Dear Evangelical Scholar: If you perceive the Presence of Jesus Within You, Your Belief in the Historicity of the Resurrection is Not Objective

Was There a Literal Resurrection? Mike Licona Responds ...
Evangelical Bible scholar, Michael Licona

A Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Lutheran, or Presbyterian Christian scholar can claim his or her scholarship on the resurrection of Jesus is based purely on objective historical evidence.  The same is not true for most evangelical Bible scholars.  Why?  A central teaching of evangelical Christianity is that if one is truly “born again” (and that is the only way to be a true Christian in their belief system) one will perceive the presence of Jesus within you.  Think about that! If one can perceive the presence of Jesus within you, that is dramatic evidence that Jesus truly was resurrected from the dead 2,000 years ago!  It is very definitely evidence…but it is subjective evidence!

How can evangelical Bible scholars such as Michael Licona claim that their scholarship regarding the bodily resurrection of Jesus—a man who died 20 centuries ago—is objective and unbiased if they believe that they can perceive the presence of this being within them??

 

 

 

 

End of post.

4 thoughts on “Dear Evangelical Scholar: If you perceive the Presence of Jesus Within You, Your Belief in the Historicity of the Resurrection is Not Objective

  1. There are really two questions here:
    1. Is their scholarship objective?
    2. Is their scholarship unbiased?

    On the first question, we could agree, looking at their work, that they make their assessment based on objective evidence.
    On the second question, no scholarship is unbiased. The question we need to ask is how much bias is present, and can a more unbiased position be taken. All Christian scholars seem to have a huge bias in favor of the supernatural, but this is a difficult bias to justify.

    It’s certainly objectively true that there were people in the first century who thought that Jesus had been resurrected by God, and I doubt that this is controversial. That said, I don’t know of any objective evidence that actually supports such an outlandish claim.You pretty much need to invoke something akin to magic in order to make the case for the resurrection.

    The scholarship is clearly not unbiased, but it could be objective. I see them as independent aspects of scholarship.

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    1. I believe that one can appeal to strictly objective evidence to believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus. It goes like this:

      Most historians agree that within a short period of time after Jesus’ death (how long we cannot be sure), some early Christians were claiming that he had been bodily resurrected. Why were they doing so? Were they lying? Possibly, but I doubt it. Were all the alleged sightings based on hallucinations? Highly unlikely. So what are our options for explaining the development of this very odd belief? I believe that there are two options: Multiple people believed that they had seen the resurrected Jesus either because they really did, or, these very sincere but very mistaken people experienced mispercpetions of reality such as false sightings of Jesus (seeing someone on a distant hill or on the seashore that looked like Jesus but was not) or illusions (bright lights, etc.).

      If one does not believe in the supernatural, then the obvious explanation is a misperception of reality. If one believes in the supernatural, then an actual resurrection is just as probable as a misperception of reality.

      Note I never appealed to my subjective feelings, perceptions, or experiences (“miracles”). My belief is based solely on objective evidence. I can respect theistic scholars who hold this position. I cannot respect evangelical scholars who claim to be objective regarding the life and death of Jesus but will make statements on their personal Facebook accounts or other non-scholarly platforms, stating that the spirit of the resurrected Jesus lives within them and that they can perceive this (ghostly) presence. You cannot be objective about an extra-ordinary claim about a dead person if you believe that the spirit of that dead person has taken up shop inside your body AND communicates with you on a daily basis!

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  2. FYI Readers: A certain unnamed person who has been repeatedly banned from this blog for his rude, insulting behavior continues to post comments by changing his IP address. So instead of banning each and every IP address he uses, I have decided just to ignore him. If he posts a comment and I see it in my comment “in box”, I am now simply deleting everything he says the second I see his name—without reading a single word of his comment. I encourage my regular readers to ignore him as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One idea is that you could set your comment policy to “Comment author must have a previously approved comment.” It is annoying that you’d have to change your comment policy because of one bad egg.

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