What Do Even the Critics Agree On?

04.13.21 | Coffee Stained Notebook | by John Jones

What Do Even the Critics Agree On?



    Mark Bauerlein aFirst Things interviews Justin Bass in the talkMere Historical Christianity 

    Dr. Bass is a member of the faculty at the Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminaryhas written articles for The Gospel Coalition, and his newest book is The Bedrock of Christianity: The Unalterable Facts of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection 

    In essence, he is a historian who engages in a fascinating thought experiment. What if you were able to gather together in one room, all of the agnostics and atheists who have ever lived? And what if you were able to pose to them this one question: “Though not a Christian, what are a few elements in the Bible that you do believe happened in time and space?” 

    Dr. Bass has read these primary sources and he finds four items that all of these individuals would affirm, even though they do not believe in Christianity. These four events, they all agree, really happened. The four are:   

    1. That Jesus was actually crucified (under Pontius Pilate), and that he actually died as a result of this crucifixion. 
    2. That there was a unique and undeniable claim that this Jesus was resurrected to life. 
    3. That there were several claims made by several people that this Jesus appeared to them 
    4. That strong movement began very early, quickly blossoming into the largest religion in the world, even today. 

    You have to kind of bend your mind to appreciate what Justin Bass has done. These four statements are agreed upon by some of the fiercest opponents of Christianity. Of course, these four do not constitute what is called, orthodox Christianity. Yet it is quite remarkable that our God would ensure that these four events would permanently mark world history in such a way that they would be undeniable even to agnostics and atheists. 

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