Around the Interweb

Is There Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus?

Insightful videos featuring Dr. William Lane Craig:


HT: Justin Taylor

Also Worth Reading

Controversy: Adrian Warnock had a face-to-face conversation with Rob Bell about Love Wins. It’s a very interesting listen (albeit incredibly frustrating at times).

Easter: Jesus and the Martyrs

Business Ethics: The 4 P’s of Business

The Persecuted Church in China“If This is What God Intended, So Be It”

In Case You Missed It

Here are a few of this week’s notable posts:

He Will Be Holy To Make You Holy

Book Review: Redemption by Mike Wilkerson

Fully, Finally, Unquestionably, and Irrevocably Vindicated

The Power of The Resurrection

Only If A Substitute is Provided

Let the Law, Sin, and the Devil Cry Out Against Us

Maybe the Problem is We’re Not Frightened Enough

In the book of Revelation John describes his intense and completely overwhelming vision of the risen Jesus:

Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”

Revelation 1:12-18

This is impressive, isn’t it?

Jesus calls Himself “the first and the last.” He declares, “I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”

When John sees this, he “fell at his feet as though dead” (v 17); a natural response to seeing Jesus in all of his glory.

These are mind-boggling descriptions and they remind us of a reality that we need to embrace fully:

We need to develop a healthy fear of God.

I wonder if we don’t spend so much time trying to make Jesus palatable in North America that we forget this reality sometimes? If we focus on Jesus being our example, our Rabbi, our teacher and less on His being our Prophet, our Lord and King… He doesn’t seem like someone we would ever have a reason to fear, does He? [Read more…]

"I Must Never Again Let the Resurrection Become Something I Assume" – An Interview with Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock is a longtime staple of the blogosphere. His website, started in April of 2003 and is home to more than 3500 articles. Married with five children and a medical doctor by trade, Adrian is part of the leadership team of Jubilee church, a multicultural church in London, England, where he has preached regularly for more than ten years.

His first book, Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything, was published by Crossway in January 2010.

A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to read and review Adrian’s book and he has graciously agreed to come by and answer a few questions.

You’re a husband and a father. You serve on your church’s leadership team. You’re a doctor. You preach. You write. How on earth do you manage to balance everything in your life?

I think that one of the main reasons is that I have a very hard working wife who frees me up to focus on all these things. To be honest I also get a lot of help from various people. I am not sure that many books have more acknowledgments than mine. In particular, I have a volunteer editor who helps me with many of my writing projects before they see the publisher or the light of day.

Similarly at church, most of what I do is encourage other leaders to serve God’s purpose. Good team work at home, at church, and at work goes a long way towards getting a lot done. I do work from home, so I don’t have the burden of a daily commute. I also try to use things more than once, so that sermon prep also becomes blog fodder, for example. I don’t watch very much TV either, and to be honest, when things are really busy, sometimes I sleep less than I should.

But I am not sure I do manage to balance everything very well at all times! Someone once said, “If you want something done, ask somebody who is already busy.” I do feel sometimes that I am trying to do too many things, so am trying to learn to say “no” more often.

You’ve run a blog for a number of years now and written a number of book reviews. How does it feel to be on the receiving end, as it were?

It is a real privilege that anyone would want to read anything I have written. When they not only read it, but comment on it, that is so helpful. In fact, even the few that have been a bit critical have helped me. I really believe that our critics serve us more than we realize. Sometimes they say something that helps us see either a weakness in our argument or realize that something we said in one way is being interpreted in an entirely different way! [Read more…]

Book Review: Raised with Christ by Adrian Warnock

“Christianity hinges not only on the empty cross but also on an empty tomb,” writes Adrian Warnock in Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything (p. 29). Warnock, a medical doctor, preacher and long-time staple of the Christian blogosphere, seeks to remind readers that the gospel isn’t just that Christ died, but He also rose again—and His resurrection changes everything.

Resurrection Assumed

For such an important doctrine, there are shockingly few books written about it. Warnock discovered this for himself when he was asked to preach on Easter Sunday at his church in 2007. His study revealed that of all the sermons recorded in Acts, only one doesn’t overtly focus on the resurrection of Christ (Acts 7)—but “the risen Jesus opened heaven and appeared to Stephen was preaching” (p. 21). His study of Scripture led him to realize that he’d not been giving the resurrection the attention it deserved.

He, like many of us, had assumed the resurrection. Because it’s not been at the center of a major controversy or heresy throughout the history of the church, so there’s never been a “need” to flesh out the doctrine and underline its importance in the same way that it’s been necessary to with the atonement, the Trinity and the nature of Christ.

But this should not be, according to Warnock.

[W]ithout the resurrection we would still be in our sins. Without the resurrection we are lost and there is no hope! There is no salvation without a living Jesus. We need the resurrection to have its power-generating effect inside of us if we are to be born again. We really are “saved by his life” (Romans 5:10). [p.67]

The Empty Tomb was Really Empty

As he builds his argument, Warnock takes us through a journey through history and the Scriptures seeking to answer the crucial question: Did the resurrection actually happen or is it a bit of mythologizing? And if so, does it matter?

“Any contrary theory needs to explain how a small group of Jews became passionately convinced of the truth of the resurrection and spread it rapidly across the Middle East and into Europe,” challenges Warnock (p. 47). And the reality is that no alternate explanation can adequately explain it.

History supports the validity of the resurrection. Roman Administrator Pliny describes Christians (who we was persecuting due to their growing number) as worshipping Christ “’a god,’ by people raised as Jews would only be possible if had risen from the dead” (p. 53). Justyn Martyr wrote to the Roman emperor c. AD 150 citing that the Christians’ claims about Jesus could be verified in the official reports of Pontius Pilate—something that could have been easily disproven had it actually been false. Celsus’ The True Word, written c. AD 175,“tried to discredit the resurrection as being witnessed by ‘a hysterical woman’” (p. 54). The examples are numerous and compelling.

It wasn’t a later addition to Christianity as “there are no traces of early Christians who denied the resurrection” (p.45). The disciples didn’t steal the body and lie about the resurrection. While people die for lies they genuinely believe to be true, it’s ludicrous to suggest that anyone would endure horrible persecution, boiling in oil, beheading and crucifixion if they were knowingly deceiving people.

The authorities didn’t steal the body; if they had, they would have produced the body at their earliest opportunity to refute the disciples’ claim.

Jesus didn’t have a near-death experience or faint on the cross, as some suggestion in a theory that lacks any degree of historical plausibility.

Mass hallucinations? Warnock, a psychiatrist, confirms that hallucinations tend to make one weak, rather than embolden. To suggest that hallucinations drove the disciples to boldly preach the gospel throughout the Roman Empire “is completely inconsistent with the results of hallucinations as described in any medical textbook” (p 51).

What it boils down to, as Warnock writes is that, “[t]he church did not create the resurrection stories; instead the resurrection stories created the church” (p.47).

Without the Resurrection, We Have Nothing

This is critical for Christians to remember, as it’s tempting to shuffle the resurrection off into a corner and ignore it, or suggest that if we learned that if Jesus didn’t rise physically, but only spiritually, we wouldn’t lose anything. But the fact is, if Christ didn’t rise, we have lost everything.

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins,” wrote the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 15:17. There is no hope for us outside of the resurrection of Christ. If He did not rise, then no one else is going to, and we should be pitied above all others. Hope for this world alone is no hope at all.

But the resurrection gives us everything.

It is the practical application of Christ’s work of the cross.

Because Christ rose from death and ascended to the right hand of the Father, we have an advocate, a great High Priest who intercedes before the Father on our behalf. We can pray to Him and He hears us, and He speaks to us.

And He sent the Holy Spirit, who raised Him from the dead, to live inside us.

A dead man can’t do these things.

But the God-man can, because Christ rose—and He’s coming again. This is why we can have confidence in Christ. And that’s what Adrian Warnock seeks to remind us of in this book.

Raised with Christ is an important book. That’s not something I say that lightly. Warnock’s passion for the resurrection of Jesus saturates this book. It’s what makes the good news “good news.” And to neglect it would be to our folly. Read this book and be inspired to see how the resurrection changes everything.

Title: Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything
Author: Adrian Warnock
Publisher: Crossway (2010)

Buy it at: Westminster Books | Amazon

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review by Crossway Books