“Can We Believe in the Resurrection?” sermon by Shiao Chong
Preached on April 19, 2020 for Fellowship CRC, Etobicoke; Text: John 20:1-10, 19-31
Many people today can probably relate to the apostle Thomas when faced with the claim that Jesus rose from the dead. Non-believers they will probably say, “Show me the proof! Show me empirical, scientific, measurable, and something that I can see, touch and know for certain that this is true then I’ll believe it! Otherwise, why should I believe you?” And I don’t blame them. When it is something as miraculous and as far-fetched as the physical, bodily resurrection, I don’t blame anyone if they are skeptical and would like some tangible proof.
And let’s face it – the resurrection of Jesus is something that is difficult to believe. Even the apostles, like Thomas, couldn’t believe it either. Ancient people back then knew as well as we do that dead people don’t come back to life.
So, do we have any proof that Jesus rose from the dead? Or have we been believing a fiction?
Today, I will give some rational reasons that support our belief in the resurrection. We may not have proofs beyond any doubt but we do have good rational reasons to believe in the resurrection. It is not irrational. For the sake of time, I will give you three reasons why I think the resurrection of Jesus was not made-up by the early Christians. Here are my three reasons:
Recently, I read a book called, Debunk It! How to Stay Sane in a World of Misinformation by John Grant (Zest Books 2014). I don’t agree with everything the author espouses but I do agree with the need for us to rise above the world of misinformation that is pervasive these days on the internet. And Christians, sadly enough, are as guilty – sometimes even more guilty – of misrepresenting and misinforming news and facts. Often, the more controversial the issue, or the bigger the stakes, the more likely or tempting it is for Christians to resort to exaggerating or stretching the truth a little, maybe leaving some facts out so as to give false impressions without actually flat out lying. To that end, Grant’s book – Debunk It! – lays out some strategies to arm ourselves to detect such misinformation when we see them.
In this post, I want to lay out some tactics of deceptive arguments – false argumentation – that are (whether intentionally or not) often used to make claims sound actually true or logical. Sad to say, I have read many some Christian books, especially in folk apologetics – i.e. apologetics, the art of rationally defending the faith, done by less than professional specialists – who have employed these disreputable tools for the sake of winning an argument for the faith! I think Christians should do better. Now, some militant atheists resort to the same tools to discredit Christianity but Christians should not stoop to that same level of argumentation. Christians who believe that truth-telling is an important spiritual virtue should do better than rely on dubious misinformations and rhetorical methods that do not advance truth but only score points to win an argument. Speaking the truth in love is not speaking to win at all costs. So, here is a list of some of those tactics of deception drawn from Grant’s book. Continue reading “Tactics of Deception”→
Today’s blog post is by a York student, David Ekere. David has been involved in my ministry since the 2013-14 academic year. By his own admission, he wrote a seven page paper on “Why Teens Leave the Church” one night when he was “bored from studying”! We might be seeing a future youth pastor in the making! And he sent it to me for my feedback. Part of my ministry’s mission is to develop the leadership potential in students. Hence, I choose to empower David’s voice and passion by posting a revised version of his paper on my blog. I have to edit the paper down to a more blog-friendly length, and also changed his paper’s tone. So, here is the David-approved edited version with my brief responsive remarks after the paper.