> At 03:37 PM 6/11/97 -0500, you wrote:
> >Russell Stewart wrote:
> >> > As I said, there are in
> >> > 20th century man's possession, original documentation of
> >> > these events. However, history has no documentation of
> >> > anyone in the first century denying these events. Yes, they
> >> > deny Jesus was the Son of God, but they fail to deny He was
> >> > resurrected.
> >> And therefore, since we have no record of such denials, we should logically
> >> conclude that they never existed?
> >I think a better question is, In the absence of such historical evidence
> >what reason do we have to believe that they did exist? I think I detect
> >some inconsistency here. On one hand, Russell, you demand that anyone
> >who asserts that something exists, present evidence in support of his
> Actually, I'm not claiming that such denials existed. Maybe they didn't.
> But that still doesn't prove anything except that people were a lot more
> gullible back then.
Are you suggesting that people in the first century were unaware of the
fact that dead people are not routinely resurrected?
If I may jump in:
Case in point?: John 11:37-48, 53. Regarding Lazarus
37 "But some of them said,'Could not he who opened the eyes of a blind
man have kept this man from dying?'
38 "Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with
a stone laid across the entrance.
39 " 'Take away the stone,' he said. "'But Lord,' said Martha, the
sister of the dead man, 'by this time, there is a bad odor, for he has been
there four days.'
40 "Then Jesus said,'Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would
see the glory of God?'
41 "So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, 'Father,
I thank you that you have heard me.
42 "I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of
the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.'
43 "When he had said this, Jesus called out in a loud voice, 'Lazarus,
44 " The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of
linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them,'Take off the grave
clothes and let him go.'
45 "Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen
what Jesus did, put their faith in him.
46 " But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had
47 " Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the
'What are we accomplishing?' they asked. 'Here is this man performing many
48 "If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then
the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.'
53 "So from that day on they plotted to take his life." (NIV, translation)
Seems to me we have an interesting case here. Plenty of skeptical
witnesses (v37 &45), vested interest opposition having meetings, _not_
contesting the events, but their consequences in light of a secular
authority viewing the same events and coming to an undesirable _political_
conclusion (v.48). There are secular Roman official reports discussing
these same of issues. Jesus not only lived, but was a serious problem for a
number of people; cold-blooded, rational people with a vested interest in
the status quo.
Vv.46&47 seem to clearly indicate that there was no question as to the
veracity of the eyewitnesses. The event was not held in question by either
group. It was the _implications_ that differed. That is a significant bit
of evidence John is giving us. The real question at hand is only partially
I've been through it a lot of times. The underlying question is actually a
spiritual one, which is ultimately a matter of the heart. Even quantum
physics ultimately hands us free will. It's not just a Calvinistic
construct. *Nobody* is "born" a Christian, and I think it's easy to lose
track of that most basic fact. I will never convince someone of the reality
of Christ by raw logic. I can only give evidence of that reality by having
it be a fundamental (NOT Fundamentalist!) and consistent tenet of my daily
existence. That means being just as transparent through the struggles as
the epiphanies. Only by being a whole person can I demonstrate the
wholeness that my relationship to the Lord brings to my life.
That's the Good News. ( It's a free, lifetime subscription offer, too!)
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