In 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, paul says:
Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?…[I]f Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins…. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
So how would you respond to this challenge from a friend?
There just isn’t enough evidence to believe the resurrection actually happened. There are no contemporary accounts of it (the Gospels were written decades later), and nobody but Christians ever wrote about it. It seems to me that if it had happened, more people would have written about it when it happened. And besides, unless we have a video tape of events, how can we ever know anything about history for sure?
One thing that’s helpful when confronted with a challenge like this one is to quickly separate in your mind the points being made so you can determine which are most important. You’ll rarely get to say everything you want to say in a conversation, so you have to be willing to let some things go (not always easy for the eager apologist!) in order to drive home the point that has the greatest priority.
What are the different claims that could be addressed? What factual errors has he made? What misconceptions does he have about the people of Jesus’ time? What mistake does he make about how to determine historical events? What evidence would you offer for the resurrection? Where would you start answering his questions? What questions would you ask him?
Give us your ideas, and we’ll hear back from Brett on Thursday.