Do you have room in your belief system for the supernatural? We all come to the table with preconceived ideas. It would be foolish to think our minds and hearts do not have baggage that influences them. But, will your bias hinder you from seeing the evidence for what it is?
In Cold-Case Christianity, homicide detective, J. Warner Wallace examines the alleged death and resurrection of Christ. He addresses potential explanations and dives into the facts of the case. Wallace explains how circumstantial evidence combines to form conclusions.
The apostles claim to be eyewitnesses of all that they share. As the church fathers began to compile writing from the early church, their first criterion was that of apostolic authority. It was the original eyewitness accounts that would become known as the Gospels.
But can we trust the testimony of these eyewitnesses?
After examining the Gospel accounts, Wallace found them to be consistent with other forms of eyewitness testimony. Each focuses on something important to the author, retells familiar stories with new perspectives and ignores details already covered by the others. (Wallace, pg 79-82)
Conspiracies are a manipulative way, a lie, to get a group of people to believe the same thing. According to Wallace, for a conspiracy to be effective, it must have the following characteristics:
A small number of conspirators
Thorough and immediate communication
A short time span
Significant relational connections
Little or no pressure
In comparison, the Christian conspiracy had none of the listed characteristics. “The number of conspirators required to successfully accomplish the Christian conspiracy would have been staggering. The book of Acts tells us that there were as many as 120 eyewitnesses in the upper room following Jesus ascension (Acts 1:15)...The apostles had little or no effective way to communicate with one another in a quick or thorough manner. Following their dispersion from Jerusalem, the twelve disciples were scattered across the Roman Empire and, according to the most ancient accounts, were ultimately interrogated and martyred far from one another…the apostles would have been required to protect their conspiratorial lies for an incredibly long time...many of them were complete strangers to one another prior to their time together as disciples of Jesus….(they) were aggressively persecuted as they were scattered from Italy to India...yet none of the Twelve recanted their claims related to the resurrection. Not one.” (pg 112-114)
This is only a small portion of the evidence laid out by J. Warner Wallace. To learn more, read Cold-Case Christianity. It’s available at the Bloomingdale Library. Download Libby and request your copy today.
Finding the truth
“The gospel eyewitnesses had something very specific to say about Jesus. They did not give their lives sacrificially for personal opinions about God; they gave their lives because their claims were an objective matter of life and death.” (pg 257)
Are you ready to give their eyewitness accounts a chance? Are you ready to hear what it is they gave their lives to share?
Join us every Sunday to learn more about what these eyewitnesses claimed to know about Jesus and why they gave their lives to share his story.