The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of Christianity

I recently had the opportunity to watch the prescreening of The Case for Christ movie. This movie is based on the bestselling apologetics book by journalist Lee Strobel. Lee Strobel was an atheist who was disturbed by his wife’s conversion to Christianity. Strobel took it upon himself to apply his journalistic skills to prove that Christianity was false.

His research led to the conclusion that Christianity was true and to his own conversion.

The amount of material in The Case for Christ book is far too much for a movie that also needs to include the relationship dynamic between Strobel and his wife. That is why I was pleased that the movie focuses almost completely on the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.

You will have to judge for yourself if the movie provides convincing evidence for the resurrection of Jesus when it is released on April 7, 2017. But the decision to focus on the resurrection was a wise one.

Last year, megachurch pastor Andy Stanley made this controversial statement in an interview with Russell Moore:

“I would ask preachers and pastors and student pastors in their communications to get the spotlight off the Bible and back on the resurrection.”

For many conservative evangelicals, this was a dangerous concession to liberalism on the role of the Bible. While I affirm an inspired and infallible Bible, I think Stanley was right on.

It is possible to have a view of the Bible that includes errors and other problems and yet still be a Christian. It is not possible to reject the resurrection of Jesus and still be a Christian.

I’m not arguing for a lower view of Scripture but rather a higher view of the resurrection. The Apostle Paul made this radical statement: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17) Paul understood the resurrection of Jesus to be the one line that cannot be crossed.

I sometimes get asked what it would take for me to stop being a Christian. Evidence against literal understandings of Adam and Eve, Noah, Jonah or almost anything else in the Bible would not be enough for me to quit Christianity. The only thing that would be sufficient to shipwreck my faith would be evidence against the resurrection of Jesus.

Thankfully, as Lee Strobel and many other apologists have demonstrated, there is a tremendous amount of evidence for Jesus. The witness of male and female followers, the witness of initial skeptics, and the witness of over five hundred people of the risen Jesus point us to a firm historical foundation for the resurrection of Jesus.

There are many things about the Bible and about faith in general that I do not understand. But I am confident in the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. Since that resurrection is the foundation for Christianity, I can be assured that my faith is not in vain.

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About the author


ChristianWeek Columnist

Stephen J. Bedard is an author, blogger and speaker. He is interested in discipleship, apologetics and disability advocacy. He co-wrote the award-winning book, Unmasking the Pagan Christ, which was also made into a documentary. He is the director of Hope’s Reason Ministry and editor of Hope’s Reason: A Journal of Apologetics. Additional writing can be found on his website stephenjbedard.com

  • ksed11

    If Christ is not risen our faith is useless.

    • Steve Bedard

      Amen!