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March 25, 2021 8:43 pm
.1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome to this of this in a viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry in with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM. We also been pleased to have with us this week Jay Warner Wallace Jim Wallace is a good friend of ours who has written a number of excellent books on apologetic issues. The one that's I would say more well-known would be cold case Christianity Jim, would you agree with that. I mean certainly that is yet that is a great book and I think you're right, you are always helping right all the doctors the next. There you go Lily give our listeners a little bit of your background. If they haven't been able to catch earlier shows your dateline that's the TV program dateline featured cold case homicide detective, you continue to consult on cold case investigations while serving as a senior fellow at the Colson Center for Christian worldview in Colorado Springs. You're also an adjunct professor of apologetics at Talbot school of theology in La Mirada, California and Southern Evangelical seminary in Charlotte North Carolina as well as a faculty member at Summit ministries at Manatee Springs, Colorado were looking at your booklet titled alive.
A cold case approach to the resurrection and because Easter is coming up and also as we mentioned earlier this week, we find that a lot of Latter Day Saints. When they find out that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not true and that Joseph Smith is not a true prophet of God can do.
Jettison all religious faith, even though as Latter Day Saints. They claimed to believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and I challenge a lot of former Mormons on that when they tell me there. Now ATS.
I said okay so you're telling me that while you were Latter Day Saints. You told people you were a Christian and you told people you believed in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, but yet what did you find since then that prove to you that he didn't rise from the dead, and usually I can hear the crickets chirping. After I asked that question so that's why think this is an important subject. And so today we're going to talk about a criticism that is been known as the legend theory. This is what you say in your booklet alive. You say the disciples observations were distorted. Later some unbelievers claim the original observations of the disciples were amplified and distorted as the legend of Jesus grew over time these skeptics believe that Jesus may have been a wise teacher but argue that the resurrection is a legendary and historically late exaggeration what your response to that important claimant, Bart Ehrman, the skeptic wrote a book called how Jesus became God where he can take whatever early version of Jesus there wisely got distorted over time, with 300 years between the advancing white city Council land ICM are trying to decide which of these canonical Gospels is going to be in what to do with a noncanonical Gospel, things like that so there's a lot of time here which to make changes that hit if you can do to check that encompassed the chain of custody and in criminal trials, we can simply ask who handled the evidence from the point of the crime. The point of the trial in this case who handled that story of Jesus from the actual observations to the time in which its finally codified in the New Testament Canon and if you look at that is greatly began their likely like Johnny make certain claims about Jesus, but he passed them on to somebody we know who you pass them onto passed them on the PPS Ignatius and Polycarp. So those people. Now we can find their writings. Now you're not New Testament that they are ancient manuscripts written to each other, written to local congregations.
We can ask the question, is the story as told by Ignatius, Polycarp, baby. It is a match. John knew now just one generation. These are the people who sat at the feet of the eyewitness did a story similar to that story that has a recorded bit or no virgin conception is there no walking on water is are no resurrection other words, all the key important elements of Jesus still intact or as a missing exhibit missing and we can argue they were added later will it turns out the very first students of the eyewitnesses say the exact same thing about Jesus of the eyewitnesses think they learned it from the eyewitness is not added later. This is the story from the beginning. We can check who their students are Ignatius and Polycarp had a student in Aaron and Sharon and had a student in Hippolytus, you can go to heel to toe, from teacher to student through history and see if the story of Jesus is changing as you read the manuscripts of those people in the chain of custody. What you discover is that no one ever changes the story the owner believe is true. Okay, I can only present the evidence to you, but the idea that it's changed over time is evidentially false. There's another theory at Jim and there's actually several others like the unknown to the disciples did know where the two mines where they went to the wrong tomb. There's one other that is called the Jesus tomb and actually has some popularity today. It was a documentary by James Cameron of Titanic pain who said that this too many found in the neighborhood in Jerusalem very well could have been the tumor Jesus was because they found an ossuary and there was the name of Jesus on the ossuary which is the bone box.
It sounds like we have proof that there was a bone box that had Jesus bones in it for a couple of things about that number one how determining that box.
The box of Jesus of Nazareth was that clear right what you have instead arson etchings on the box that identify names that are found in the holy family right. The problem of course is if you look at any research done on this and a lot of research has been done on as a matter of fact James Bottomley written a book called Jesus and the eyewitnesses in which he cites the work of Talia Lon who is on studied biblical names stay study the names in the first century where the most popular names in the first century in the area around Jerusalem. What you discover is that Joseph and Mary and Jesus are amongst the top five or six most popular names in the region in the first century so I'm not surprised that you can find burial sites in which all three of those names or two of the three hour are are in place because those were some of the most popular names. The narrative in the New Testament is delivered to the monitor cross went and prepare the body in the tomb and then you suggest that somehow they would mistakenly go to the wrong tomb. The next day is not as though you don't have a custody like I custody of the body of Jesus that would take them to the tomb. Originally then bring them back to the same term. The next day. It would also mean that the entire story is a lie and that means it falls in the category we talked about this week. This idea that the entire story is just a lie. A conspiratorial lot. You only know why I rejected that idea.
So there are several reasons why this notion that the long term only got the wrong tomb identified or that this tomb they happened to have an empty box is based on the names that are in the tomb. This is somehow to be Jesus. Unfortunately be great if it is that meaning Jesus's name was balderdash that will possibly the only balderdash in Jerusalem in the first century, but it turns out those are the most common names so I know that we can use that was really no way to verify the claims that are made in that movie we talked about all of these theories that are not very good when it comes to the evidence.
Why do you think the historical resurrection of Jesus is the best way to view what happened to the body of Jesus. Well all all explanations have strengths and weaknesses and this is true for the atheist explanation of their strengths and their weaknesses and weaknesses outweigh the strength but you have a strength and a weakness with the Christian explanation to. I never suggested that the question exhalation is all strong, all strength and no weakness.
The strength is that it actually describes the first pieces of evidence that we talked about earlier in the week at the most robustly and it accounts for all of the evidence.
All of the claims. If it just happened that way, that the New Testament described it then okay the claims in the New Testament makes sense.
But here's the weakness as an atheist, that I had and that was that it requires something supernatural to occur, and there is a game changer for most people. In other words, it requires a supernatural resurrection and there are a lot of people would say once you include something supernatural in a writing genre, you're no longer doing history here now doing mythology, supernatural things don't occur example of this entire New Testament just told the story of Jesus of Nazareth is ancient sage and preaches really great messages. He developed disciples, but he never did a single miracle. He was not born on the verge and he didn't rise from the grave, would there be anyone in scholarship who would doubt the veracity of the historicity of Jesus the manuscript evidence he would be the most is today the most undocumented ancient in the history of ancient and nobody would doubt a single claim about him if there were no supernatural claims it was just a natural version of Jesus, but then you have the miracles, and then you have the resurrection, and suddenly the same level of certainty. You have before is in doubt because you're making supernatural claims, and that was my problem.
As an atheist I rejected the supernatural out of hand and how that change for me was my starting to think about my own view of Big Bang cosmology, the entire universe. All space, time and matter came into existence from nothing that is still the standard cosmological model amongst astrophysicists and cosmologists. There are other options. Of course, but that is still called the standard cosmological model and I embraced it.
That model says it will universe that that has a beginning, in which all space, time and matter came in into being at the Big Bang would say what that means.
Whatever caused the beginning of the universe by definition has to be outside of space, time and matter and will also call space, time and matter in acted on by physics and chemistry.
We call that nature. If you're outside of space, time and matter. Your outside of natural explanations so that the real embrace of view of the universe. Big Bang cosmology or standard cosmological model. I already had to embrace some form of extra naturalism and if that was outside of space-time and matter was a supernatural being rather than an impersonal force, and it seemed to me that the biggest miracle recorded in Scripture is not on the pages in the New Testament, all its in Genesis 1 and that every miracle on the pages of the New Testament are what I call small potato miracles. If there is a God.
They can create everything from nothing. I'm guessing that walking on water is not a big arise in the grave is not a big deal.
So I asked myself that I'm only ready and willing to embrace this form of cosmology. Why am I rejecting anything extra natural here and open my eyes with a little bit to that effect. I held a bias by the way, my believe in the standard cosmological model does not called me to live differently. But if I was to embrace this God of the New Testament. I would recognize the difference between me and God, and it would cause Miss Xavier Ellicott embrace some form of submission that I'm not the authority to get to make every decision determine what's right what's wrong, what's good with bad writing that was really the movement I needed to make in my belief system but don't think for a second I have to get there without reasoning from evidence is not true. You can get to surrender faith in Christ as Savior by reasoning your way. Given the evidence that God has provided us both in special revelation and in the natural world.
We see this in Psalm 19 write the heavens declare the glory of God the Skype in the work of his hands. Paul tells us in Romans, you have no excuse. You know there's a creator simply from viewing the creation on the end I wanted to do both of those things I wanted to investigate special revelation. The book of Scripture and the natural about revelation.
The book of nature that dictates come to a conclusion and that's why today I'm not a Mormon, but I am a Christian you in your booklet with an excellent question for those who may still be skeptical. After all the evidence you presented. The question is am I rejecting this because there isn't enough evidence, or am I rejecting this because I don't want there to be enough evidence and I think that's a fair question to ask anybody who may have questions about the bodily resurrection of Christ J. Warner Wallace, Jim, thank you for being with us this weekend. I certainly do appreciate all that you have given us through this series and I hope people pick up the book alive.
A cold case approach to the resurrection. Thank you, Jim.
Having bought every appreciate your work and I'm so glad be part of it is our pleasure, Jim. Have a great weekend. Thank you for listening.
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