In Defense Of The Resurrection: A Reply To Criticisms A Review Article -- By: Norman L. Geisler
JETS 34:2 (June 1991) p. 243
In Defense Of The Resurrection:
A Reply To Criticisms
A Review Article
In The Battle for the Resurrection1 I spoke of a significant drift to the left among evangelicals on the question of the bodily resurrection. A survey taken of members of the Evangelical Theological Society revealed that some eleven percent denied that “Christ rose from the dead in the same body of flesh and bones in which he died.” 2 This seemed especially alarming for a Society committed to the belief that “the Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs.” This is particularly so in view of the fundamental role the bodily resurrection plays in the Christian faith.
The NT belief in the resurrection is a condition of salvation (Rom 10:9; 1 Thess 4:14) and places it at the heart of the gospel (1 Cor 15:1–5). Indeed, the apostle Paul goes so far as to say that if Christ is not risen, then (1) our faith is useless, (2) we are still in our sins, (3) our departed loved ones are lost, (4) the apostles are false witnesses, and (5) we are to be pitied more than all men (1 Cor 15:14–19).
We also argued that, in addition to its immortal nature, “there is overwhelming support in Scripture for the belief that Christ’s resurrection body is a literal, material body of flesh and bones.”3 This evidence includes (1) the fact that the empty tomb was miraculously vacated by the physical body that lay there (Matt 28:6), (2) the fact that the resurrected Jesus was touched and handled (28:9; John 20:27), (3) the fact that he had “flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39),4 (4) the fact that he ate physical food on four occasions (24:30, 42–43; John 21:12–13; Acts 1:4), (5) the fact that his resurrection body still had the crucifixion wounds (John 20:27), (6) the fact that he was
* Norman Geisler is dean of the Liberty Center for Research and Scholarship at Liberty Univers...
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