At approximately minute 12:00 in the above video, Christian New Testament scholar Michael Licona reveals that at one point in his life he too experienced serious doubts about “his faith”. What does Dr. Licona say helped to reassure him that Christianity is true? Answer: The 12 Minimal Facts of the Resurrection by evangelical Christian theologian, Gary Habermas. I would encourage every Christian to memorize these 12 facts. Here they are:
- Jesus died by crucifixion.
- He was buried.
- His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.
- The tomb was empty (the most contested).
- The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus (the most important proof).
- The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.
- The resurrection was the central message.
- They preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.
- The Church was born and grew.
- Orthodox Jews who believed in Christ made Sunday their primary day of worship.
- James was converted to the faith when he saw the resurrected Jesus (James was a family skeptic).
- Paul was converted to the faith (Paul was an outsider skeptic).
Source: Gary Habermas
Next, I recommend doing the following, my Christian friends. Re-examine this list using a technique formulated by counter-apologist John Loftus called “The Outsider Test for Faith (OTF)”. Here is how you do it:
Substitute the name of the founder of another world religion into the Twelve Minimal Facts in every location in which Jesus’ name appears. Then ask yourself this question: Would I believe that the leader of another religion was raised from the dead based on the above twelve historical facts? If your answer is “yes”, then the above evidence has passed the OTF test: The evidence is strong enough that a bias is not needed to believe it. If your answer is “no”, then there is some other reason (a bias) why you believe these 12 facts about Jesus, but would not believe these 12 facts about the founder of another religion.
End of post.