Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Evidence That Demands a Verdict

On Christmas, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This is not just a nice story, it is a revolutionary event in human history. It led to the resurrection, which made possible salvation for our sins.

Many people consider Christianity to be unsubstantiated myth or personal preference unrelated to reality. But this is wrong. Christianity is based on real, historical events. Examining and defending the faith is called apologetics.

One excellent work of apologetics is the book Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell. McDowell was an atheist who examined the facts behind Christianity. He discovered that Christianity is true, and this led him to become an evangelist.

Evidence is a long detailed book. It can be tough reading, but it contains much valuable material. It is organized so that it can be used as a reference book.

Evidence makes the case for the Bible. It compellingly shows that the Bible is a unique book in world history. It explains how the Bible was obtained. It demonstrates that the Old and New Testaments are historically reliable. The myth that they were substantially changed through generations of copying is shattered.

In particular, the New Testament dates back to within a generation of the events it describes. Thousands of ancient copies exist, all of which are essentially the same. The New Testament is by far the best documented ancient book.

The Old Testament is also reliable. The Dead Sea Scrolls confirm its accuracy, along with the incredibly elaborate copying process used to preserve it. Numerous archaeological discoveries help to confirm both Testaments.

Evidence presents the case for Jesus. It examines the historical evidence concerning the life of Jesus from sources outside the Bible. It discusses His unique character, and the possible explanations for His life--liar, lunatic, or Lord.

McDowell examines the hundreds of Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah. These prophecies include His lineage, birthplace, life, death, resurrection, and even the year of His birth! All of these prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. It is mathematically impossible for these prophecies to have been fulfilled by chance or human intention.

Evidence examines the evidence for the resurrection. It explains its importance and documents the predictions by Jesus of His resurrection. It examines the evidence contained in sources outside the Bible. It examines in detail the events immediately before and after the resurrection, including Jesus' crucifixion, death, burial, empty tomb, and appearances afterward.

So-called theories such as the stolen body and swoon are debunked and shown to be utterly incompatible with the facts. The Disciples, who saw what happened and had everything to lose by being wrong, all were killed or tortured proclaiming the truth of the resurrection.

An examination of the evidence demonstrates the truth of Christianity. Christianity is not myth or superstition, and need not be based on blind faith or personal preference.

This issue is of the utmost importance. Literally everything is at stake. The evidence does demand a verdict. Non-Christians should carefully consider the beliefs of roughly two billion people worldwide. Christians should examine the evidence to deepen their faith, refute skeptics, and witness to others. Both will be aided by Evidence That Demands a Verdict.

1 comment:

Freedom from Tyranny said...

Lee Strobel has written some good books along the same vein. He too was an unbeliever who looked at the evidence.