Do you want a thoughtful, purposeful life?


Carson Weitnauer (@ReasonsForGod)

Memorizing the Minimal Facts Argument for Jesus’ Resurrection

Let’s talk about memorizing the “Did Jesus rise?” argument.  (I recognize that if you’re still weighing whether or not the argument is true, this is probably not your first concern, and I appreciate the seriousness with which you are still considering the evidence).

Reasons (for a Christian) to memorize the argument:

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Did Jesus rise from the dead?

In their excellent book, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, Gary Habermas and Michael Licona offer a very readable and thoroughly researched argument for the publicly accessible, historical, bodily resurrection of Jesus.  My goal in this post is to summarize their main argument as simply as possible.

Their argument has two key components:
1. The minimal facts that are widely agreed upon by nonChristian scholars.

2. There are only so many plausible theories to explain these facts, but the bodily resurrection of Jesus is the most reasonable explanation.

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We All Want Love

There are a lot of unending processes in the world.  Crops will always need rain.  Cars need maintenance.  Dishes have to be washed, clothes need to be cleaned, floors must be swept and mopped.

We all have similar, equally insatiable desires.  Children will always need encouragement and opportunity.  Spouses will always want appreciation and affection.  Employees want to be respected and rewarded.

At the heart of this is the universal desire to be loved.

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“That’ll Teach ‘Em!” Thoughts on Revenge and Forgiveness

When we are hurt by someone, one of the most fundamental temptations is to react with anger and a determination to strike back.  Whether they have been insensitive, mean, violent, or disrespectful, we want to teach them a lesson.  One that make our message quite clear: what you did was wrong, and BAM!, that’s what it felt like, so stop. We justify lashing out, saying to ourselves, “that’ll teach ’em!”

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Comparing Christianity and Secularism

In an chapter in Passionate Conviction, which is a superb collection of essays, Craig Hazen argues that, among all the great religious traditions in the world, Christianity is the best place to start a search for truth.  He offers four reasons:

1.    Christianity is testable.  In particular, Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 15 that the truthfulness of the entire religion is dependent upon the historical occurrence (or lack thereof) of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  By contrast, many other major world religions (like Hinduism and Buddhism) focus on inner, personal experience.

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Enlightenment and the Bible

One of the responses to yesterday’s item was this insightful comment: “[A] lot of people have the impression that they would be different. They’ll say, “Sure, those silly Israelites made that mistake, but certainly I wouldn’t. *I* would listen to God and would never forsake Him if only I saw him once.”  In other words, the interpretive question that must be answered about the narrative I shared from Deuteronomy is: are we similar to those “silly Israelites”?

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Why Doesn’t God Reveal Himself To Me?

One of the more frustrating elements in the search for God’s existence, at least for some people, is this nagging question: why doesn’t God just shout “HELLO!  YOU THERE!  BELIEVE IN ME!  I AM REAL!”  On the face of it, this would be extremely easy for God to do – if He existed.  After all, the idea is that God is good, loving, all-powerful, all-knowing.  What’s the problem here?  If marketers for major companies can send me personalized mail with the Postal Service, what’s keeping God from doing the same?

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Searching for God: Monotheism, Polytheism, and Atheism

Debating between monotheism, polytheism, and atheism leads to one of those famous “stay-up-late-in-your-dorm-room-and-talk-for-hours” conversations.  Typically these discussions bring in all kinds of off-the-cuff remarks, ranging from “well, what about aliens?” to “no, seriously, every scientist says so.”  Is there a way to approach this question with a bit more careful attention and diligence?

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Does God Exist?: Some Good Questions

“Does God exist?” is a huge, daunting question. When you’re trying to figure out the existence of God, you need to break the intellectual search down into smaller pieces.

Here are some good questions to consider as you work on the big question:

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The Need for Humility

If you’re trying to find God, one thing you need is humility.  What is humility?

First, humility is not thinking terrible, false thoughts about yourself.  It is no virtue to believe harsh, negative lies about yourself.  There is nothing humble about believing you are worthless, basically incapable, stupid, or any other variation upon these themes.

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