I’ve decided to spend some time writing extremely short explanations about why I am an evangelical Protestant Christian instead of anything else.
I have two aims.
First, I want show how an honest person can evaluate rival religions using the laws of logic, scientific evidence and historical evidence. Second, I want people who are not religious to understand that religions are either true or it is false. Religions should not be chosen based where you were born, what your parents believed, or what resonates with you. A religion should be embraced for the same reason as the theory of gravity is embraced: because it reflects the way the world really is.
Why I am not Jewish
- Jewish persons can’t believe that God raised Jesus from the dead.
- There are historical criteria for determining what parts of historical biographies are true.
- If we apply the historical criteria to the Gospels and Paul’s letters, a set of minimal facts about Jesus’ death, (and what happened after), can be extracted.
- Among these facts are the burial, the empty tomb, the post-mortem appearances and the early belief in the resurrection.
- There are no good naturalistic explanations for these minimal facts.
- The best explanation of these minimal facts is that God raised Jesus from the dead.
- Therefore, Jewish persons are mistaken in their beliefs about the resurrection of Jesus.
It’s interesting to note that Pinchas Lapide, an Orthodox Jewish New Testament scholar, accepts the resurrection of Jesus as a historical event. But, he thinks that only Gentiles are saved by Jesus’ atoning death. He believes that Jews must still attain salvation by the law.
I would like to see more formal debates featuring Jewish scholars and Christian scholars on the resurrection.