How is it possible that two groups of educated, modern people can look at the evidence for the Resurrection claim of Jesus of Nazareth and come to such very different conclusions? How can educated Christians see the evidence for the Resurrection as so overwhelming that it is not worth their time to seriously question it, while educated Jews, Muslims, atheists, and others, find the evidence for this supernatural claim so pathetically poor and down right ridiculous?
It really is baffling to me.
Christians have frequently accused me of not believing because I don’t want to believe; that there is some ulterior motive for my deconversion from the Christian religion; that I have rejected the supernatural without sufficient evidence to do so. However, what then is the reason for the non-belief of Jews and Muslims in this supernatural claim? These groups certainly believe in supernatural acts of God. Why do these groups see the evidence for the Resurrection claim as so unconvincing? It can’t be because they don’t believe in the supernatural. Do Christians seriously believe that Jews and Muslims actually do see how strong the evidence is for the Resurrection claim, but, they have conspired to deny it, as they too have an ulterior motive for rejecting it??
This is my challenge for Christians: Demand the same level of evidence for the Resurrection claim as you would apply to the supernatural claims of any other religion.
For instance, would you believe a new religion’s claim that their recently deceased prophet flew through the air like a jet airplane just because:
1. Their holy book points to passages in the Hebrew Bible that appear to “prophesy” about the coming of this flying prophet.
2. The people who are converting to this new religion are people who do not believe in flying prophets, so for them to believe it, something really spectacular must have occurred to convince them that this prophet did fly.
3. The founders of this new religion are willing to endure persecution and even death in defense of their claim of a flying prophet.
4. The new religion spreads rapidly even under intense persecution.
5. The new religion has the written statement of one deceased man who says he saw the flying prophet himself on a deserted desert highway, and, that someone told him that 500 people, at the same time, in the same place, also saw the flying prophet.
6. And there is much more similar “evidence” for this religion’s claim of a flying prophet.
Would all of this “evidence” convince you that this new religion really did have a flying prophet? Seriously dear Christian, what evidence would you require to believe that a modern day man can fly through the air, without any mechanical assistance, at the speed and altitude of a jet airplane?
THAT is how we non-believers view your claim that a dead and decomposing first century man in Palestine was reanimated by an ancient middle-eastern god to walk out of his grave, hang out with his friends for forty days, and then levitate into outer space.