the resurrection of Jesus.” So? People die for dumb things all the time. They seem to be claiming that if people died for it, then there must have been a resurrection. Does this mean that because 900 people died for Jim Jones in Guyana that he must have been a real prophet? True, “People don’t die for something they know to be a hoax.” But what if they don’t know?
- Agnostic historians: “Contemporary, non-Christian historians reported that Jesus was reputed to have risen from the dead and that his followers were willing to die rather than recant their belief in Jesus.” Not surprisingly, not one of these historians is actually named. This may be because there is no proof that any historian even mentioned Jesus until several decades after his supposed death. But further, notice that those historians “reported that Jesus was REPUTED to have risen from the dead. . .” Obviously, something can be “reputed” without being true! It has been reputed that G. W. Bush was an intelligent man, but the reputing doesn’t prove it, we need hard evidence. What a dumb argument, from several angles.
- Attesting spirit: “Over the centuries, the Holy Spirit continues to convict nonbelievers and assure believers that Jesus is the risen Son of God.” Yeah, right. Now replace the words “the Holy Spirit” in that sentence with “indoctrination,” and see if that doesn’t sound more convincing. At least we know that indoctrination actually exists.
Then Mr. Wildmon gives us the punch line:
“Christians don’t have to believe in the resurrection in spite of the facts. Instead, we believe in the resurrection in light of the facts.”Yes, that’s cleverly said, Mr. Wildmon, but bullshit is still feces, now matter how cleverly garnished.
I submit that not even one of these ten points, as presented here, would be acceptable as evidence in any modern courtroom. And, these apologists arguments would not likely convince anyone who was not already fully vested in the same delusion. If this is what passes for reason in their world, then it’s no wonder they turned to faith.