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The Proof You Need to Believe in Jesus (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
July 7, 2022 6:00 am

The Proof You Need to Believe in Jesus (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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July 7, 2022 6:00 am

During his more than 20 years as a homicide detective, J. Warner Wallace successfully helped identify and convict killers, even without evidence from the scene. He utilizes these same detective skills and techniques to investigate the historical life and actions of Jesus – using the evidence of history alone to confirm the historicity and deity of Jesus. In this interview, Wallace discusses his faith journey and his fascinating detective research proving the claims and historical authenticity of Jesus. (Part 2 of 2)

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Jesus is who you will think you are you really tell me that the only people notice this are for writers in the first century. Would you expect that if he's the rock you think you would you throw him in about upon the recent ripples with their best detective Jay Warner Wallace he's with us today asking some really penetrating questions.

Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family your hostess focus presidents and Dr. Jim Daly and on John: we had a great conversation with Jim Jay Warner Wallace, who had some fascinating perspectives about Christianity and why beliefs matter as he shared last time Jim was a sarcastic skeptic who had no interest in the Bible or God I love talking to people like that who did come to faith because it's so the foundation is so rock-bottom hard enough they got through it. They denied it and then they were convinced always fascinating people to talk to and if you missed it last time, get the download or come to the website and make sure you here because I thought it was full of interesting insights and he also described a unique investigative methodology as a homicide detective really concentrating on cold cases where there was nobody think of the difficulty in prosecuting that kind of crime and he supplied those concepts that he learned in that field to the existence of Christ, something he called fusion fallout which are the events that lead up to the catastrophic bomb the ordeal that occurs in all the fallout that is around it again very interesting concept. When you look at a guy from the first century and say were still talking about them today. That's a pretty big fallout right that we still talk about Jesus and his meaning to history. Jim implies that methodology to Jesus's life and man I would just say get a copy yet get a copy of the book person of interest written by J Warner Wallace and we do have those here at the ministry. Check the program notes for all the details or give us a call 800 the letter a in the word family.

Jim welcome back next to him & it was so good I I just love this area because there are so many good thoughts that you can give to a nonbeliever to just make them think that was what I expressed last time you know when I was in college and I came to this conclusion.

I better read the word of God. I'm reading this business books on preparing myself vocationally, but this is the most important book to read. Yeah, and I constantly will encounter people on this is that skeptic in me writes I didn't have any Christians.

My life growing up that if you asked, I still see this if you ask of people are you a Christian. The most popular answer I get is I was raised in the church somebody. My parents were believers.

Somebody raised that is the number one answer you get the second most popular answer is I will have had an experience that demonstrated for me that Christianity was true of prayer was answered. I had a certain experience. After reading Scripture, yet we believe as Christians.

Those other experiences do not actually point to the truth.

So what I want to say is that we haven't have a worldview that is grounded in a historical event is not grounded in the wisdom teaching of the prophet or the wisdom statements of an un-ancient sage is, of course, Jesus makes the statements but it's grounding in the resurrection event and incur none of this is true right and that means we can test this in a way that other religious worldviews cannot test their claims. This is grounded in history we ought to be able to say yes.

I was raised in the church, perhaps over. I've had experience a democracy, but I was able to test that experience against what I can examine you know is true, evidentially because were in the one place where we could do that. By the way, I got grown kids and on one of my sons will tell you that there was a season in which he was kind of wondering, but because he knew and raised this way that he knew it was evidentially true. There's only so far, you're going to go correct that reprimand theology right if you go too far from Urbana let go. It snaps it hurts a little bit go further. It hurts even more so if you can help your kids not stray too far because they know it's true.

And he can only do so much with what's true. While that's where I think we can make a difference when I love that very point is evidence-based. It's history there's records both in the Scripture outside the Scripture who Jesus was a chain that can oppose us back. We have new viewers new listeners today.

Jim so I want to recap a little bit on this idea of fusion fallout. It's such a powerful concept and for most of us who do not work as detectives, it's helpful to hear how you apply what you learned in your vocation as a homicide detective to the truth claims of Christ to give us that refresher on fusion fallout sure if we got a case we got no evidence in the crime scene. We have to make the case a different way and articulate what tell jurors that we've got every case occurs in a timeline this time before the crime and a time after the crime and the day of the crime if it was a murder instead of seizures ran off. Let's say, or she is vanished and she's out there somewhere living her life. While the net is an explosive day and that mom was preceded by a fuse of tension that was rising until something happens bad and then after that bomb explodes you got fallout and shrapnel all over the blast radius will look if you didn't have any information from the New Testament if every New Testament.

Imagine this thought experiment or every New Testament have been successfully destroyed by some evil future regime so I don't have a single manuscript or a single Bible they're all but destroyed.

It turns out from just the fuse and fallout of history you can reconstruct in its entirety. The story of Jesus, you could be saved with the information you would just get from the fuse and fallout so that even if every New Testament had been destroyed. This is the kind of impact that Jesus has a reason why we call this the first century, even though it's not the first century okay centuries before the first century we keep on calling it the first century because something explosive happened and that with the explosive thing is about it know anything Scripture I can reconstruct what that was, just from the fuse and fall out of history. So in that fallout section because we covered a lot of the fuse last time.

So in the fallout of the investigation work and we see how Jesus transformed our world and those remarkable ways.

What's the evidence. John looking at two things. Number one is that, does he have outsized impact impact it makes sense only if he is who he said he was.

In other words, he's either fiction or as a regular old sage in the first century or he is the God of the universe to be back in his creation. So the question as I can see the kind of impact that makes sense of number three, the only only to be explained if he is God stepping his creation. So that's why Wanda knows impact was number one, but number two is is is impact so dramatic and so unique that his story can be reconstructed from the impact I'm looking at those areas that were important to me as an atheist does our literature, art, music, education, science those of the things unbelievable that I thought were the most important. As an atheist does a six category which is world religions. Every other theistic worldview. Turns out Jesus had so much impact on literature, art, music, education, science and world religions that his story can be reconstructed from those aspects of our culture. Even if every New Testament was destroyed and that makes no sense at all unless of course he is who he said he was what about the skeptic that might say those were all manipulated things from an emerging European perspective is that that's a great question. This is all forced on humanity by these people that return to shape and manipulate people. Yeah I was a skeptic that had been my claim. So for example when these claims is made about you know the oversized impact of Christians with the Christian worldview in the sciences, people don't really understand, but it turns out that the scientific revolution was dominantly Christian is happening in Europe under Kristin them, and now it let me just add because I like your response to this than the basis there was. They believed in God and therefore they could know the universe that God is created.

That was kind of the plan as I did the seven igniters that we can discuss the store but yeah part it was the number one they believed in a singular, orderly, rational God right is distinct from his creation. If you're a pantheon of disorderly debauchery is God's that are consciously stealing your spouse and doing all kinds of drunken debauchery. Why would you expect that the created order would be reasonable and rational that we believe in an orderly, rational, God is not actually in creation as part of it, but is distinct from the creation he creates. The point is on planet Earth. Europe is a small part of their many more people who weren't living in Europe and were on planet Earth.

There were many more people who were not Christians than work. Why isn't where the sciences catalyze and take off in Asia or North Africa or in India or other places where cultures had impact. It happens under Kristin them in Europe because the Christian worldview acts as a catalyst for what was originally called natural philosophy and then became called science and this is what you see is matter fact I traced all of this. If you look at the scientists who founded their disciplines. These are called the science fathers you the father of modern astronomy. The father of modern the father of quantum mechanics.

Whatever may be more fathers of scientific disciplines are Christ followers than all other groups combined. As a matter fact, if you click the science fathers who also wrote about Jesus of the church fathers.

What about geez you can reconstruct the story of Jesus from just the church fathers. But it turns out you can reconstruct more of the story of Jesus from the science fathers than you can from the church fathers and I think it was a realize that it's not just that he had huge impact is that his story can be reconstructed from the history of science. Yeah I read again the book is chock-full of these observations, which is why people need to get a copy. Let me ask you this.

You mentioned your father was a policeman and you went into the arts and into architecture how did those disciplines help you as you kind of swerved back into follow up behind your dad is a detective liking data for several years working in law enforcement I was in the arts and seasonal regular pot about 10 years and I remember working in a firm in Santa Monica and just telling Susie and I don't see us here. I don't see any other couples who are having families that are not very conservative views about marriage and family even before I was a Christian and I just didn't see anyone like us there, so I my dad denies this is a noble profession as a calling and before I knew it calling was, so I followed them in law enforcement I was 27 and I can tell you that for a long time. I struggled a phallic and needed a creative outlet. I had no creative outlet and I start a police band up of officers placement behest, we played music for a while and then eventually Knox I was involved.

Architecture was constantly getting asked to draw the murder scenes before I was even assigned a hotel exercise. So eventually when I got to doing jury trials. I started to help the DA visualize this for jurors, which is why this views and fallout. That's a visual model put on the screen for jurors to see how this works. That is always color the way I look at these investigations. So here I wanted to look at the arts because it turns out that from the arts alone every episode of the Gospels is been painted by an ancient or sculpted or etched or drawn by an ancient so that the story of Jesus to be completely reconstructed from just the most ancient forms of art so you have to destroy more than the New Testament to get rid of the story of Jesus he had to destroy many, many buildings and surfaces in which that image is been imaged. Jesus is the most imaged character in all historical figures and the reason why that is. So if you look at him, he changes based on culture. If you're Chinese your drawing Jesus as Chinese probably you're probably using a artistic language that is local to your urination to your region. So if you look at, say, Buddha, as he's imaged in China compared to India compared to South America. He's imaged pretty much the same, but if you look at Jesus and how he's imaged in those three locations here are so radically different because he looks like the people group who sees him as their personal savior. Fasten and so that's why think he he inspire so many are is that fallout effect to any mention this in your touching on all the arts but also architecture no absolute rush on that with yes churches and what are you laws that have to do that again.

I will have to talk about that again. That fallout perspective that Jesus never existed. He was right.

If man you have the ripple effect that you mentioned at the top oh well you seem at this the arts needed a studio in which to develop and and many Christians were artistically inspired but think about how we first met in the Adobe or not Adobe but mud kinda constructed small residential homes in the Middle East.

Think about that that was a dark, cool it was cooler because you know is a hot environment but they were dark small environments.

What we had a desire as a group to reflect the nature of Jesus is not described as the dark described as the light we also had a desire to think about our salvation in the heavenly aspirations we have as a people group and it turns out those two aspirations to reflect the light of Jesus and the heavenly aspirations of the gospel impacted would be started to change our environments so that for example dome architecture is to be so dominant in Christian churches because we want to look up and see the awesome heavens that have inspired us from the very beginning. If you look at, say for example St. Peter's and Michelangelo's great dome there, you'll see that the engineering's feet to create some of these spaces is pretty remarkable. Then we also need to kinda make those walls lighter to allow light in. So the can of Gothic movement in which the structure of churches is forced outward to allow for glass walls to come on the inside membrane. While that ends up creating spaces that are ridiculously beautiful boys the effort what's driving it is not just a want cool buildings was driving is that we want to reflect the space that reflects the light Jesus as the light in our heavenly aspirate is not the Savior and salvation that drives the shaping of these spaces and that drives an entire movement and architecture and continues to do that, but again, what is an interesting of all historical figures who else is inspired more movements in the arts, literature, music education science than Jesus. And if you think there's somebody else out there who not only had the impact of inspiration but also who story can be reconstructed from this inspiration. Tell me who that is a chimp just to further that discussion on music.

Let's make sure we catch like his music is really interesting to me. Of course, Bock talked about the beauty, the orderliness of it, how it reflects God. I've heard others talk about its distinct attribute of human beings that this is the creative source.

This is what gives evidence that were made in the image of God that were able to create music and enjoy music that's a really interesting concept speak to Jesus's impact on music a lot deeper and think about. That's a good point because we sing about the things we care about most deeply was seen but we worship it most. It does and turns out in the very beginning, the Christian worldview has been a singing worldview because this things a set him at the Last Supper right that hymn is often thought to be one of the Psalms of David just been singing the Psalms of David for thousands of years okay as matter fact if all you had was the music song in him form of the first 300 years of the common area you can reconstruct the entire story of Jesus from just the songs we sing about him, to destroy more than the New Testament, but also the history of early music in the common era was interesting about that is that we think about where else in the world. Is there a worldview that puts singers on a stage every week singing in front of a live audience. That's called the church.

We do this all the time and so we have advanced the cause of music so you but we have the words of the hymns in the words of the Psalms. Would you like to know what the court they were playing more when I think you were the melody was, well, it turns out the reason why you could hear melody is because a Christian invented musical notation. There was no musical notation harmonies. We invented these major scales, minor scales, mostly estimate your playing today were created for the purpose of advancing music in the church and so eat. We contributed not just to some great music but also to the history of music making in a way that is really unparalleled. This is because Christians wanted to sink as matter fact I did a search of all of the pop music live entire Christian music industry a course on the side of the Christian music industry. There's the pop industry and the secular music industry site is search of all the Rolling Stone database the IMDb. The Billboard magazine, like who were the top 100 artists in the last hundred and 50 years but turns out this list of these things, so I just took the entire list, up and together hundred and 60 artist. I was 100 and 5060 artists and robots in the book. Why look at their personal catalog all but two of these secular artists have sung about Jesus of Nazareth audit.

Not only all but to not the thing about that that this cannot be said of any other person to claim deity or any other religious leader, or any other historical figure known as sung about anyone as much as a son about Jesus and the artist would strangest places.

For example status on a thing called Jesus thinks you're a jerk that is confronting it is not is not positive is on it's a negative song being the point is that it's a racist, yet you can either infuriate you inspire you move you in some way positively or negative, you cannot get away from the influence of Jesus on music and so is not just that, so I would say this would appear listening to it is pop music. If it's country music of its hip-hop whatever it is it's built on certain structural forms that are utterly dependent on Christians to invent them over the years so that today you have those structural forms in place so you can listen the kind of music you like last because Christians probably invented yeah Jim when we look at all the great people in human history, kings, queens, conquerors, explorers, inventors, philosophers know and everybody else what is your conclusion about their impact on the world.

Compared to the impact that Jesus had left was so remarkable by Jesus of Nazareth. It's really hard to explain it because you know were: as the first century and why we call it the first century.

Why can I just challenge you to look at every significant figure in history who lived in the first century and go from as far east as you can as far west side to go beyond the couple yeah honestly I may list up in the books.

I think most of you will look at God, knowing these people because they had no impact on history the way that this guy this sage from this small part of the Roman Empire. This guy who really had. Think about it three years. He lives in a small is born and nowhere town raisin and they're nowhere town only was about 200 miles from start to finish has three years to accomplish his mission. The people who are religious, reject the people who are powerful are hunting him heat so they love them in the denying or betraying him in some way.

He's got no will establish family of merit no education you can think of that would really cause this no kids to extend his legacy. No wife nope does write a book, never leads a nation never rules an army. This is the guy who then eventually is falsely accused, brutally mocked, humiliated, executed it to borrow a grave to bury him. This is the guy is that the story would right of a great conquerors without access is still upside down what your expectations would be for someone like this that if you take all of the leaders and not just get beyond the first century look at every historic powerful leader in history. Ask yourself who has impacted literature, art, music, education, science and world religion so deeply that his story can be reconstructed from those aspects of human culture, all-white because you're not gonna find anyone. It's Jesus of Nazareth. That to me is remarkably unexpected. That's what would be true if he is who he said he was yeah and Jimmy were coming in maybe only a couple questions left the one I really wanted to cover especially for the person who's watching or listening. That may be where you are at. When you're 35 hardcharging criminal. You know, investigator all that.

What was the tipping point. I mean, what open your eyes to spiritual things versus the facts and nothing but the facts I would get asked that question procedures what I do right in my cases.

I'm working cumulative circumstantial cases and that is means bad evidence. Circumstantial edges anything other than an eyewitness is called indirect evidence. Circumstantial evidence even DNA is circumstantial thing a prince or circumstantial evidence, so I'm looking at cumulative cases. In other words, 80 things point to the sky. Is this the weight is death by thousand paper cuts right it is really that that one thing is seem like much but when he had 80 things point of this is I get to a point examining what's in the New Testament, and that all of this impact outside the New Testament where I finally said okay. I trust that the New Testament is telling me something true about Jesus that does not make you a Christian mean the devils believe something is true about Jesus, but the other demons believe this but does mean their Christ followers correct so I was at this way. That to me about nine months and there was no hot tipping point moment there but I did get to the point.

I told Susie I said, I think this is telling me to be true about Jesus, but I don't understand why God would have to die this way and come this way. Do you get that and she's I don't get it either.

So okay so here we are.

We've already now vetted the New Testament and I was examining to see what it said about Jesus. What changed for me was when I started read the New Testament to see what it said about me, that's when you start to have the moments because it's read the Romans is read to first Corinthians is a spiritual man of the natural man right that the no one is ever generally chases guy we all reject God. This is really what I realized that Paul was talking about me. That's we start having moments.

So, if you will read look at some point I realize that that person is describing is in need of a Savior that describes me but because I read in the homework to know there was a Savior I was able to connect that duck pretty easily. Yeah so what I was is this I wrote about this in years ago I used to work homicides and I also worked officer involved shootings. I had an officer involved shooting. One night when we come out we interview the officer got involved in the shooting. He stopped the car for a drunk driving. He gets a drunk driver out and the drunk driver actually ends up wanting to kill the officer because he's on parole that he does not want the officer discoveries got a gun in his waistband.

So as he gets this guy out of the car he the guy turns on the officer he's pointing the gun at the officer. He made a decision that night he would rather kill the officers and go to jail right. The officer survived it and he's now I'm interviewing him and he tells me that that moment he knew I do. I mean it was a millisecond I jump I could try to he just said you know what I knew I was wearing my bulletproof vest and I had seen that best stop bullets in the range could we shoot them, and so I knew that was going to hurt but if I could just tense but not my muscles I could take the first couple rounds and get my gun out and return fire so he stood there calmly and eventually survived the shooting right now on shipping but that for a second. That's pretty harrowing came from courageous, but the reason why he was able to stand calmly in a difficult situation was because he already knew evidentially that that best to stop the bullets and if you know something is true, evidentially when you're in a tough spot. You will end up defaulting like muscle memory to what you know is evidentially true and so I want my kids as I raised. I hope that they know that this is evidentially true, anemic, and you have a treasure and have a tough time to be tempted to say where is God in this, but if you know that this worldview can stop bullets you will stand in the gunfight and so I think we have to help our kids to understand that this is not just my wishful thinking, or one of many options that will make your life better. This is actually true and it will stop bullets you and I think that's one of the reasons I was so excited to talk to.

And again it it paralleled my experience in my 20s just getting the head knowledge and the confidence that this was real, and then all the evidence that you've outlined that I didn't have at the time. I wish I had your book but you know it just it helps open your heart to the reality of God and combination needs to happen.

You can't just believe with your heart, your dad has uneven role is a both a writer he was not against the experience I is what this experience to be tested right and I just think that's the most powerful. I think of Paul that way. He was a brilliant man. It's kind of funny when he went to Marcel Mason, who is this babbler man is one of the best community for his neighbors and it was a babbling after he was willing to engage people on Mars Hill right this is what we have to be was a look ever notices sometimes it in a dog yard. The most yapping dog is a Chihuahua. The quiet God is the great Dane happen to have the great Dana worldview is often end up sounding like Chihuahuas don't know how strong our worldview is well that I get.

Not unlike a lot of people totally understand the point, Jim.

This is been terrific and I just hope in him to take a couple copies of them for my boys because I want them to read it person of interest why Jesus still matters in a world that rejects the Bible get a copy. I mean it. This will equip you to talk with people to give you lots of information about the reality of Jesus, and I can think of the better source outside of the Scripture itself to support the truth claims of Christ and the impact through diffusion fallout analogy that you can share with other people. So get a copy. Support us if you can monthly that's great or one-time gift and will send you the book is our way of saying thank you for joining us in ministry and boy I just don't know how else to say get it donated. As you can today by calling 800 K and the word family 800-232-6459 or stop by the program description for all the details. To begin, thanks for being with this. I'm excited to meet you and talk with you. Let's keep that relationship going. Thanks much for having a contest is been such a blessing to me.

Well were glad you joined us as well to listen along here for Focus on the Family and coming up tomorrow. What is your ultimate goal as a parent third John for John, since I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth and so to me it's what is the first priority. What is the Northstar that I'm aiming at. On behalf of Jim Daly, and the entire team. Thanks for joining us I'm John Fuller inviting back next time.

As we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ. I was shocked when she gave me the divorce papers. I was so died I had reached my breaking point. I was desperate for a shred of hope. So I called the hope restored team at Focus on the Family they they listen to me and they asked about what was happening in my marriage. They encouraged me and my wife to attend one of their marriage intensive's for couples in crisis and they prayed with us. They help me believe that my marriage could be saved agreed to go but was skeptical that anything can help us but the whole environment was so safe and nonjudgmental from a high-tech and open up as we worked with the counselors. Both of us still have work to do in her marriage but for the first time in a long time we have hope again Focus on the Family's hope restored marriage intensive program has helped thousands of couples who thought that their marriage with over find out which program is right for you and hope

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