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The Resurrection: Unbelieving Explanations & Believing Expositions

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Sermon shared by Gregg Strawbridge

March 2002
Summary: An exposition of the Resurrection based on 1 Cor. 15 with a view toward seeing how Paul defends the Resurrection.
Denomination: Presbyterian/Reformed
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
INTRODUCTION

Unbelieving Explanations (skeptical theories of the resurrection)

Believing Expositions (the Pauline apologetic for the resurrection)

Evangelically Defended (15:1-2),

Scripturally Defended (15:3-4),

Evidentially Defended (15:5-7),

Experientially Defended (15:9-11),

Logically Defended (15:12-19),

Theologically Defended (15:20-22),

Eschatologically Defended (15:23-27, 51-54),

Somatologically Defended (15:35-49),

And Practically Defended (15:58)

Practical Ramifications

1) Unbelieving Explanations (skeptical theories of the resurrection)

The Theft Theory

Instead of being raised form the dead, Jesus’ body was stolen form the tomb. This explains why the tomb was empty. After the body was stolen, then the apostles began to preach the lie that He had been raised form the dead.



The Swoon Theory

Another theory asserts that instead of being killed by crucifixion, Jesus fainted on the cross. After being taken from the cross and placed in the tomb, He revived and escaped from the tomb. Then, He appeared to the apostles and they spread the lie that He had been raised from the dead.

The Hallucination Theory

This theory says that the apostles, rather than actually seeing the risen Lord, simply imagined that they saw Him. They wanted so much to believe the He was raised from the dead, they allowed their imaginations to control their reason until they believed the deceptive vision of the resurrected Jesus.

The Wrong Tomb Theory

The throe says that Jesus" body was placed in the wrong tomb. Instead of being put in Joseph’s tomb, they put the body in another tomb. Therefore, when they came to Joseph’s tomb, they found it empty because Jesus’ body had never been placed there to begin with. Then, they went about teaching that He had been raised from the dead.

My favorite is - The Dave Theory - The Impersonation Theory

How did this skepticism all start:

In his essay "Of Miracles" in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Hume argues against the identification of miracles. He actually develops his argument in two phases. In the first section he argues in principle and the second section he argues from experience or practice. There is not enough space to elaborate on all the details of his arguments, but the kernel of his argument is as follows38: 1) A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature; 2) Firm and unalterable (i.e. uniform) experience has established these laws; 3) A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence and 4) Therefore the proof against miracles is as entire as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined. Hume’s argument can be interpreted so as to preclude miracles a priori.

The Jefferson Bible: I have a copy in a box on Martha - the last words are: Luke 23: 55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

Rudolf Bultmann began with the claim that "the New Testament is essentially mythical in character." "(W)hat a primitive mythology it is, that a divine being should become incarnate and atone for the sins of men through his own blood!" "Gnostic influence" that introduced the idea that "this Christ, who died and rose again, was not a mere
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