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Friday, February 22, 2013

Why I Still Believe: Pascal, The Resurrection

Why I Still Believe: Pascal, The Resurrection
The question every person must answer is “Do I believe in Jesus enough to put my faith in him?” There is no need to convince the world that you’re right. You can try. But faith, at its core, is personal. 

The fact that some don’t believe only shows that God will not coerce or force people to faith. Deniers of Jesus’ resurrection make my faith stronger.




Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Life: What's My Spiritual Center?

Why I Still Believe: Pascal, The Resurrection

By Evan Nehring

Faith is still as simple as a Sunday School story for me, but it’s also grown much deeper and more complex. It has had to.
 
Christians are sometimes respected, but sometimes ridiculed. Around the world, Christians are still persecuted and killed simply for their faith in Jesus. If we want to stand firm in the face of opposition, we need to know why we believe.
 

Pascal’s reasons of the heart


Blaise Pascal. Published in the US before 1923 and public domain in the US.

Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician and Catholic philosopher in the 1600’s. One of his most famous quotes has resonated with devoted hearts through the ages:
"The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing."[1]
This is that part of belief where you look at yourself in the mirror and you know in the deepest part of your heart that this is true. In Bible terms, it’s the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. When my brain stops churning and analyzing, I know.
 

The resurrection

I can’t deny the resurrection of Jesus. The biblical account convinces me. Christian apologetic work convinces me. Arguments against the resurrection ring hollow.
 
Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ includes a section, four chapters, answering objections to the historical resurrection of Jesus.[2] He interviews four Ph. D.’s on these subjects:
  • The Medical Evidence – Was Jesus’ Death a Scam and His Resurrection a Hoax?
  • The Evidence of the Missing Body – Was Jesus Body Really Absent from His Tomb?
  • The Evidence of Appearances – Was Jesus Seen Alive after His Death on the Cross?
  • The Circumstantial Evidence – Are There Any Supporting Facts That Point to the Resurrection?
Strobel’s interviews more than satisfy my questions about the resurrection of Jesus. And he’s not alone. The stadium of academic witness is sold out, standing room only.
 
These are two of the reasons why I still believe. I'll have more posts on this coming...
 
The question every person must answer is “Do I believe in Jesus enough to put my faith in him?” There is no need to convince the world that you’re right. You can try. But faith, at its core, is personal.

The fact that some don’t believe only shows that God will not coerce or force people to faith. Deniers of Jesus’ resurrection make my faith stronger.
 

[1] Blaise Pascal. Pensées, #277 (New York: Penguin, 1966), 154.
[2] Lee Strobel. The Case for Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), 189-257.
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