The Resurrection Schtick

thomasMy pal Steve Hays chugs along as an apologist for modern day claims of the miraculous. He writes,

Part of the MacArthurite schtick is to claim that Biblical miracles are “undeniable,” in contrast to reported modern miracles. Yet in the NT we have examples of both outsiders and churchgoers who deny the Resurrection.

and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” 32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked (Acts 17:31-32).


12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? (1 Cor 15:12).

So, by MacArthurite standards, does that mean the Resurrection doesn’t count as a real miracle? [Are Biblical Miracles Undeniable?]

In his haste to expose the imbalance of MacArthurites and provide Sid Roth with some much needed credibility, Steve makes some rather inaccurate and embarrassing assertions from the biblical text. Let’s consider three key points.

First off, the problem with the Corinthian Christians was not that they doubted the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. They most certainly believed that Christ rose from the dead, because the Resurrection is the centerpiece of the Gospel message itself. The difficulty the Corinthians struggled with was the idea of Christians, i.e., human beings, rising from the dead. Paul was saying to them, “You believed what was proclaimed about Jesus raising from the dead, why do you doubt that Christians too will resurrect from the dead?”

Secondly, Paul is not against the presentation of the evidence for the Resurrection. The primary evidence being the testimony of the disciples who knew Jesus when He ministered on the earth, watched him be crucified, saw that He was buried, and then saw Him after His Resurrection.  Paul directs the Corinthians to those individuals who would confirm his preaching of Christ and the fulfillment of Scripture when Christ rose from the dead.

In the same manner, it is not asking too much when someone claims some divine healing happened to thus and so a person. It is only wise and shrewd to ask about the person, their condition, and if the so-called healing can be verified by others.  I would even add, verified by unbelievers who knew the person before he or she was healed and now know of the person’s healing. Only someone naively gullible would believe such stories blindly especially when the vast majority of such stories are wild exaggerations or outright shams altogether.

And then third, Jesus, after confirming Thomas’s doubts (John 20:19-29), pronounces a blessing upon those who would believe the Resurrection yet never saw the tangible evidence (any Christian from the 1st century onward). Thus, belief in the Resurrection is a matter of faith —  a supernatural faith that is wrought by the Spirit of God in the heart of the sinner to believe the testimony of Christ’s death and Resurrection as it is presented in the Gospel. But that Resurrection is not without evidence, primarily and most importantly, the testimony of the Apostles, other key disciples, and a number of other folks who saw the risen Lord and whose testimony is now preserved only in the pages of Scripture.

Thus there is just no comparison between the hearsay modern day claims of the “miraculous” with the true and certain testimony preserved in the Word of God.


5 thoughts on “The Resurrection Schtick

  1. Using Acts 17:31-32 as he did was a very poor analogy concerning unbelievers who denied the miracle of Christ’s resurrection. The Athenian unbelievers did not actually see the crucifixion and resurrection that occurred many years previously, unlike the Jewish rulers who had to deal with miracles performed in their midst; for example, they had to contend with the healed persons themselves and the many witnesses who testified of them. But if the Athenians had been so inclined, they could have investigated and heard from a number of eyewitnesses, as well as consider the REAL signs and wonders of the apostles, the Gospel message and the changed lives of authentic Christians. This is completely unlike many of the sham “signs and wonders” being tossed around today.

  2. Pingback: Articles on Cessationism, Continuationism, and Spiritual Gifts | hipandthigh

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