These are among the most commonly posed questions about God. In fact, they were some of the very issues discussed by Charles Templeton in my interview with him and in his book. And just like with Templeton, these obstacles also once stood solidly between me and faith.
While I could relate to many of the objections that Templeton had raised, at the same time I wasn't native enough to accept each of them at face value. It was clear that some of his obstacles to faith shouldn't be impediments at all.
For example, Templeton was plain wrong about Jesus considering himself to be a mere human being. Even if you go back to the earliest and most primitive information about him-data that could not have been tainted by legendary development-you find that Jesus undoubtedly saw himself in transcendent, divine, and messianic terms.3
In fact, here's an irony: the very historical documents that Templeton relied upon for his information about the inspiring moral life of Jesus are actually the exact same records that repeatedly affirm his deity. So if Templeton is willing to accept their accuracy concerning Jesus' character, then he also ought to consider them trustworthy when they assert that Jesus claimed to be divine and then backed up that assertion by rising from the dead.
In addition, the resurrection of Jesus could not have been a legend as Templeton claimed. The apostle Paul preserved a creed of the early church that was based on eyewitness accounts of Jesus' return from the dead-and which various scholars have dated to as early as twenty-four to thirty-six months after Jesus' death. 4 That's far too quick for mythology to have tainted the record. The truth is that nobody has ever been able to show one example in history of a legend developing that quickly and wiping out a solid core of historical truth
As I systematically documented in The Case for Christ, the eyewitness evidence, the corroborating evidence, the documentary evidence, the scientific evidence, the psychological evidence, the "fingerprint" or prophetic evidence, and other historical data point powerfully toward the conclusion that Jesus really is God's one and only Son. Yes, but...
What about those nettlesome issues that hinder Templeton from embracing the faith that he admittedly desires so much to have? They haunted me. They were the same issues that had once perplexed me-and as Leslie and I drove along the interstate toward home, some of them began to nag at me anew.
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