Unfold the Evangel before your eyes!

Are you lost?
Are you worn out?
Are you overwhelmed?
Are you rational?

Only rational, non-dogmatic persons can understand and accept this message. Give yourself a try. Nothing will be like before, I promise!

terça-feira, abril 03, 2007

The Answer is the Resurrection

Steve Cable

Making a Defense for Your Living Hope

A key verse for our ministry at Probe is 1 Peter 3:15 where Peter writes, “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”{1}

I want to encourage you to make this verse a motivator for your own walk as an ambassador for Christ. You might say, “I am not equipped to make a defense. Surely, this verse is talking to pastors and people like the researchers at Probe.” A deeper look at Peter’s letter shows us that this is not the case. Peter makes it clear that these instructions are for all Christians.{2} In addition, Peter wrote this verse in the imperative tense, meaning that it is a command, not a suggestion.

Okay. I want to be ready to give an account for the hope that is in me, but I need be clear on what that hope is. Fortunately, Peter answers that for us in chapter 1 where he writes, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”{3}

So, our hope is a living hope for an eternal inheritance reserved for us in heaven. If I am to make a defense for this hope of eternal life, I need to be able to explain why I believe that the source of this hope has both the capability and the motivation to follow through on this offer.

How do we get this living hope? Our hope comes “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”! Jesus’ resurrection is the basis for our hope. If Jesus is not resurrected from the dead, we are of all men most to be pitied.{4} So, any defense of the hope that is within us begins with explaining why someone should believe in the resurrection. The empty tomb is the cornerstone to answering most other objections raised up against the gospel.

In the remainder of this article, we will look at evidence for the resurrection and how a defense of the resurrection is the foundation for answering many of the objections raised against Christianity.

Evidence for Jesus' Resurrection

Giving an account for our belief in Jesus’ resurrection is the key to defending the hope within us. Several books have been written on this topic, and you can find a list of them in the transcript of this radio program on our Web site. The evidence for the resurrection as an historical event is so strong that even Dr. Antony Flew, until recently a noted proponent of atheism, had to admit, “The evidence for the resurrection is better than for claimed miracles in any other religion. It’s outstandingly different in quality and quantity, I think, from the evidence offered for the occurrence of most other supposedly miraculous events.”{5}

One help to remembering the overwhelming evidence is to think of the ten A’s attesting to Jesus’ resurrection:

1. Accurate predictions. Both the Old and New Testaments contain predictions of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Numerous times in the Gospels, Jesus told his disciples and the Jewish authorities that He would rise to life after three days in the earth. In John 2, at the very beginning of His ministry, Jesus told this to the Jewish leaders. It made such an impression on the disciples, that verse 22 tells us, “So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.”

2. Attesting miracles. Jesus’ resurrection was not a sudden miraculous cap to an otherwise unremarkable life. Jesus had consistently demonstrated His authority over the material universe from turning water into wine, to walking on the water, to healing the sick, to raising Lazarus from the dead. His resurrection is consistent with the power He demonstrated during His earthly ministry.

3. Agonizing death. Jesus had numerous opportunities to avoid a fatal confrontation with the Jewish leaders and Roman authorities. No one is going to go through a Roman scourging and crucifixion as a hoax. Jesus submitted to the cross because it was necessary to pay for our sins and He knew that He had the authority to conquer death.

4. Angry authorities. After word of Jesus’ resurrection began to spread, the Jewish authorities wanted to put a stop to people believing in Him. Producing the body of Jesus would have been the best way to do this. Even with support from the Roman authorities, they were never able to produce a body.

5. Absent body. The chief priests set a guard around Jesus’ tomb to make sure the body was not stolen by his disciples. Those guards knew their lives could be at stake if they failed in their duty, but on the third day Jesus was gone. Once they regained their senses, the guards “reported to the chief priests all that had happened.”{6} Why did they take this risk? Because they knew that there was no body to recover. No one has ever found any credible evidence that the body of Jesus was anywhere to be found on this earth.

6. Amazed disciples. After Jesus’ arrest, most of His disciples fled. It is clear from their reaction that they despised the cross and were not anticipating the resurrection. Two of his disciples did not recognize the risen Jesus even as He was teaching them the Scriptures related to Himself.{7} Their skepticism and shock showed that they clearly were not part of some preplanned hoax.

7. Agreeing eyewitnesses. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to over five hundred people. They testified to His resurrection. We do not have a record of anyone disputing their testimony, saying “I was there with them and it was a hoax.”

8. Apostolic martyrs. People don’t die for something they know to be a hoax. Yet, many of these eyewitnesses accepted death rather than deny the resurrection of Jesus.

9. Agnostic historians. Contemporary, non-Christian historians reported that Jesus was reputed to have risen from the dead and that his followers were willing to die rather than recant their belief in Jesus.

10. Attesting Spirit. Over the centuries, the Holy Spirit continues to convict unbelievers and assure believers that Jesus is the risen Son of God.

We don’t have to believe in the resurrection in spite of the facts. Instead, we believe in the resurrection in light of the facts. If you can defend your belief in the resurrection, then you are already positioned to respond to other questions people may have about your faith. In fact, you can respond to objections by asking, “Do you believe in the resurrection of Jesus?” If the answer is no, then you may want to focus on the evidence for the resurrection as a foundation for addressing their other concerns.

Tearing down objections through the resurrection

The evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is the key to making a defense for our living hope. Let’s consider some common objections to Christianity, and see how the resurrection can be the starting point for a reasoned response.

1. Is there a God still active in this universe?

Jesus’ resurrection shows there is a power that transcends the physical universe. A transcendent God is the only power that can override decay and death. As the apostle Peter wrote, “[God] raised [Jesus] from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”{8}

Jesus’ resurrection declares God’s active involvement in this world. He planned it from the beginning and He performed it at the appointed time.{9}

2. What difference does God make to my life?

Jesus’ resurrection shows that He lives into eternity and that we have the prospect of life beyond this world.{10} Knowing we have a soul that continues beyond this world impacts our perspective on life. As Paul points out, “If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”{11}

But if the dead are raised, then we need to live with eternity in mind. It becomes a top priority to know the one who controls eternity, God.

3. Is the Bible really God’s revelation? Every religion has their holy books.

Jesus’ resurrection confirms that Jesus is the source of truth. He knows which holy book is actually a revelation from God. Jesus affirmed the inspiration of the Old Testament. He promised that the Holy Spirit would lead the apostles as they shared His teaching through the New Testament. The Gospel of John states, “So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.”{12}

If Jesus’ resurrection caused His disciples to believe the Bible, it is certainly sufficient to cause me to believe.

4. I am too insignificant for God to love.

Jesus’ resurrection shows the depth of God’s love for you. Without the crucifixion there would be no resurrection. His crucifixion cries out “God loves you!” Romans tells us that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”{13}

Being singled out for God’s love makes you very significant in His universe.

5. How can anyone know the truth about life and death?

Jesus’ resurrection gives Him firsthand knowledge. He has been beyond death and returned. His knowledge transcends this physical universe. Jesus gives us an eyewitness for eternal life. He told Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world. . . . For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.”{14}

Jesus testifies to the truth regarding eternal life. We can trust His testimony because of the resurrection.

6. Why should I believe that Jesus is God’s divine Son?

Jesus’ resurrection conquered the grave. No mortal can claim victory over decay and death.

He said that “I and the Father are one.” His victory over death confirms His claim, crying out through the ages “He is God!” As Paul proclaims in Romans, “[Jesus] was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.”{15}

7. Aren’t there many ways to God? Can Jesus be the only way?

Jesus’ resurrection puts Jesus in a class by Himself. His crucifixion and victory over death clearly show that He is a the only way to God. If there were multiple ways, Jesus would not have gone to the cross. He allowed himself to be subjected to death because it was necessary for our redemption. In addition, Jesus clearly stated that no one comes to the Father except through Him.{16}

8. How can I possibly be forgiven for my sins?

Jesus’ resurrection validates His claim to have victory over sin and death. The ultimate result of sin is death, and Jesus conquered death.{17} In Romans chapter 10 we learn “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”{18}

Belief in Jesus’ resurrection is a central part of saving faith.

9. Why should I believe God is involved in His creation? I don’t see God making much difference in this world.

Jesus’ resurrection demonstrates God’s active involvement in this world. He predicted it, He planned it, He performed it. Peter writes, “[you are redeemed] with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.”{19}

10. How can a loving God allow all of the evil in this world?

Jesus’ resurrection demonstrates a loving God redeeming a world degraded by evil. If there were no evil, Jesus would not have had to conquer death through the cross. If God was not loving, He would not have sent Jesus into the world to redeem us.{20} Looking at His death and resurrection, we know without a doubt that there is evil in this world, yet we are still loved by a God with power over death. Evil and love coexist because God valued us enough to create us in His image with a genuine capability to choose to turn our backs on Him. Making us unable to choose evil would have made us unable to love removing the greatest attribute of His image.

Once someone accepts the resurrection, many other barriers to accepting Christ are torn down. Whatever the question, the answer is the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

May what John said of the disciples be true of us as well: “So when He was raised from the dead, . . . they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.”{21}


1. Scripture references are taken from the NASB95. 2. 1 Peter 1:1-2, 3:8.
3. 1 Peter 1:3-4.
4. 1 Corinthians 15:17-19
5. Gary Habermas, "My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism: An Exclusive Interview with Former British Atheist Professor Antony Flew." Available from the Web site of Biola University at www.biola.edu/antonyflew/.
6. Matt 28:11.
7. Luke 24:13-32
8. 1 Peter 1:21.
9. 1 Peter 1:18-21.
10. 1 Cor. 15:54-57.
11. 1 Cor. 15:32.
12. John 2:22.
13. Rom 5:8-11.
14. John 18:37-38.
15. Rom 1:4-5.
16. John 14:7.
17. James 1:15; 1 Cor. 15:54-57.
18. Rom 10:9-10.
19. 1 Peter 1:18-20.
20. John 3:16.
21. John 2:22.

© 2007 Probe Ministries

About the Author

Steve Cable is a research associate and assistant to the president with Probe Ministries. Steve assists in developing strategies to expand the impact of Probe's resources in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to joining Probe, Steve spent over 25 years in the telecommunications industry. Steve and his wife, Patti, have served as Bible teachers for over 30 years helping people apply God's word to every aspect of their lives. Steve has extensive, practical experience applying a Christian worldview to the dynamic, competitive hi-tech world that is rapidly becoming a dominant aspect of our society.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3 1/2 minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:

Probe Ministries
1900 Firman Drive, Suite 100
Richardson, TX 75081
(972) 480-0240 FAX (972) 644-9664

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segunda-feira, abril 02, 2007

Our Holographic Bible

Chuck Missler

In previous articles, we noted how scientists have been attracted to the strange properties of a hologram to help explain the bizarre properties of quantum physics and even the organization of the human brain.1 It shouldn't come as such a surprise, then, to discover that the Ultimate Architect may have also employed some of these concepts in the design of the Scriptures themselves.

What is a Hologram?

A hologram is a form of lensless photography in which a laser simultaneously illuminates an object and a piece of film. The film records the interference between the light waves hitting it directly and the light waves reflected from the object. It is, in effect, a frequency record rather than a spatial image.

Fourier Transforms

There are mathematical transforms that can alter the domain of a message or image into a form that has unusual and attractive properties. We take advantage of a Lorentz Transform when we calculate the time dilation of hypothetical astronauts in interplanetary travel. Engineers frequently exploit Fourier Transforms to change a time series into a frequency series. The use of frequency response curves in the evaluation of audio equipment is a common example. Fourier had developed a mathematical way of converting any pattern, no matter how complex, into a language of simple waves. He also showed that these wave forms could be converted back into the original pattern, just as a television set converts those frequencies back into the original images. The equations he developed are known as Fourier Transforms.

One of the most remarkable examples of a Fourier Transform is the hologram. The principles were first formulated in 1947 by Dennis Gabor (who later won a Nobel Prize for his efforts) as he was trying to improve the electron microscope, then a primitive and imperfect device. His approach was a mathematical one, leaning on a type of calculus invented by an 18th century Frenchman, Jean B. J. Fourier. Modern holographic images are derived from the work of Emmet Leath at the University of Michigan. (I had the pleasure of exploring computer-generated holograms with him in his laboratory in the early '60s.)

Informational Properties

The hologram exhibits some very profound properties beyond the three-dimensional image. In fact, it is one of the most profound means to distribute information throughout a given media. All of the information it contains is distributed over the entire image surface. One can remove a portion of the hologram without losing the image! Drill a hole in the hologram, and one can still view the entire object by simply moving one's eye to a more convenient angle (some resolution, or sharpness, will be lost however). Cut the film into pieces, and each piece contains the complete image.2

An engineer who is designing a communication system in anticipation of hostile jamming, or other countermeasures, needs to employ several critical techniques to be effective. In addition to taking advantage of available error detection and correction techniques, he will also attempt to spread his message throughout the available bandwidth. He will avoid clustering his message into areas which would increase his vulnerability to jamming or interference.

It is provocative to notice that the Biblical text evidences these same techniques. Where is the chapter on baptism? Or salvation? Or any specific critical doctrine? Every major theme is spread throughout the 66 books making up the total message. There is no concentration of any critical element in any single location. One can tear out a surprising number of pages and still not lose visibility of the essential message. (Some resolution or clarity would be lost, however.) This design intent of distributing the vital elements throughout the entire message system is even highlighted by Isaiah:

Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Isaiah 28:9,10

A Biblical Analogy

When one examines a hologram in natural (uncollimated, noncoherent) light, it has no apparent form nor attractiveness. However, when one examines it with the laser with which it was formulated, a three-dimensional image appears. When one examines the Bible in unaided, natural light, it "has no form nor comeliness that we should desire it."3 But when we examine it illuminated by the Light that created it, the Spirit of God that put it all together in the first place, we see an image: the image of the One that every detail in it illuminates, the promised Messiah Himself.

From Genesis to Revelation, God's program for the redemption of mankind is carefully distributed throughout 66 books,4 penned by more than 40 different individuals spanning several thousand years! And, indeed, this abused collection has survived the jamming and interference of its enemies over many centuries without material damage!

(However, if we illuminate the hologram with a laser of a different frequency, it will yield a false or distorted image. So, too, the Scripture!)

Religious Adversaries

And there are knowledgeable, resourceful adversaries that are very committed to preventing it from achieving its objective. And you are the target of their malicious designs. Lies and deceit are their primary weapons.5 And, surprisingly, religion has been the deceptive packaging to prevent mankind from perceiving the truth of God's grace and mercy.

(Jesus Christ was the most anti-religious person who has ever walked the earth. The only hostility He ever evidenced-and He almost invariably did so-was toward the professional religionists of that day.) Religion is man's attempt to reconcile himself to God. It began when Adam and Eve attempted to clothe themselves to hide their nakedness.6

God's response was to replace their efforts with coats of skins,7 teaching them that they would ultimately be covered by the shedding of innocent blood. The concept of a substitutional sacrifice, which would later be codified in the Levitical system, and climaxed at Golgatha, was introduced before they left the Garden of Eden. You and I are also the beneficiaries of that love letter, written in blood on a wooden cross that was erected in Judea about 2,000 years ago.

The holographic paradigm thus seems to give us a glimpse into the interconnected relationships of the human mind (reviewed last month), and even the very nature of physical reality itself (see Personal UPDATE 8/98) also appears to leave its imprint within the Word of God itself. This would appear to be a subtle, but significant, fingerprint of the Author of it all.

* * *
This article was excerpted from Cosmic Codes - Hidden Messages From the Edge of Eternity.


  1. See Personal UPDATE 2/99, pp. 12-15; 8/98, pp. 5-9.
  2. This is only true for a hologram invisible to the naked eye. Synthetic holographic-like images used in normal light displays do not have these properties.
  3. Isaiah 53:2.
  4. Seventy, if one recognizes that the Book of Psalms is actually assembled from 5 books.
  5. John 8:44, et al. This began in Eden when the adversary cynically inquired, "Yea, Hath God (really) said..." Genesis 3:1ff.
  6. Their "nakedness" may be referring to their loss of their original nature: they may have been clothed with light, walking with God, etc. There may be far more involved than most theologians have ever imagined.
  7. Genesis 3:21.

domingo, abril 01, 2007

Ora, vejam essa...

Allan Ribeiro

Eu não sei quem lembra de como os esforços dos evangélicos americanos, especialmente entre os membros do governo federal de promover o "True Love Waits" (no Brasil batizado de "Quem Ama, Espera"), foram ridicularizados pela mídia daqui.

Pois bem, a edição 58 da Scientific American Brasil traz uma discreta notinha que eu achei muito interessante. Não posso reproduzí-la toda em respeito ao copy right, mas aqui vão uns trechinhos com sabor de "Quem ri por último...".

Porém, nos últimos anos a virgindade vem se tornando mais popular nos Estados Unidos, ao contrário do que ocorre no Brasil. (...) Estatísticas mostram um declínio na ocorrência de gravidez em ambas as faixas etárias (18 e 19 anos) estudadas de 1991 a 2004, o último ano com informação disponível (...).

Promessas de manter a virgindade, como as promovidas por associações ligadas à igreja batista, podem ter provocado parte desse declínio. Desde o início dos anos 90, perto de 2,5 milhões de adolescentes fizeram esses votos, que não são acompanhados por informações sobre contraceptivos.
Mas, para não dar o braço a torcer totalmente, eles completam:
Profissionais de saúde merecem parte do crédito pelo declínio do sexo entre adolescentes, graças ao esforço para melhorar a educação sexual nos últimos anos.

Para saber mais
Veja o artigo de José Maria Vasconcelos
e o artigo de Chuck Missler sobre relatório da APA