Greg Koukl is a wonderful, kind man. I had the privilege of spending an hour and a half with him while driving him to the airport a couple of years ago. Our conversation was deep and very cordial. We disagreed on the issue, and Greg was kind enough to spend the first 15 minutes of his next radio show telling his listeners why I (although he did not mention me by name) was wrong. I expect this from my Christian Brothers, and actually welcome it. Although I still disagree with his position and how he articulated mine, he approached the topic lovingly with what appeared to be a desire for correction. I am not beyond correction.
I come from a large family. I have 4 brothers and 2 sisters. We love each other and know it. We argued for sport. Although being right is a wonderful bonus in apologetics, the banter with my brothers and sisters definitely helped me prepare for the banter on the streets. We never had to say we were sorry, because we knew we loved each other. We could be angry at each other one minute, and then laughing our heads off with each other the next. Because we knew we loved each other. In my naivety, I assumed that this was the way Christian brothers and sisters would interact. I may have been wrong. I say “may”, not because I have witnessed so many slings and arrows, but because I am beginning to doubt that those who wield them are actually Christians. I just don’t get it. The only thing that helps me to understand that they probably are, is the knowledge that I am quite capable of jerkness.
I have received some heat for the clips we used in How To Answer The Fool of well-known Christians doing apologetics wrongly. My heartfelt desire is for loving correction, although some have not seen it that way. In the study guide for the film, I try to explain my thinking, likening the correction to pointing out the glasses on someone’s forehead when they are in desperate search for them. If the person freaks out for me pointing to the glasses on their forehead, I simply cannot help that. I thought we loved each other.
Greg Koukl was almost in HTATF. The heat we got from almost including Mr Koukl prepared me for the heat we got for almost including Mr. Friel (perhaps more on that another time). Iron sharpens iron, right? Just don’t sharpen your iron on my dude or we won’t endorse your film. Well, some we did, some we didn’t, and most did not endorse. I thought we loved each other.
The reason I wanted to include Greg Koukl in the film was because of his views on doubt. That is not what this article is about. Since someone got my stupid writing juices flowing though, I may have to do a separate post on that. This article is also not about our previous conversation. No, this article is in regards to an e-mail I received today from Mr. Koukl’s ministry “Stand To Reason.” How I ever got on their mailing list, I don’t know, but I sure would like to know how they do that.
The e-mail had a link to a video advertised as “Reasons to Believe Jesus’ Resurrection,” which went to a video titled: “What are the top three arguments for Jesus’ resurrection?” In the video Mr. Koukl talked about “the kind of things we would draw on to give reason to believe that the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth actually took place.” So tell me, why do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead? Was it: 1). that testimony of Jesus’ resurrection was not doubted by virtually anyone in the historical realm, or was it 2). the empty tomb, or was it 3). the transformed lives of those who witnessed the risen Lord?
Why do I believe that Jesus rose from the dead? Because the Bible tells me so! We have a lot to learn from our children’s’ songs. Do I like evidence for the resurrection? Of Course! But why? Because I am a Christian!
Those of you who are familiar with my ministry have often heard me ask the question: “Where do you most often hear the term “evidence” in the secular world? In court right? Who do you give evidence to in court? The judge and jury. When someone needs a reason to believe the truth of Scripture and we give them external evidence, who are we saying is the judge and jury? Them. Scripture tells us not to put the Lord our God to the test, and here we are elevating doubters to the position of judge!
How often have I heard: “If only I could see the risen Lord, then I would believe.” Not according to Luke 16 “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” But we are talking about the risen Lord here, Sye! “And when they saw Him they worshiped Him, but some doubted.” (Bolding mine).
I am reminded of the story I relayed in the film of my friend Dustin Segers talking with a philosophy student who wanted evidence for the resurrection. Dustin, a presuppositionalist like myself, gave her evidence. Why? She wasn’t challenging the truth of the claim, she just wanted some evidence for it. And he gave it to her. Took a while but Dustin convinced this atheistic philosophy student that Jesus must have risen from the dead. What did she say: “Okay, you’ve convinced me that Jesus rose from the dead, but you didn’t prove that He is God.”
Some doubted indeed.
People evaluate evidence according to what they already believe.
I refuse to elevate the doubter to the position of judge, and put the Lord of Glory on trial.
We must expose what people already believe is absurdity apart from Jesus Christ.
Evidence is wonderful for Christians, and even wonderful in apologetics if not used in a way that puts God on trial. I would have loved to have you in our film, Mr. Koukl. Those chomping at the bit to vilify me for even writing this article, are probably glad that you didn’t make it in. Oh well, I thought we loved each other.