Discipleship Minute #37

Read I Corinthians 15:1-8

Critics charge that Christianity is a crutch for the weak minded, who believe things that “ain’t necessarily so.” That belief is based on blind faith. Perhaps we have brought some of that charge on ourselves. Christian philosopher J. P. Moreland says, “Religion is now viewed by many as a placebo or emotional crutch precisely because that is how we often pitch the gospel to unbelievers.” A prime example of this would be the “preaching” of Joel Osteen, who says that you can have “your best life now.”

Is what we believe ridiculous and illogical, built on a foundation of blind faith? Paul didn’t think so. In today’s passage, Paul appeals to fulfilled Scripture. The events surrounding Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection are foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures. He then cites eyewitness testimony. Peter, the Twelve, five hundred believers, James (the brother of Jesus), the apostles, and then Paul had experiences which led them to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. Many of those eyewitness could be consulted and their testimony examined.

Paul builds an impressive case for the Christian faith based on the resurrection of Jesus. He places Jesus’s resurrection as an historical event that was consistent with Scripture and eyewitness testimony. That sets Christianity apart from other world religions and faith traditions. We don’t rely on blind faith or a “leap in the dark” when trusting in Jesus. It is not the act of a weak minded person. It is an act of one who sees himself as he really is. It is an act of trust based on the trustworthiness of the person of Jesus.

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