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by Tyler Smith
Many Christians believe that for faith to be authentic, it must be free from any doubt. While this may be an ideal, it’s far from realistic. Many characters in God’s Word—including Abraham and John the Baptist—experienced episodes of doubt. Though hopefully such experiences are the exception rather than the norm, the truth is, most Christians occasionally struggle with doubt—even apologists.
So what is the proper relationship between faith and doubt in the lives of believers? To even come close to answering that question, we must confront an even more fundamental issue. Do we have to prove Christianity beyond a reasonable doubt?
Dr. Mike Licona has grappled with such questions for years. This has led him to dispel claims about contradictions in the Gospels and, most notably, look to the resurrection of Jesus as a litmus test for the truth of Christianity.
Christians claim that the resurrection of Jesus was a historical event with theological implications. If Jesus rose from the dead, then we have a strong reason to believe in the validity of Christianity; if he didn’t, then Christianity is false. Since Christians claim the resurrection is a historical event, one set of tools we can can use to verify that claim is the historical method. If, using historical methodology, the resurrection can be proven to have occurred then, by implication, there is strong reason to believe all of those theological implications are also true—Jesus is who he said he is, and Christianity has a rational, historically verifiable basis.
So how can we use the historical method to prove the resurrection of Jesus actually occurred?…
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