Presentation on theme: "Evidence for Belief in the Afterlife PATHS: What evidence supports our beliefs? 1.Pragmatic – Does it work for us; give us comfort? 2.Anecdotal – NDEs."— Presentation transcript:
Evidence for Belief in the Afterlife PATHS: What evidence supports our beliefs? 1.Pragmatic – Does it work for us; give us comfort? 2.Anecdotal – NDEs and experiences of others. 3.Textual – Does a sacred text inform our thinking? Bible, Qur’an, Origin of Species, Bhagavad Gita… 4.Historical – Is there any historical or archaeological evidence that supports our beliefs? 5.Scientific – Does science offer testable, falsifiable, evidence for our beliefs?
Textual Evidence On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ ; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” – Luke 10:25-28 “Heaven” and “eternal life” are mentioned over 250 times in the New Testament, with over half those references coming from the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John).
The Significance of the Resurrection And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” - 1 Corinthians 15:17, 19, 32
Four Major Historical Facts Support the Physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ 1.Burial Story 2.Empty Tomb 3.Post-Resurrection Appearances 4.Origin of Disciples Belief
1.Burial Story A. Mentioned in Corinthians; Paul’s early writing. B. Part of very old source material for Mark’s gospel. C. Joseph of Arimathea was likely not invented, as he was a member of the Jewish court that condemned Jesus. D. No legendary embellishment. E. No other competing burial story exists. 2. Empty Tomb 3. Post-Resurrection Appearances 4. Origin of Disciples Belief Four Major Historical Facts Support the Physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ
1.Burial Story 2.Empty Tomb A. Part of very old source material for Mark’s gospel. B. Empty tomb implied in Corinthian letters by Paul. C. No legendary embellishment. D. Women discoverers of tomb not likely fictional. E. Earliest Jewish allegation that disciples stole body attests to the fact of the empty tomb. 3.Post-Resurrection Appearances 4.Origin of Disciples Belief Four Major Historical Facts Support the Physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ
1.Burial Story 2.Empty Tomb 3.Post-Resurrection Appearances 4. Origin of Disciples Belief Four Major Historical Facts Support the Physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ A. “He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.” - I Cor. 15:5-8
1.Burial Story 2.Empty Tomb 3.Post-Resurrection Appearances A. The list of credible eyewitnesses guarantees that such appearances occurred. B. The appearances recorded in the gospels provide multiple, independent attestation of these occurrences. 4. Origin of Disciples Belief Four Major Historical Facts Support the Physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ
1.Burial Story 2.Empty Tomb 3.Post-Resurrection Appearances 4.Origin of Disciples Belief A. Their leader had died, and the Jews had no concept of a dying, much less a rising, Messiah. B. Jesus' trial as a criminal labeled him a heretic. C. Jewish afterlife beliefs precluded rising from the dead until the resurrection at the end of the world. D. Yet, Jesus’ disciples believed in, AND died for, the fact of Christ’s resurrection. Four Major Historical Facts Support the Physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Scientific Evidence for the Resurrection and Hope Beyond the Grave Does science offer testable, falsifiable evidence that nihilism is true?... NO! Regarding the question, “Did Jesus come alive again, three days after being crucified?” Can we at least agree that: There is an answer to this question, whether or not we can discover it in practice, and the answer should be, at least in part, scientifically verifiable.
Kaluza, Klein and Einstein In 1919, Teodr Kaluza suggested in a paper to Albert Einstein, that his theory of gravity may be mathematically united with James Clerk Maxwell’s theory of light, by simply adding a fifth dimension of space. Einstein was dumbfounded (not a normal situation for Einstein!) He mulled over the paper for 2 years before submitting it for publication. He wondered how a 5 th dimension could actually exist but remain unnoticed? In 1926, Oskar Klein suggested that the extra dimension may be “curled up,” making it virtually invisible.
Fast Forward to Today Dr. Lisa Randall Professor Randall earned her PhD from Harvard University and held professorships at MIT and Princeton University before returning to Harvard in 2001. Professor Randall was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2007 for her work involving higher dimensions.
Dr. David Gross at Strings 2003 in Kyoto, Japan Dr. David Gross 1966 PhD in Physics, UC-Berkeley 1987 MacArthur Found. Fellowship 1988 Dirac Medal until 1997 Prof. at Princeton Univ. 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics Prof. Gross currently holds the Frederick W. Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, UC-Santa Barbara.
1 Corinthians 15:35-38 35 But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.
1 Corinthians 15:42-49 42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.
Hell 11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. - Revelation 20:11-15
Sodom an Example of God’s Judgment In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. - Jude 1:7 He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and … he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men. - 2 Peter 2:6-7