Arguments for the Resurrection

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The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is single most critical part of the Christian faith and also the single most important argument for it. I may not have an answer for every single question regarding philosophy, various religions, ethics, creation, and evolution (and neither does the other side). I don’t have to know it all because this much is true: If Jesus Christ really literally rose from the dead then the Bible is true. If the Bible is truly the Word of God then that kind of settles the issue of whether God exists and who He is, regardless of any other unanswered questions.

So to help with this goal I have provided links to a short argument for the resurrection and a long argument for the resurrection.

The Short Argument for the Resurrection

Five Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead

This is a slightly longer comic strip that illustrates the logical argument for the resurrection provided by Adam4d.com. It’s good if you are sharing with somebody who may not be interested enough to spend an hour watching a video presentation on the scholarly evidence of the resurrection.

The Long Argument for the Resurrection

Gary Habermas: The Resurrection Evidence that Changed Current Scholarship

This is an hour long presentation by New Testament scholar Gary Habermas laying out the scholarly arguments for the resurrection. This textual argument for the Resurrection has a significant impact on New Testament scholarship and really proves that the Resurrection is not a myth that evolved over time but something that all of the original disciples believed they literally saw. My favorite point is that Paul was born within a few years of Jesus’ birth. This means when he writes 1 Corinthians 15 he is writing in a time period where the witnesses really are still alive and is calling on people to call his bluff and talk to the witnesses. It’s not some text decades removed from the event! This is great evidence.

Updated Lecture by Habermas 2018

A lecture by Gary Habermas at my Alma Mater: New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as part of Defend the Faith 2018. Start this at 32 minutes and it lasts over 1.5 hours with detailed slides in the last 20 minutes or so.

Habermas’ Papers and Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals

For my atheist friends who demand the paperwork on this Resurrection research here is a good starting point.

Here is the archive of useful articles related to Dr. Habermas’ work. Here is one main article in a peer reviewed Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus.

Judging the Wicked to Preserve the Righteous

I found something interesting reading Psalm 7 today. The Psalmist being persecuted by a group of wicked men is counting on God’s judgement to deliver him. You know, I have seen this often through out the Psalms but it has taken a while to realize this concept in the Psalms: God judges the wicked in order to save the righteous. It’s strange to me how in today’s culture we celebrate the superhero when he defeats the villian, yet often when God judges the wicked He gets criticized as unloving. Perhaps we need a paradigm shift, a realization that sin isn’t just a personal failing but wickedness. Because when we water down sin, God looks like He is overreacting but in reality we are under reacting to sin. Like toddlers we may be ignorant of the real danger that sin poses to each one of us and that God is the hero delivering us from sin and from the wicked.

Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous— you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God! My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts. Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies. He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made. His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends. I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord , the Most High.
Psalms 7:9-17

Now before any witch hunts begin for wicked people let’s make a few things clear. God gives them the option to repent and be spared (Psalms 7:12). God does not rejoice when the wicked die and wishes that they would repent (Ezekiel 33:11). So we should not delight on the death of the wicked but seek their repentance so they can be saved. It’s not our job to take revenge on the wicked, it’s God’s. Don’t play God, obey God and love your enemies (Romans 12:19-21, Matthew 5:38-48). Preach the Gospel to them!

The final point is that we should be grateful for a God who not only has mercy on us for our sin but we should also be grateful for a God who will deal with and judge the wickedness of sin. God judged Pharoah and set the people free from his wicked rule. One day God will judge the wickedness in creation freeing us from a fallen world.

Love One and Hate the Other

If you love Jesus, hate what put Him on the cross. Loving Him means hating sin.

O you who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord , O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!
Psalms 97:10-12

Urgent: Call LA Congress Now

UPDATE May 23rd: The hearing for the Pastor Protection Bill HB 597 is set for 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 24, in the Judiciary B Committee room at the Capitol. I have been informed that there may be members on the committee opposed to the bill.  It will take only 4 votes to kill it! Here is a List of every Senator who is currently on this committee.  Contact them TODAY and let them know that you, your church, and others will be watching this closely and that you want them to SUPPORT the Pastor Protection Bill HB 597.

UPDATE: April 20th. Alright guys, with the bill passing the House it’s time to bring our fight to the Senate.  Here is the contact information for our state senators. Here is the link to find the one in your district. Tell them to pass the Pastor Protection Bill!

UPDATE: 7PM. The bill passed 97-0! A lot of the arguments against it fell flat. Praise the Lord!

UPDATE 5:30pm central: The bill is now being discussed.  Here is where we are in the house agenda. Here is the live feed.

Today, April 19th, after 1pm the Lousiana House of Representatives is voting on a Bill to protect Pastors from being arrested for practicing their faith. Please contact your Louisiana State House Representative and inform them to vote yes for HB597 – The Pastor Protection Bill.  This a bill that will protect Pastors like me from imprisonment and penalty for refusing to participate in or officiate weddings that are a violation of our beliefs. The LGBT community will be there to oppose the bill so they can continue to force people to violate their conscience and force them to submit to their beliefs. Something they claim all the time that they don’t do. Yet why would they fight a bill that prevents something they say they would never do?

Here is a list of Louisiana House Representatives Contact information. Find the one in your district, call and e-mail him or her. Tell them to Vote Yes on HB597.

Thank you all for your support.

Belief in God Really Does Make You More Moral

by: Jared Berry

On countless occasions I have heard atheists argue that religion doesn’t make you any more moral. They often argue that religion has no moral benefit whatsoever and is a net negative drag on society. They often make these claims choosing to ignore the countless positive influences of religion like charitable organizations (Samaritans Purse, SBC Disaster Relief, Salvation Army, etc.). If you look closely you will find that much of their argument is philosophical rather than factual. In fact, darwinian atheists believe in an evolutionary benefit at some point for every trait we see, yet somehow come to conclude that religion is just a useless fluke that made it in there somewhere. The term “meme” of internet fame, was invented by leading atheist Richard Dawkins just so he could eliminate religion (and other cultural elements) as an evolutionary biological development and thus not have to acknowledge a benefit [1]. This concept has been critized by other scientists as a pseudoscientific attempt to explain away religion and as just plain bad science [2].

In this LA Times article you will see a scientific study providing evidence that belief in God actually does make you more moral, especially when nobody is looking. According to the study it’s not just belief in any God, but in an “omniscient, moral-judging and punitive main deity” (Aka a singularly dominant, all knowing God with moral standards) that yields moral improvement. That sounds a lot like the God of my Bible. This article goes on to explain how belief in this type of God was likely a critical component in the development of advanced civilizations.

So much for religion being useless and detrimental… You guys need Jesus… literally… we all do. 🙂

[1] Wikipedia – Meme “Origins”
[2] Wikipedia – Meme “Criticism of meme theory”

Digging Up My Coin

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The Lord has been on me about launching this website for a while. I struggle with being a perfectionist and in having the faith to leap when I don’t know all the answers. God’s been showing me that if He tells me to do something I better get started and let Him work out the details. The parable that sticks in my mind most is the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). I keep waiting for the right time but the time is now. I say to God “well I will get on that when it’s a better time.” But God’s plan is best. Sure I don’t know a thing about websites, sure I feel insanely busy all the time already, and maybe the site isn’t going to look that good at first… But God said get started and I don’t want to be the guy who buries God’s investment in the ground with nothing to show for it. Because If I become that guy and don’t repent; God’s not going to keep investing where there is no profit. God is never wastes his time or energy. So here it goes! I hope this site is a blessing to all of you.

In Christ,
Jared

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Matthew 25:14-30 ESV
http://bible.com/59/mat.25.14-30.ESV