(Book: On Guard, by William Lane Craig. Chapter 9: “Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?”)
We come at last to the big question: did God raise Jesus from the dead? It’s chapter 9 out of 10 chapters, which is pretty strange if you think about it. Here’s a book whose goal, as stated on the front cover, is “defending your faith with precision and reason.” His tone throughout the book has been triumphalistic: the glorious truth of the gospel is driving back the dark clouds of doubt and criticism, and atheists are retreating, noisily but inevitably (at least to hear him tell it).
And yet he’s only just now tackling the problem of convincing us that Jesus really rose from the dead. Why? What better defense of the Gospel could there be than a Savior raised by God from the dead? If Jesus really rose, then there’s no point in appealing to superstitions about how the universe began, or whether it’s “fine tuned,” or where morals come from. And if he didn’t rise, well, all those superstitions and rationalizations aren’t going to help. Yet here we are, at the end of the book, reluctantly broaching the topic. It’s like he wanted to be sure we had to wade through 8 chapters of superstition and excuses before he dared expose the reasoning that permits him to conclude that Jesus really rose. Surely by now the skeptics will have gotten fed up and left, and only the truly gullib faithful will remain.
It’s safe, Jesus. You can come out now.