Answers in Genesis and the Resurrection

We found a good item for the start of your long holiday weekend. It comes to us from the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.

AIG’s new essay is Learn to Defend the Resurrection. It was written by Avery Foley, about whom we know nothing. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and Foley’s links omitted:

Learn how to defend the Resurrection! In this interview [link in AIG’s post], Roger Patterson, writer, editor, and author with Answers in Genesis, discusses the historicity of the Resurrection with Tim Chaffey, our resident expert on the Resurrection and author of In Defense of Easter. This informative interview will equip you with answers to the most common objections and excite you to proclaim Christ’s Resurrection with boldness and passion. You can view the entire interview below.

We mentioned the Resurrection in one of our favorite posts: The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Miracles. We classified it as a Category One miracle, and said:

We sort miracles into two groups — and we unimaginatively call them Category One and Category Two. Both types are impossible, but Category One miracles are those that, having been said to occur, don’t leave any contradictory evidence to discredit the tale — other than the event’s inherent impossibility, of course. It requires faith to attribute any credit to such tales, but that’s the nature of faith — it’s belief in the absence of evidence or logical proof.

Examples of Category One miracles abound in the bible, such as the conversation Moses had with a burning bush, or the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Things like that obviously aren’t possible, but — assuming one has faith that they occurred — there’s no evidence lying around after such events to contradict the tale.

To avoid confusion, we also said:

Belief in Category One miracles, although utterly unscientific and unjustifiable by any rational means, is said to be pleasant for believers and is also tolerable by others — at least in our humble opinion. What we mean is that one can live peacefully alongside people with such beliefs — provided those beliefs are voluntary and not used as a pretext for violating anyone’s rights.

Ten months after we wrote that, Foley (today’s AIG author) co-authored an AIG article defending miracles, about which we posted Answers in Genesis Explains Miracles. Now Foley is back again. He tells us:

The central focus of Christianity is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. It was this pivotal moment in history, when Jesus conquered death and the grave, that gives humanity hope for all eternity if only they will repent and trust in Christ for salvation.

Then he gives us several quotes from the Apostle Paul. Despite his impact on the New Testament, Paul is a dubious authority for the Resurrection because he wasn’t one of the Twelve Apostles, and as we understand it, he never met Jesus. After that, Foley says:

But many scholars and skeptics deny the historicity of the Resurrection of Christ. All kinds of theories — some of them quite wild — abound to explain away the testimony of Christ’s Resurrection.

Your Curmudgeon is no bible scholar. We’re aware that the four gospel writers, Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, all tell of the Resurrection. That’s the totality of the contemporaneous evidence. We’re also aware of scholarly dispute about their actual authorship of the gospels. Further, we’ve read that differing versions of the gospels were in circulation, and the finial versions weren’t settled until well after the Resurrection — see Development of the New Testament canon.

We weren’t there, so we don’t know what happened, nor do we know who wrote what, or when. As for the Resurrection itself, there are no contemporaneous Roman records of it. One would think that if reports came to Pontius declaring that “He’s back!,” the Romans would have taken action. Yet that seems never to have happened. All that we have are later historians who wrote what Christians believed. It’s a grand mystery, but it’s pointless to argue with those who feel strongly, one way or the other.

Anyway, Foley is a believer, and that’s fine with us. He finishes his brief post with this:

Defending the Resurrection is crucial, for belief in Christ’s Resurrection is integral to salvation (Romans 10:9) and, as Paul clearly showed, is foundational to our future and present hope.

So there you are. As we said, this is a good way to begin the holiday weekend.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Answers in Genesis and the Resurrection

  1. “We weren’t there, so we don’t know what happened…” – Dear Curmudgeon. You simply must stop reading Hambo’s babble so much! (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

  2. Since there is no extra-biblical evidence of the existence of the Jesus character, we need not worry ourselves about whether or not he arose from death. Unless, of course, you enjoy fantasizing about the antics of fictional characters.

  3. Explaining miracles is easy…Pure fairy tale BS!!!
    Assert without evidence, reject without evidence!!!!

  4. The resurrection, like much of the Bible, can be viewed as allegory. Whgen so done, it is an inspirational and defining document when viewed in that light. Otherwise, when viewed literally it is a source of ignorance and hatred on a scale that is truly tragic and destructive.

  5. Dave Luckett

    The problem is that this particular miracle is what AiG says it is: absolutely definitive and absolutely necessary to Christian faith, and so it has been from the beginning of the religion. In this, it differs from a literal belief in the Adam and Eve fable. That is not necessary to Christianity. Belief in the resurrection of Jesus is.

    Yes, there are some outliers among people who describe themselves as Christians (and it is true that people are what they identify themselves to be, within reason). But to deny the resurrection of Jesus is to deny the foundational belief of Christianity.

    Of course, one may discuss the evidence for that belief. In short, there is none. There exists no contemporary record, not a word. But none of the accounts that exist even purport to contain eyewitness testimony. Nobody saw Jesus step out of his tomb. Not even John, the only one of the Evangelists who might have been someone who knew Jesus in life, says he saw any such thing. All the original followers had to go on was an empty tomb. The accounts even state clearly that at first none of them knew him when they saw him later, and nobody believed the women who reported at first.

    All of the Gospel accounts differ widely in the details, and the miraculous gingerbread is the more voluminous the later the account. In Mark, by common consensus the earliest, there’s just a young man in the tomb. In Matthew this becomes an angel, in Luke, two men in dazzling garments, evidently angels, and in John, no angels but Jesus himself in the Garden. This variance and accretion of miraculous doings is the hallmark of oral tradition. Stories gather elaborations by repetition. That process is undeniably occurring in this instance. So this is a story. It has no evidentiary weight.

    Yes, but it’s a story that Christians must hold to as the core of their religion. I would not tax them on it, other than to hold to my own opinion, if asked. For just as there is no evidence for it, the only evidence against it is what I wrote above. And if belief that Jesus of Nazareth was the son of God, dead and resurrected for the sins of the world, were to inspire Christians to live the life he led and obey his precepts, I would be quite content with the outcome.

    Alas, they usually do not. But that’s a different issue.

  6. The real miracle, I think, is the way Creationists time and again keep trying to resurrect such utterly foolish arguments like 2nd law of thermodynamics, the micro/macro mumbo jumbo, &c &c

  7. AIG should live up to its name. Where in Genesis is this resurrection described? No answer there that I can find.

  8. @Megalonyx
    The interesting arguments are those which are contrary to one another.
    The argument for the spontaneous sorting of the fossils by the waters of the Flood, contrary to the creationist misunderstanding of thermodynamics as saying that there cannot be spontaneous sorting.
    The argument that the appearance of life is improbable given the laws of nature, contrary to the idea that the laws of nature are intelligently designed to make life possible.
    Etc.