OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
Are you comparing one person who claims to be an eyewitness or even multiple people who claim to be eyewitnesses to seeing Elvis to the hundreds of eyewitnesses documented as having seen the risen savior?
“It isn’t simply about seeing and hearing, but about seeing and hearing in a particular way, from a particular angle. The Gospels were not neutral, objective accounts of what happened; rather, the Gospels were prejudiced from the start. They told of the Good News, which is a perspective on the world. It wasn’t just witnessing the events, but witnessing them from a particular angle, from lenses colored by trust.”
You must be reading different Gospels than me. The disciples had all huddled together in fear that they might be the next to be killed. Even though Jesus had told them that He would rise again…they really didn’t understand it and weren’t expecting it. So their lenses weren’t colored by trust when they saw the risen savior.
To be fair, their lenses were colored once the Gospels were written. But you are missing an obvious fact. They were afraid…then they saw Jesus…then they boldly went out and declared Jesus as Lord. What changed? It wasn’t that they realized they wouldn’t be next to be killed. In fact, all but one of the disciples were martyred. It was that they realized that a Christ who raises from the dead must indeed be God. They then came to the conclusion that to live is Christ and to die is gain. And that realization only came as a result of seeing Jesus alive.
The 1st century Christian movement could not have been the result of a conspiracy to lie about Jesus resurrection because people don’t die for what they know to be a lie. Granted, people die for lies all of the time (take Muslim suicide bombers for example). But they don’t think they are dying for a lie. It is clear that the disciples and many of the others who saw Jesus after his resurrection were 100% certain of what they saw.
Do you really think the person who claims to have seen Elvis is 100% certain? Would they die for their belief that Elvis is alive?
It has been said before but it is worth saying again. Faith in Christ is in fact faith (no amount of evidence can change that). But Hebrews 11 says that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we don’t see. Christianity is a faith system that has always been subject to verification. Luke, for example, documented the words of the eyewitnesses, so that ‘you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught’. We, as Christians, aren’t asked to have blind faith. We are asked to look at the evidence of the world around us (which reveals that a God exists); the evidence that we are all empty and searching for something (Ecc 3:11) (which reveals a need for a relationship with God); the evidence of the Old Testament which identifies God in action amongst His people (more eyewitnesses by the way); the evidence of hundreds of prophecies fulfilled in the person of Christ (which can’t just be a coincidence); the evidence of the eyewitness accounts from people who gave their lives defending what they know they saw; etc. While all of this evidence doesn’t change the fact that we must have faith…it does provide intellectually supportable support for Christian faith.