Why Does It Sound So Incredible?

Whatever our philosophy or theology, everyone has moments when we doubt our beliefs and believe our doubts. Even Christians occasionally ask, “Is the Gospel really true?” Anticipating that, Jesus gave us a massive amount of evidence for the veracity of His resurrection and provided “many infallible proofs” that He had indeed risen bodily from the grave (Acts 1:3). It reassures us to know that these “proofs” have convinced even the unlikeliest of skeptics.

Albert L. Roper was a prominent Virginia attorney, a graduate of the University of Virginia and its law school, who eventually became mayor of the city of Norfolk. He once began a thorough legal investigation into the evidence for the resurrection of Christ, asking himself the question: Can any intelligent person accept the resurrection story? After examining the evidence at length, he came away asking a different question: Can any intelligent person deny the weight of this evidence?

One of the most interesting books in my library was written by a man who set out to disprove the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was an English journalist named Frank Morison who viewed Christianity with disfavor, deciding that if he could prove that Christ’s resurrection was a mere myth, he could debunk all of Christianity.
He poured over the evidence, absorbing all the information he could and marshaling all his arguments. Not only was he unable to disprove the resurrection, but he was compelled on the weight of the evidence to become a Christian himself.

And his book? It is a powerful argument in favor of the resurrection, called Who Moved The Stone? It is “… essentially a confession,” Morison says, “the inner story of a man who originally set out to write one kind of book and found himself compelled by the sheer force of circumstances to write quite another.”

Josh McDowell entered university as a young man looking for a good time and searching for happiness and meaning in life. He tried going to church, but found religion unsatisfying. He ran for student leadership positions, but was disappointed by how quickly the glamour wore off. He tried the party circuit, but he woke up Monday mornings feeling worse than ever.

He finally noticed a group of students engaged in Bible study, and he became intrigued by the radiance of one of the young ladies. He asked her a reason for it. She looked him straight in the eye, smiled, and said, “Jesus Christ.”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” he retorted, “don’t give me that garbage about religion.”
She replied, “I didn’t say religion; I said Jesus Christ.”

The students invited him to intellectually examine the claims of Christ and the evidence for Christianity. He accepted their challenge, and after much study and research, finally admitted that he couldn’t refute the body of proof supporting Christianity. McDowell received Christ as his Savior, and his research became the background for his book Evidence That Demands A Verdict.

One of the major factors in his conversion to Christianity was his inability to ignore the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ, a point he made later to a student at the University of Uruguay who asked him, “Professor McDowell, why can’t you intellectually refute Christianity?”

“For a very simple reason,” replied McDowell. “I am not able to explain away an event in history—the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Years ago in England, two men set out to disprove Christianity. One was a well-known English jurist and literary scholar named Lord Littleton. The other was Gilbert West. They agreed that if Christianity was to be discredited, two things were necessary: to disprove the resurrection and to explain the conversion of Saul of Tarsus in a way that satisfied the skeptics.

The two men divided these tasks between themselves, Lord Littleton taking the problem of Saul of Tarsus and Gilbert West agreeing to research the resurrection. They invested over a year for their studies, then met together again to compare notes. Each one was astonished to discover that the other had become a Christian.

Lew Wallace was a famous general and literary genius of the 19th century who, along with his friend Robert Ingersoll, decided to write a book that would forever destroy “the myth of Christianity.” For two years, Wallace studied in the libraries of Europe and America, then he started his book. But while writing the second chapter, he found himself on his knees crying out to Jesus Christ in the words of Thomas who had himself once doubted the resurrection of Jesus Christ: “My Lord and my God.”

The book he was writing became the great novel about the times of Christ, Ben Hur.

“Why should it be thought incredible by you,” the Apostle Paul once asked, “that God raises the dead?”

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

%d bloggers like this: