Can you be a Christian without believing in the resurrection?


Another thing on credibility…Jewish females had none, they could not make a legal witness. So if you were writing a story to convince other Jews of an event, it would be silly to say women were the first to see Him. However, if you were just recording what happened, you would include those accounts.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #351

I listened to an interesting online Easter sermon (Hamilton again) that he preached from the book of Mark. He said Mark is not a typical book of choice for Easter sermons because the original book ended with the women at the empty tomb meeting the angel. They are told to go tell the other disciples, and then being seized by terror and amazement they fled, being afraid for !!!

And in the Greek it ends mid-sentence just like that! Not only did the early church use the other accounts to “finish Mark’s story”, but they even fixed the last words putting the “for” earlier so that the paragraph at least finishes with a complete sentence: “…for they were afraid.”

But apparently something interrupted Mark and he was never able to finish, or perhaps the scroll they had available from him was damaged at that point in the account. Nobody really knows. But this pastor said he likes to think of it as if Mark deliberately let the ending hang, obliging readers to finish the Easter story for themselves. I thought that was a cool idea and a Spirit-inspired use of scripture (as we have it now) to bring people a needed message. That doesn’t sound very convincing for those who prize mundane historical accounts above all, but it is an interesting modern interpretation / exhortation … sounding not unlike the way Jesus would freely use the scriptures they had then for His present purposes. And in any case, the addition made by the early church to give Mark a more complete ending would have been (is) obviously inspired and useful too.

[the usual edits …]

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #352

Peter’s confession is clear. Some time after Jesus does all his miracles and teachings, WHO do the people say that he is? People who would have seen him and talked to him? John the Baptist! Or some other resurrected prophet. And how does Jesus respond? Do Not tell this to anyone. Very clever.

Oh, but he wasn’t John! So what? that’s what the people saw. It didn’t matter to them that Jesus wasn’t John. Apparently, it didn’t matter what Jesus and John looked like, for the people to believe in someone’s resurrection at that time!

(Luca) #353

Can you give me your reasons not to listen to him?


Can you give me your reasons not to listen to him?

He’s a mythicist crank who believes in loads of conspiracy theories and has never academically published a single paper in his life.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #355

What mattered was that Jesus was continuing John’s work as a Man of God. Jesus had the spirit of God in Him, just like John. The issue was not resurrection of a human being. It was the Spirit of God ministering to the needs of humans through the prophets, through John, and through Jesus.

The point that Jesus and Peter made was that Jesus was the Messiah, more than a prophet doing God’s work as God’s Chosen One.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #356

I had a listen to Habermas’ talk. I have to say he gives a very convincing analysis. I’ll come back in a few months time after thinking the evidence over. If I still find it to be convincing evidence then I will convert to Christianity.

(Peaceful Science) #357

Hello @Reggie_O_Donoghue, I’m taking a break from the forums right now, after having spent quite a bit of time on the @RichardBuggs / @DennisVenema dialogue. However this comment compels me to respond a small bit.

First, I’ve been watching you on the forums and have really admired and appreciated your fearless inquisitiveness and desire to make sense of truth for yourself. Someday I hope we meet, and I hope someday our paths cross. We need a new generation of leaders that are thoughtful in just this way.

Second, if you come to affirm the Resurrection, the reason this is important is that it is proof that Jesus is who the Gospels say He is. This month, I hope you can find time to read at least one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Given your background in Jewish thought, you may enjoy most Matthew, to understand who Jesus was. You will see the revealing not just of a God with power to end death, but also of a truly good God of gentle humility. As we come to trust in Jesus, He reveals Himself more to us. Look at Him while you consider the Resurrection.

Third, my aim in pointing you to Habermas and to the Gospels is not to “convert” you to “Christianity,” but to introduce you to this real presence in the world, a presence that has made sense of everything for me. It makes sense of Christianity and the Church, even explaining their existence, but is in itself greater than Christianity and the Church. In Jesus, I found an alive person who is so fundamentally good that all else pales in comparison to him. It’s not that he converted me as much as he completed me, opening my eyes to a new reality.

Thank you, finally, for letting us all watch your journey, and participate in it. However it unfolds from here, you’ve become a friend to many of us. It is a privilege to see real people grapple with real change in public. Such things are rare, even in a world like ours that values authenticity.


(George Brooks) #358


Well, that’s quite a statement! I guess this explains why you have been so ardent in trying to dismantle the perception that the ancient scribes literally thought the sky included a “firm” firmament…

(RiderOnTheClouds) #359

Is that all you care about?

(George Brooks) #360

Yep, @Reggie_O_Donoghue, that’s pretty much all I care about.

There are four or five excellent methods to dismantle the YEC position. One of them is cross-referenced material on the Firmament.

You were unusual in that you were opposed to the idea of a “firm firmament”, but not opposed to the existence of a celestial ocean levitating above the Earth without the existence of a firm firmament.

In the long run, your protests led to discovering even more corroboration for a firm firmament. And so for that I’m grateful.

But when people assume a stance that seems unusually hybrid, I’m always interested in what might be contributing to that position.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #361

That’s not my belief, you know that isn’t my belief. My belief is that there was a solid sky, it just wasn’t the Raqia. Though I’m not dogmatic.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #362

Now this may be controversial, but here goes:

Which denomination is best?



Thanks for your willingness to write about your life. Can I ask this personal question: what is entailed by “converting?” Same question put another way: what does it mean to become a Christian?

Thanks Larry Schmidt

(RiderOnTheClouds) #364

To believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to atone for our sins.

(George Brooks) #365


Actually, this is the first I’ve heard this formulation. I can honestly say I’m surprised.
Can you find where you stated it this way before?

Let’s just number the items, so we are absolutely clear:

[1] You believe the Scribes thought there was a solid piece of the sky;
[2] That this solid piece of the sky kept the celestial ocean from flooding the Earth;
[3] The Solid piece of the sky was known by some word other than Raqia.
[4] You are not able to say with much certainty what the firm part of the sky was called.

Do I express your position adequately as above?

(RiderOnTheClouds) #366

I mentioned it several times in our private discussion, I even mentioned the verses which I think do support a solid sky.

You are pretty much correct with the exception of 4. I believe the ‘highest heaven’, or ‘heaven of heavens’ was the name for the solid sky dome.

(George Brooks) #367

I don’t think you understood that I didn’t understand your distinction.

I kept asking you how the water was staying up … and as I recall, you never answered the question, despite my asking it more than once.

Since you are pretty much the sole inventor of this idea, you might keep it in mind that your audience probably won’t know how you mean your terminology unless you are quite explicit.


Does the notion of following Jesus, obeying his teachings play any part in your idea of converting to Christianity?

Is being a Christian simply confined to beliefs a person holds in their minds?

(Edward Miller) #369

@Totti @Christy, @Korvexius, @Relates, @Marvin_Adams, @pevaquark @Reggie, @TedDavis
I wish to give you five equations and take a few days to study them. Then give me your results. I would like other members to participate as well. May God bless you and change your heart.


Nothing + Nothing = Nothing ( Nothing can make nothing; therefore atheist evolution cannot create because atheism is nothing).
God + His Only Begotten Son = Intelligent Design and Creation
Theistic Evolution + Nothing = An Evolved Universe that shows signs of intelligence and Creation
No Resurrection + No Christ= no Salvation
Christ + Resurrection = Everlasting Life for those who accept Christ.