Is My Life Evidence of the Resurrection?

I continue to study through 1 Cor 15 as I am teaching it at our church. Paul is explaining how the fact of the resurrection as a historical event is critical to the Gospel. Verses 30-32a comprise another argument for the resurrection, the evidence of Paul’s life! Why would he put himself at risk, denying himself, and engage in battle for Christ, if there were no resurrection from the dead? This is not direct evidence that there is a resurrection. Someone could believe there is a resurrection, and act on that belief, but there not truly be one. This is evidence that Paul believes there is a resurrection. The implication of this is that since Paul brought the Corinthians the gospel and is a respected apostle, belief in the resurrection must be consistent with Christianity. The weight of this evidence depends on Paul’s credibility and authority. This is a powerful and legitimate form of persuasion. If people we respect believe something, we are certainly prone to believe as well.

The application is obvious: can I point to my own life as evidence of hope in the resurrection? Would such evidence matter to anyone?

A True and Rational Gospel

When Paul was communication the gospel to Agrippa and Festus, he was accused of being out of his mind. Paul responded, “I am speaking true and rational words” (Acts 26:25). As I have been studying philosophy and critical thinking in my politics and religion class, I have concluded that if the Gospel is true, then it would be the conclusion of an honest, logical consideration of the evidence. I do not mean by this that one would or could believe based only on intellectual considerations. Belief is a matter of the heart and will. Nor do I mean that all the claims of Scripture are verifiable by physical evidence. But the gospel and the Christian worldview will not contradict evidence and logic. The Bible does not teach that the God’s truth is a mysterious, irrational reality or that the physical world is an illusion or inherently evil. Instead, the words of the gospel are true and rational. It is easy for people to claim that Christianity is illogical or contradicts scientific and historical evidence. These claims must be pressed and critiqued for it may reveal to the accuser that their resistance to the gospel is not at all rational, but a resistance to the truth itself.

After making the above observations, I read an article by Chuck Colson, "When Atheists Believe: The Confounding Attraction of the Christian Worldview" (Christianity Today, Oct 2009). Here are some snippets:

"People who insist we are 'simply anthropoid apes' cannot account for things as basic as language, love, and music. . . . I have longed believed that Christianity is the most rational explanation of reality. And that fact, winsomely explained, can powerfully influence thinking people to consider Christ's claims. A strong empirical case can be made to show that Christianity is the only rational explanation of life. . . . The Bible speaks most accurately to the human condition--the very definition of a rational choice."