Because of Easter You Can be Confident in Your Faith
It hasn’t happened yet this year. It still could, although maybe not this time since election news is so hot right now. There was a time, though, when it was almost as predictable as Easter egg rolls on the White House Lawn: some major news magazine would publish an Easter week story on how Jesus’ resurrection never happened.
There was the article about how Jesus’ bones were supposedly found. There was Dan Brown’s admittedly fictional, yet oddly influential suggestion in The DaVinci Code that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and they lived happily ever after (so to speak). The list goes on: Jesus was born and trained in India; Jesus didn’t die on the cross, it was his twin brother instead; Jesus never existed at all; the Bible is self-contradictory and immoral.
These articles always claim some scholarly authority, leading Christians to wonder, “What if they’re right?” As the late Dallas Willard wrote in his 1998 classic The Divine Conspiracy,
The powerful though vague and unsubstantiated presumption is that something has been found out that renders a spiritual understanding of reality in the manner of Jesus simply foolish to those who are “in the know.”
So is it true? Has something been found out?
Yes. Something has been found out. But it’s not what these anti-Jesus articles would have you think it is. What’s been found out, and continues to be discovered even more and more, is that “understanding reality in the manner of Jesus” makes a lot of sense after all.
It makes sense for a lot of reasons. The greatest one all is Easter. Maybe you’re one of those who has wondered: maybe you’ve thought the resurrection was something you just “have to believe in,” whether there’s any actual reason to believe in it or not. If so, The Stream has good news to share with you. If you care about history, if you care about facts, if you care about evidence, you can bring all that in with you and come out with strong reasons to believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead, just as the Gospels say he did.
Today we are beginning a series of articles explaining how you can be confident in your faith because you can be confident in the resurrection. We’ll bring you one every other day from now through Easter.
Confidence is another word for faith, by the way. There’s a strange rumor out there that says “faith is believing without evidence,” or it’s “believing what you can’t know to be true.” The idea is that you can either have faith or you can have knowledge, but if you have one you can’t have the other. Or in other words, faith is what you have when you don’t actually know. If you know, then it isn’t faith.
It doesn’t take much to show that this is (not to put it too strongly or anything!) simply silly. Just consider two facts:
- Jesus wanted his disciples to have faith in him.
- Jesus “presented himself alive by many proofs.” (Acts 1:3)
With these “many proofs,” Jesus was giving them knowledge of the sort they could count on. Now, if the rumor were true that having knowledge means you don’t have faith, then by giving them knowledge Jesus would have been taking away their opportunity to have faith! “Silly” is not too strong a word to describe the error behind that misdefinition of “faith.”
Actually, faith has to do with resting confidently in the knowledge we have. So we’re trusting that these articles will help build your faith in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for you and for me.