This is Part Two of the What Everyone Ought to Know About Easter Series. Have you had a chance to check out Part One?
Today, most evangelical scholars take what is called a minimal fact approach when it comes to evidence for the resurrection. This is an apologetical approach that will only use criterion that the majority of scholars (critical and evangelical) will accept as valid. The majority of scholars accept that Jesus died by crucifixion, that his followers had experiences that they believed were post-resurrection appearances of Jesus, and that later Saul of Tarsus experienced what he believed were post-resurrection appearances of Jesus.
Easter, it’s that time of the year where we celebrate the Easter Bunny sneaking into our houses; in the early pre-dawn hours; leaving eggs, chocolate, and a stuffed bunny in our Easter baskets. At least this was how we celebrated Easter in my family. This wonderful surprise was typically followed by going to church filled with people who would only venture there once a year to make God happy. After going to the Easter service our family would hunt for Easter eggs and stuff ourselves with a lunch that would equal the portions of Thanksgiving dinner. Afterward, we would eagerly wait for the next holiday full of feasting and presents. As child I often would wonder exactly how eggs, a rabbit, and the resurrection of Jesus were connected. For some reason the resurrection was not adequately explained to me and I was convinced that Jesus came to the world every year at Easter, and every year he was crucified, buried for three days, and resurrected on the third day. I am happy to say that over time the facts of the resurrection were cleared up for me. Exactly how rabbits and eggs connect remains a mystery.
Have you ever been shot down in front of people for saying or doing something? It's embarrassing. I'm guessing the most common reactions when that happens is to either shut down and flee or fight back and lash out. Sadly, I'm generally more of a lash out, let me put you in your place type of person.
One time many years ago, the first day of class in my first year of college my professor started the class by saying, "If you're a Christian raise your hand." I was seriously excited as I raised my hand since I knew a total of 1 person on campus and thought this could be an opportunity to find some Christian friends. As I was looking around spotting the two other hands, the professor went on, "You won't be by the end of this class. I teach evolution and if you don't like it you can get out." So, my sassy little self gathered my things and walked out in a effort to show him. Or maybe it was an effort to protect my pride of being shot down in front of people. I'm not sure.
“Christianity is the source of all the world’s problems.” This was the answer I received one day while I was talking with college students about Jesus. This student was not antagonistic. His statement was a philosophy that he genuinely believed. “How?” I asked. At this point it was apparent he had not given much thought to his philosophy. He seemed to fumble around for answer before finally blurting out, “the crusades.” He is not unusual, many people hear a philosophy that sounds appealing and they adopt it into their own worldview before researching it. Of course occasionally there will be someone who has been diligent to research his or her worldview but for the most part this does not seem to be the case.