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Tuesday: The Power of the Resurrection — 28 Comments

  1. Lets talk about optics a little bit. I spend a lot of time working with lenses. Photography simply would not exist if we did not have lenses. When I take a photograph of a bird, light reflected from the bird passes through the lens and is brought into sharp focus on the camera sensor. A poor lens will produce a flawed image. The image will be blurry or have colour artefacts that spoil the image. One of the aims of my use of lenses is to provide images of birds that people do not notice - the invisible. The way the feathers spread when flying; the colours of an otherwise grey looking bird; the accuracy of the swoop of a raptor as it catches its prey.

    Lenses have long been used for showing us the invisible. We have recently been astounded at the detail shown by the mirrors and lenses of the James Webb telescope of the "invisible" objects in our universe. At the other end of the scale we are using microscopes to reveal to us the "invisible" detail of viruses.

    Jesus' life on this earth was a revelation - a lens that reveals the detail of God the Father.

    Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
    Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
    Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. John 14:8-10 KJV

    Jesus is essentially saying that he is the lens through which we see the father.

    That responsibility has been passed on to us. We are essentially the lens through which others see the invisible God. Jesus said:

    Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matt 5:16 KJV

    He even uses an optical metaphor. So often Christianity has projected a discoloured distorted image of God and we need to remind ourselves that we are God's lens.

    In the context of today's lesson we need to understand that for those who interact with us, Christ is not risen if he has not risen in our lives so that we can focus their attention on Jesus.

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  2. Blood V energized Spirit life (Zoe Life)

    When Jesus fleshly body with bones was resurrected from the grave,(before transformation to a heavenly glorified body to the throne of God) in my opinion, it did not have any blood.
    Luke 24:39 flesh and bones, no blood

    The life in his blood, that was poured out at the cross, cried out for justice, and subsequently the ransom to redeem the mortal creation to a New Creation.

    This quality of ZOE life (resurrected life) is whats available right NOW IN YOU to overcome Satan, sin and death. You are a new creation
    2 Corinthians 5:17

    Luke 24:39 flesh and bones, no blood
    Genesis 4:10
    Deuteronomy 21:1-9
    Revelation 5:9-10

    May you be blessed right now in this New Life !
    Shalom in this ZOE life 🙏
    Keep on trucking (meme)

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    • Larry, can you expound on why you believe "Zoe" life = resurrection life? Do you mean the promise of eternal life?
      I discovered that the Greek word "zoe" is translated all 133 times in KJV as life and once lifetime. I discovered that zoe-life a few times refers to temporal life like in Acts 17:25, Luke 1:75, 2Peter 1:3, James 4:14 but most of the other hundreds of times it refers to eternal life like John 3:16.
      I found the Holy Spirit through Paul talks about the difference between those who are carnally/flesh minded and those who are spiritually minded and being transformed into Jesus Christ's image in Rom 8:1-30 and 1John 3:2 which could help us understand 1Cor 15:35-49.
      Jesus had already been to see His Father before He appeared to the disciples and proved that He wasn't a spirit showing his scars and letting them touch Him and asked for food and eating it. So what kind of body did Jesus have when he lived on earth for 40 days after His appearance to them? Did He have life in Him? When the believers are resurrected will they have life in them?

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      • For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself.
        John 5:26

        I understand Zoe life as the eternal life within God, who is not dependent on blood.

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    • Larry, if we'll look at the complete verse and its context (Luke 24:36-40), it becomes evident that Christ was trying to re-assure His disciples that He was not a ghost, but that He was with them in reality. That's why He invited them to touch Him.

      Imagine how frightened they would have been if He had stood before them in bloodless form!

      Jesus was using "flesh and bones" as a figure of speech, called "metonomy," in which the part stands for the whole. He was assuring them that He had a real physical body, as all rising in the resurrection will have. It was also for that reason that He asked for something to eat (Luke 24:41) and then proceeded to eat the broiled fish they gave Him. (Luke 24:42-43)

      Besides, we know that living flesh and bones both have blood vessels with blood in them. In fact, blood cells are actually made in the bone marrow.

      In both the Old and New Testaments "blood" is often used to stand for "life." (See Lev. 17:11; Eze. 3:18) Thus, when we say that Jesus "shed His blood for sinners," we are really saying that He gave His life for sinners. The literal blood really counts for nothing, as Jesus indicated just before His crucifixion:

      Jesus said to His listeners, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day." (John 6:53-54) He followed it up by saying, "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life." (John 6:63)

      So you can be assured that when Jesus appeared to His disciples, He did so in real human form with flesh and bones, including the blood in them.

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  3. The power of resurection was seen 1st hand when Christ was on earth. Then Christ said, blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29. Yes we can see Jesus now, but just not face to face yet.

    I believe the following describes what Maurice was talking about on Monday. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit non-believers will see Christ in us. Last week one of the youtube SS lesson study brought out the necessity of asking for the Holy Spirit daily in our daily devotions to have hope. With this weeks lessons, I would add in, for others to see the love of God poured out we need to also ask for the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. Romans 5:5. Now the Biblical minded description of seeing the invisible.

    On the day of Pentecost the Spirit was given. Christ's witnesses proclaimed the power of the risen Saviour. The light of heaven penetrated the darkened minds of those who had been deceived by the enemies of Christ. They now saw Him exalted to be "a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." Acts 5:31. They saw Him encircled with the glory of heaven, with infinite treasures in His hands to bestow upon all who would turn from their rebellion. Christ Object Lessons 118.3

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  4. Psalm 103: 1-14 talks about praising God with "all that is within us." Then it goes on to encourage us to "forget not all His benefits," and starts right off with the first one "forgiveness of all our iniquities." Isn't interesting as to how in Acts 5:31 that is exactly what Peter mentions about this and adds to this "repentance?" Then in that same Psalm of King David mentions God's "putting away our iniquities as far as the east is from the west." This part gives me the hope and the spiritual strength to start my day with Him. How far is the east from the west? Try to find your sins by looking to the west and then to the east----This gave me also scriptural proof of what EGW said when she said that when we come to God and claim Jesus' blood for our sins etc., God sees us as having never sinned at all.

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  5. I start appreciating more and more Maurice’s comments which always end stating that the practical experience in our life counts more toward our salvation than any doctrine understood and expounded on in theory but not followed up on through practical application by faith.
    Now I understand how important it is to join with the living God/Father in Christ during our lifetime instead of 'waiting' to meet Him after passing on.
    I see the power of His Life, Faith and Love, which He demonstrated to us through His Son who reflects the Father's Love living among us; it is the power of our resurrection. It is essential to walk the talk, live by faith, and trust in the working out of the promises of our Father toward us when we do so.

    Considering the living Covenant God made with man, I think this to be the only ‘legal’ arrangement He has with man. And this arrangement is entirely based on the working of His Faithfulness and Love toward us and our response to it during our lifetime. Regarding Eph.1:18-23, I understand the focus to be about the power of the faithfulness of our heavenly Father who committed himself to our salvation by permitting His Son to be our example in the flesh.

    Yes, this ‘resurrection power’ which Jesus, our Lord and Savior experienced, is the same available to everyone who believes today. It worked in us whiles we were yet sinners, but came to reveal its full power at the moment we started to believe and live the power of the Father's Gospel unto true Life.
    We all die, Jesus the son of man and God died to demonstrate to us the Father's power over life and death by His resurrection. He lived among us for a little while longer to reassure us that we will be where He is before returning as the completed Son of God, Christ and Lord of our Salvation.
    All have received the promise to be called to live true Life; though remember – it starts in this lifetime!

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  6. The power of the resurrection and the power of transformation are one-in-the-same thing. The resurrection doesn't merely add a specific dimension to salvation, it reflects the core truth and reality of what salvation functionally is. Salvation is actual transformation from death to life via our surrender to, and co-operation with, spiritual 'rebirth' of our heart's core tendency from self-seeking to self-renouncing love (see John 3:3-6; Psalm 51:10; John 4:14).

    When we are transformed (via co-operation with the Holy Spirit's drawing, empowering and co-rennovating into harmony with this core necessity for a self-renouncing heart that expresses in genuine service to others), we pass from death to life. We are transformed to actual Christ-likeness.

    Note that because Jesus did not deviate from self-renouncing love, death could not hold Him down (see Acts 2:24). Jesus, in collaboration with His Father, had to actually lay down His life - and He took it up again (see John 10:18; Philippians 2:8; John 15:13).

    Is resurrection therefore fundamentally a legal matter or a reality matter? Was it an event that made us legally right with God, or as Ephesians 1:18-23 and Ephesians 2:1-7 attests, was it an event that manifests God's capacity to impart life even to that which was dead? I will leave it to you to decide for yourself...

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  7. Just to stimulate more thought on the topic, why must we ask for the Holy Spirit, when it is promised to all who meet the conditions for receiving it? Perhaps our prayer should be to know and meet these conditions? Notice how Rom 5:5 states clearly of the "Holy Ghost which is given unto us", as Jesus promised.

    We could purchase one of those small Oximeters, and find ourselves starving for oxygen in our home, and pray day and night for God to send us oxygen, when all we need to do is open the windows and let the oxygen that surrounds the whole world to enter in.

    God's Spirit has been poured out upon this fallen world for all to receive. No need to ask God to do what He has done in a very marked manner already(Acts 2). Could it be seen by God as unbelief if we pray for Him to do what He has already done? We need only to receive it by meeting the conditions we have been given(Acts 2:37-39; 3:19), and the power of the resurrection will attend all who do, as promised. Without repentance, wouldn't any prayers for heaven's Gift be in vain? Could it be that we have closed our "windows" to the Holy Spirit?

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    • You have a point, Robert, but let us not stop asking, because Jesus specifically encouraged us to *ask* in a number of instances, including the parable about the man whose neighbor woke him up at night to ask for bread.

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      • I agree with your comment Inge, and notice that I never said we shouldn't pray.

        I wrote my comment due to the often urging of many to "pray that God will pour out His Spirit upon us", when He already has, while the prayer for and work of repentance is never mentioned. This vital power and promise comes only as we repent and believe, and all the praying without this avails nothing.

        Interesting that the message to Laodicea centers on this matter, and the the precious remedies(one of them being the Holy Spirit) for being lukewarm(formalism) are to be "bought" from Jesus. How do we do that? Jesus tells us: "Be zealous therefore, and repent"(Rev 3:18,19).

        Should my prayer then be that God will do HIS part(which He did 2000 years ago), or that I will do MINE? Will my prayer for God to do His part mean anything if I do not DO my part? Can I pray "in Jesus name" while failing to follow His counsel?

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        • Hi Robert. We've covered this ground before but let me be clear... When it comes to being saved, there is no "our part" as Paul so frustratingly reminded the Galatians (Galatians 3:1-5 NLT). Jesus saved us "while we were yet sinners" (Romans 5:8). That is, before repentance.

          Inge's comment on the parable of the neighbor who asks for bread is fitting (Luke 11:5-8) as is Matthew 7:11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

          Ronald Dunn puts it like this in his book Don't just Stand there, Pray Something

          There's only one place to get bread - from the Father. There's only one way to get it - by asking.

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          • Sieg, God leaves you with the call to repent. God will not force you to comply. It is your choice.

            Though God, through Noah, made it possible to be saved from the flood, only those who got on the ark were saved. No one was forced onto the ark.

            If we have no part, why did Jesus call for repentance and faith? Why will the vast majority be lost?

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      • Amen, Inge Anderson, and Jesus Himself said in Luke 11:13 in so many words, that even though God was more willing to give us His Holy Spirit than we are to give good gifts to our children we still need to "ask" for The Holy Spirit from God. Matthew mentions the same exact wording that are in Luke 11:13 but does not mention The Holy Spirit, Matthew says "Good Gifts." So my conclusion here would be that God is willing to give us "Good Gifts" especially the gift of His Holy Spirit. But even for Good Gifts God wants us to "ask" Him for them.

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        • Pete, look at the parable of the 10 virgins in Matt 25. Notice how the foolish virgins, after asking, were told to go and "buy for yourselves". Doesn't this agree with the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans?

          There is prayer, and there is the prayer of faith. Jesus tells Laodicea to "buy of Me", and describes how to do it. Without doing this, prayer alone will be meaningless(Jas 1:6-8).

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  8. Jesus said that He had "power" to lay down His life and also to "take it again." Jesus could and did do this because He was God in Human flesh. We only have the gift of faith to place our faith in what He did 2,000 plus or minus years ago for humanity. So it is both something "legal" and also something "real," that Jesus did for the world. But only by our "faith" in this legal and real act of Jesus for us and the world does this become factual for us and it works in a day by day, hour by hour, for us when we exercise our faith in this "real" and "Legal" act that Jesus did for us and the world.

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      • It is the most important event in human history. Earthquakes, temple veil rips down the middle, three hours of darkness, dead people shaken out of their graves to walk the streets, angels descending from heaven and appearing to people, God the Creator has risen from the dead. I would think someone recorded the date.

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        • Christians claim that a man who lived 2000 years ago is the creator of the universe, ruler of the cosmos, and that after his public execution, he rose from the dead and appeared to over 500 people. Yet they don’t have the dates of his birth, his death, his supernatural resurrection, or any of the post-death appearances to crowds of dozens and even hundreds of eyewitnesses. Not one single date.

          And we aren’t talking about the Stone Age. People kept records in the first century of the Roman Empire. They weren’t cavemen. They weren’t idiots.

          Why don’t Christians know the date of birth of the “King of Kings”???

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          • It is a fair question Gary, but your observation about record-keeping is probably based more on what should have happened. My wife's grandmother was born in Tasmania (an island state south of Australia - for those that need to know the georgraphy) and in her early 20s came to mainland Australia and married. She did not return to Tasmania for about 50 years. On her return for a visit there was a fair bit of discussion about when (which year) she was born. The problem was that in those days her birth record was held in the local post office and somehow in the intervening time a flood had destroyed it and all the records in contained. Consequently, when she died there were a couple of different opinions about how old she was.

            If that can happen in the twentieth century what can happen to records in the zeroth century? There is no denying that Jesus was a historical person and I have to say that his message has withstood the test of time, in spite of many Christians and Christian insitutions abusing that message for their own ends. The survival of the message testifies to the significance of Jesus, not the absence of dates. Mind you, I would like to know the dates but I know when I'm beat!

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          • First of all, welcome to our blog!

            In light of your question, I wonder whether you could supply the birth date and birth place of Plato? He was unarguably one of the most influential persons in the history of the western world.
            And, as far as records go, there are more numerous and older records of of biblical manuscripts than there are of any other ancient literature that is accepted as genuine.

            However, this topic is clearly too big to discuss in a short blog comment, but if you are genuinely interested in why people believe that the Bible is a true record of how a personal God interacted with humanity and of His plans for our future, you may start with a relatively "old" book, but a classic in its category, which I'm currently re-reading. If one of my students, an agnostic teenager, found it most interesting, I think you might too. It is Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. This is Lewis's personal story of why he gave up atheism for the more logical option of Christianity. If you enjoy good literature, you will enjoy C.S. Lewis's writing.

            And you also might find this interesting: The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus, by Lee Strobel.

            By the way, since we have had others with the first name of "Gary" on this blog, it would be really helpful if you supplied a last name to avoid confusion. 😉

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            • I agree with you that when it comes to controversial topics such as the supernatural claims of Christianity, one should do some research. But when doing research on a controversial topic, one should read works by BOTH sides of the issue. How many books by skeptics have you read, Inge?

              Below is a list of all the books I have read regarding the claims of Christianity:

              “The Resurrection of the Son of God” by NT Wright
              “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses” by Richard Bauckham
              “The Death of the Messiah, Volumes I and II” by Raymond Brown
              “Making the Case for Christianity” by Maas, Francisco, et al.
              “The Resurrection Fact” by Bombaro, Francisco, et al.
              “Miracles, Volumes I and II”, by Craig Keener
              “The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus” by Gary Habermas and Michael Licona
              “Why are There Differences in the Gospels” by Michael Licona
              “The Son Rises” by William Lane Craig
              “The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus” by Raymond Brown
              “The Resurrection of Jesus” by Gerd Luedemann
              “Resurrection Reconsidered” by Gregory Riley
              “John and Thomas—Gospels in Conflict?” by Christopher Skinner
              “The Argument for the Holy Sepulchre” (journal article) by scholar Jerome Murphy-O’Connor
              “Israel in Egypt” by James Hoffmeier
              “The Bible Unearthed” by Finkelstein and Silberman
              “The Resurrection of Jesus in the Light of Jewish Burial Practices“ by Craig Evans, (newsletter article) The City, a publication of Houston Baptist University, May 4, 2016
              “Has the Tomb of Jesus Been Discovered?” by Jodi Magness, SBL Forum
              “Genre, Sub-genre and Questions of Audience: A Proposed Typology for Greco-Roman biography” (article) by Justin M. Smith, St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews, Scotland
              “Cold-Case Christianity” by J. Warner Wallace
              “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel
              “Misquoting Jesus” by Bart Ehrman
              “Jesus, Interrupted” by Bart Ehrman
              “How Jesus Became God” by Bart Ehrman
              “Jesus Before the Gospels” by Bart Ehrman
              “Did Jesus Exist?” by Bart Ehrman
              “Twenty-Six Reasons Why Jews Don’t Believe in Jesus” by Asher Norman (endorsed by Talmudic scholars for its accuracy in presenting a Jewish perspective of Jesus and the Christian New Testament)
              “The Book of Miracles” by Kenneth L. Woodward
              “Why I Believed, Reflections of a Former Missionary” by Kenneth W. Daniels
              “Why Evolution is True” by biologist Jerry Coyne
              “Masters of the Planet-the Search for our Human Origins” by Ian Tattersall
              “A Manual for Creating Atheists” by philosopher Peter Boghossian
              “Can We Trust the Gospels?” by Peter Williams
              “The Outsider Test for Faith” by John W. Loftus
              “God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion by physicist Victor J. Stenger
              “Lone Survivors: How We Came to Be The Only Humans on Earth” by paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer
              “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” by evangelical apologists Josh and Sean McDowell
              “The Case Against Miracles” edited by John Loftus
              “The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry” by Jewish author, Michael Alter
              “The Blind Watchmaker” by biologist Richard Dawkins
              “The Other Gospels: Accounts of Jesus from Outside the New Testament” by Bart Ehrman and Zlatko Plese (currently reading)
              “The Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine
              “Conversations With My Inner Atheist” by evangelical theologian Randal Rauser
              Lord or Legend? Wrestling with the Jesus Dilemma by Gregory Boyd and Paul Eddy

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            • Hi again, Gary,
              Thank you for at least providing a last initial, so you won't be confused with any other Gary on this blog.

              Wow, your list represents some serious reading! I cannot doubt your search for truth, given the titles you shared. I confess I haven't read nearly as many books by skeptics as you have read by Christian apologists.

              I am not only impressed by the list of books you read but also by the fact that you could produce such a list. I started a list of books I had read, with summaries/reviews, many decades ago, but gave it up, preferring reading more books to writing more book reviews no one would read. (Right now my Kindle list does the job.) So now, I can't begin to remember the books I read until I hear the author or title mentioned.

              From your list, I see you have already read The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel that I suggested. I don't remember all the books by skeptics that I read, but I did read a couple by Richard Dawkins. I must say I am in agreement with him on some things. I don't believe in the God that he doesn't believe in!

              My interest in science has led me to read books by Stephen Hawkins and several by Stephen Jay Gould, who was an exceptionally good writer, especially as a scientist. I recommend his book, The Mismeasure of Man, in which I believe he made a point about science he may not have intended.

              My reading over the last decade or so has centered more on the microbiome of the human body, and the microbiome of the soil. I am fascinated by the complexity of God's creation and how all the microbes work together for the health of our bodies and the health of the soil. The harmful microbes are a very tiny minority. And, since I am a gardener and a health nut, that science has very practical applications.

              But let me backtrack a bit - back to many decades ago when I faced the "Is there a real personal God" question at the tender age of 13, if I remember correctly. I took a while considering whether God was just imaginary or whether He was a real Person. After some serious thought, I decided there was no way to really demonstrate or prove conclusively that there is a God or that there is no God. So I was left with a decision to make - would I or would I not believe in a God whose existence could not be demonstrated conclusively. I considered the alternatives: If God exists and the Bible is true, there is a whole lot of interesting future to be gained. And if I lived as though God exists, there was little to lose. But if I lived as though God does not exist, there could be eternity to lose.

              (By this time, I had lost my distaste for heaven as a boring place where I would be forced to wear a white dress, sit on a cloud and play a harp. Not sure where I got that idea, but it took a while to get over.)

              If God exists and the Bible is true, He is the Creator not just of our little solar system but likely uncountable worlds beyond - to explore some day. I can't wait!

              So, yes, I made a conscious decision to believe, and it began to shape my life. God was kind enough to answer some of my prayers in a way that made me say, "Wow!" not so long after that. As I matured, my initial judgment that God cannot be "proven" to exist to those who do not believe became more settled. But I also learned that God proves Himself to believers. He said things such as "come and reason" and "prove me now." He appeals to our intelligence and reasoning powers, and, He want to have a relationship with us. He wants us to trust Him fully in every aspect of our lives. Now I know God exists! I talk to Him and listen to Him daily.

              So, no, you cannot prove God in a lab. You cannot completely prove God by logic, although He invented the rules of logic. He doesn't force us to believe, but He wants us to trust Him on the basis of evidence, while still leaving hooks on which to hang our doubts. The bottom line is that there is only one way to know God for sure, and that is to accept His invitation to "taste and see." Ps 34:8 However, it's a bit like diving off a diving board - bouncing on the board won't do it. You actually have to commit and dive in. That can be scary, but it's also exhilarating.

              Just so you know, this blog is for sharing, not arguing. With all you've read there are no arguments that will make a difference for you anyway. You say we don't know when Christ was born, but for more than two thousand years now, time has been counted backwards from his birth and forwards from his birth (or very near it). And do consider the content of this:

              One Solitary Life

              He was born in an obscure village.
              He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty.
              He then became an itinerant preacher.
              He never held office.
              He never had a family or owned a house.
              He didn't go to college.
              He had no credentials but himself.
              He was only thirty-three
              when the public turned against him.
              Nineteen centuries have come and gone,
              and today he is the central figure of the human race.
              All the armies that ever marched,
              all the navies that ever sailed,
              all the parliaments that ever sat,
              and all the kings that ever reigned
              have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that
              One Solitary Life

              And, since you're clearly a reader, I still recommend you read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I don't agree with every single detail Lewis writes or implies, but he has a pretty firm grip on the central theme of Christianity. I just love spending time with this remarkable man and superb wordsmith, and you may too. It won't cost you nearly as much time as some of the tomes on your list.

              Jump on in. The water's great!

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