Lee Strobel on Christ’s resurrection

Lee Strobel is so bad. Here he attempts to make the case for Christ’s resurrection. Below the video I summarize his arguments and then respond:

1. Everyone agreed that the tomb was empty after 3 days.

So? This is easily knocked down in more than one way: The accounts are simply fabricated. Or after decades of oral tradition, the truth became altered incidentally before anyone actually wrote anything. Or someone stole the body.

2. The Bible says 3 women saw the empty tomb. Since women were considered unreliable witnesses during this time, the writers would have chosen to claim that a man saw the empty tomb if they were simply making everything up.

This doesn’t do anything to address the second and third options I have above, but it also doesn’t knock down the notion that it was all fabricated. There’s no way we can possibly know why someone chose to claim women witnessed the empty tomb. That is, it makes no sense to say “We don’t know the exact reason, so it was probably simply true.”

3. Over 500 people witnesses the risen Jesus; it’s tremendously unlikely that many people hallucinated.

Unfortunately for Strobel, it isn’t tremendously unlikely that the Gospel writers simply pulled a number from thin air.

4. The disciples were willing to die for their claim that Jesus rose from the dead.

The easy way to knock this down is to point out that many people have been willing to die for their beliefs. However, Strobel has a rebuttal for that…

5. This is different. When a religiously-motivated terrorist such as an abortion-clinic bomber or one of the 9/11 hijackers believes strongly enough that he is willing to die, he can only believe. The disciples knew for a fact that Jesus had risen because they saw it.

Good grief. This is a classic case of begging the question. That is, Strobel is seeking to provide evidence for the case that Jesus was resurrected, yet his above argument assumes that Jesus did in fact rise. To put it another way, Strobel is saying that the disciples knew Jesus had risen, but for the audience (you and me) to accept that the disciples knew that, we have to assume that it’s true Jesus rose. That is the very thing this whole video is seeking to prove.

6. No one dies for a lie.

Surely people do, but Strobel’s point only speaks to the sincerity of belief anyway, not the veracity of any claim. Not only is he wrong, but even if he was right, he would still be wrong because his point would be irrelevant.

7. The accounts of the Resurrection date to as early as 2 years after it happened.

This simply isn’t true. The earliest accounts come from Paul two decades after the alleged event. Strobel, I believe, is referring to Paul’s use of early Christian creeds in his writing. His claim is misleading at best.

8. Some really good lawyer didn’t believe in the resurrection, but now he does.


Fun fact of the day

As the Earth rotates, the Sun appears to rise over the horizon. As its rays become more and more directly overhead, there is less distance for them to travel through the atmosphere in order to reach us. (This longer travel is what creates wonderful sunrises and sunsets; light is refracted at a greater rate, allowing us to see a variety of frequencies and thus colors.) Keep this in mind if you like to tan. It’s best (i.e., healthiest) to catch your rays in the morning and evening since less ultraviolet light can reach you.

And, as always, don’t believe the quacks who say sunscreen is bad for you. If you’re tanning in the middle of the day, wear it. Cancer is bad, ya know?