Difference between revisions of "Why I am a follower of Jesus"

From BelieveTheSign
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===Were these eyewitness accounts?===
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Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
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The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Lk 1:1–4.
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In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
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The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ac 1:1–3.
  
  
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Common English Bible (Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2011), Jn 19:35.
 
Common English Bible (Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2011), Jn 19:35.
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For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” i 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
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The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 2 Pe 1:16–18.
  
  
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That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.
  
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The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 1 Jn 1:1–4.
  
 
There are many similarities between investigating cold cases and investigating the claims of Christianity. Cold-case homicides are events from the distant past for which there is often little or no forensic evidence. These kinds of cases are sometimes solved on the basis of eyewitness testimony, even though many years have passed between the point of the crime and the point of the investigation. While there may not be any surviving eyewitnesses to the actual murder, there are often witnesses available who can help puzzle together the events leading up to the crime or the behavior of a suspect following the crime. These witnesses can be evaluated in a number of ways to confirm their reliability. In the end, a strong “circumstantial” case can usually be made by collecting witness statements and verifying these observations with what little forensic evidence is available. By taking this approach, I have arrested and successfully prosecuted a number of cold-case suspects who thought they had gotten away with murder.
 
There are many similarities between investigating cold cases and investigating the claims of Christianity. Cold-case homicides are events from the distant past for which there is often little or no forensic evidence. These kinds of cases are sometimes solved on the basis of eyewitness testimony, even though many years have passed between the point of the crime and the point of the investigation. While there may not be any surviving eyewitnesses to the actual murder, there are often witnesses available who can help puzzle together the events leading up to the crime or the behavior of a suspect following the crime. These witnesses can be evaluated in a number of ways to confirm their reliability. In the end, a strong “circumstantial” case can usually be made by collecting witness statements and verifying these observations with what little forensic evidence is available. By taking this approach, I have arrested and successfully prosecuted a number of cold-case suspects who thought they had gotten away with murder.

Revision as of 16:35, 14 April 2020

Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.'[1]


I was raised in a Christian home and grew up going to church. However, as a teenager in my final year in high school, I stepped out of the church and stopped attending. We had changed churches and, my friends from high school were more important to me than trying to make friends with a group of clique-y teenagers who weren't welcoming to a new kid who had started to attend their church.

What eventually brought me back?

The story of Jesus is not worthy of attention except for one thing... an event which, if true, is a complete game changer. It is the one thing that makes Jesus completely different from any prior or subsequent prophet.

The resurrection.

Christianity does not exist because of the Bible. In fact, the Christian Bible did not exist until the fourth century A.D.


Were these eyewitness accounts?

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Lk 1:1–4.


In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ac 1:1–3.


The one who saw this has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he speaks the truth, and he has testified so that you also can believe.

Common English Bible (Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2011), Jn 19:35.

For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” i 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 2 Pe 1:16–18.


That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.

The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 1 Jn 1:1–4.

There are many similarities between investigating cold cases and investigating the claims of Christianity. Cold-case homicides are events from the distant past for which there is often little or no forensic evidence. These kinds of cases are sometimes solved on the basis of eyewitness testimony, even though many years have passed between the point of the crime and the point of the investigation. While there may not be any surviving eyewitnesses to the actual murder, there are often witnesses available who can help puzzle together the events leading up to the crime or the behavior of a suspect following the crime. These witnesses can be evaluated in a number of ways to confirm their reliability. In the end, a strong “circumstantial” case can usually be made by collecting witness statements and verifying these observations with what little forensic evidence is available. By taking this approach, I have arrested and successfully prosecuted a number of cold-case suspects who thought they had gotten away with murder. Christianity makes a claim about an event from the distant past for which there is little or no forensic evidence. Like cold cases, the truth about what happened can be discovered by examining the statements of eyewitnesses and comparing them with what little additional evidence is accessible to us. If the eyewitnesses can be evaluated (and their statements can be verified by what we have available), an equally strong circumstantial case can be made for the claims of the New Testament. But are there any reliable eyewitness statements in existence to corroborate in the first place? This became the most important question I had to answer in my personal investigation of Christianity. Were the gospel narratives eyewitness accounts, or were they only moralistic mythologies? Were the Gospels reliable, or were they filled with untrustworthy, supernatural absurdities? The most important questions I could ask about Christianity just so happened to fall within my area of expertise.


James Wallace, Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2013).



Footnotes

  1. C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock, ed. Walter Hooper (HarperOne, 1994), 102.


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