Friday, April 23, 2010

Essay: Christianity is Objectively True by Marcus McElhaney

Christianity is Objectively True by Marcus McElhaney
I believe Christianity is objectively true. What I mean is that Biblical Christianity is true no matter if you or I believe it or not. Three main reasons have brought me to this conclusion:

1. The teleological argument says the observable design in the world suggests that there must be an intelligent designer – God.
2. The Bible has stood the test of time – historically, scientifically, and archaeologically.
3. Jesus really lived, was really crucified, and only his bodily resurrection is the best explanation for the historical data.
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These arguments are not new – nor are they the only arguments that support my thesis – but I have found them compelling. Starting with the teleological argument: it goes far beyond the apparent design seen in all the living things in the environment in which we live. It goes beyond the sheer awesomeness of how the physical world works. It is not just the argument from irreducible complexity. The point I want to make is that we live on a planet that is perfectly placed in our galaxy so we can see, measure, and study the universe. We have developed technology so we can learn a great deal, and we have discovered that we live in a unique time in the history of the universe. Had we arrived several million years from now, much of the evidence for the structure of the universe would be gone as well as evidence for the Big Bang.

But the most compelling for me is that the physical constants have been precisely tuned for us to exist – and we happen to be in the best possible location to see it! It’s like an artist/musician has seated us in the chair with the best acoustics and view of the action. This fits with the God described in the Bible putting us all in the best place possible in order to have a relationship with Him (Acts 17). (Lawrence Krauss disagrees with the conclusion that God set up such a universe but he admits that these are the conditions in which we live.)

As for the Bible, many people have tried to prove it wrong through science, history, and archaeology. But I find that it has stood the test of time. Instead of being proven wrong, I find that it has been confirmed through discoveries in history, science, and archaeology. For example, the Bible describes a nation called the Philistines. If the Philistines never existed and no evidence had ever been found then this would call the scriptures into question. However, archaeological evidence confirms this and countless other historical facts. The Bible passes the test time and again. You can find more evidence everywhere, but you can start with this link.

We have over 200 extrabiblical citations of Jesus Christ – we know that there was a man named Jesus from Nazareth who preached throughout Palestine during the early 1st Century AD. He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and three days after his death his tomb was empty. His followers proclaimed that Jesus was alive and raised from the dead. This changed the whole world forever. Even the most liberal scholars will agree with these core truths. Objections from real scholars to the Resurrection never center on Jesus’ existence but on whether or not He performed miracles or really rose from the dead.

As I study the alternative theories to the resurrection, none of them seem to fit or answer all the data. The disciples were willing to go to their deaths rather than deny they saw and interacted the risen Christ – a fact they were in the position to know firsthand. Some scholars like Bart Ehrman favor the idea that Peter and the other 10 disciples who were with Jesus throughout his ministry had a shared hallucination or really believed they saw Jesus because they wanted to see him and didn’t want to let the movement Jesus started die. The problem is that two or more people cannot share the same hallucination! They can hallucinate simultaneously but they cannot experience the same hallucination. Also this does not explain Jesus’ brother James, nor Saul – who became Paul the Apostle. Neither believed in Jesus or had a motive to become his follows. They were hostile until something happened to them.

Also, if Jesus’ tomb was not empty, why didn’t the Jewish leaders shut down Peter and the rest by producing the body?  If the apostles had stolen the body, how did they get past the sealed tomb and the guards? I think the answer is simple. God raised Jesus up again just like He said. Why is this the clincher for me? The Apostles recognized it 2000 years ago. Christianity rises or falls on one thing – The Resurrection of Christ. It’s the linchpin. Without it Christianity is useless.  This was their core belief and the center of the Gospel. Look at 2 Peter 1: 3-11 and 1 Corinthians 15: 1-11. Use this link to explore more about Jesus’ Resurrection.


Durandal1717 said...

"2. The Bible has stood the test of time – historically, scientifically, and archaeologically."

This alone scrubs the rest of your argument; false, false, and false.

What arrogance.

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