Monday, October 29, 2007

Strobel's Imagination

In a sermon at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, Lee Strobel invited his audience to "imagine" 515 eyewitnesses each testifying for fifteen minutes of direct and cross-examination that they had witnessed the risen Christ. That is more that five full twenty-four hour days of testimony. Imagine, he said, listening to all that testimony and saying "I don't believe it."

Pretty impressive, isn't it? There is just one small problem.


We don't have the testimony of 515 eyewitnesses. We have two anonymous writings that are attributed to eyewitnesses, the Gospels of Matthew and John. These accounts were written thirty to sixty years after the event. We have Paul's letter to the Corinthians written some twenty years after he claimed that the risen Christ appeared to him.

That is a total of three accounts of appearances by the risen Christ that even purport to be attributable to eyewitnesses. The testimony is offered decades after the events and the witnesses are not subject to cross-examination.

There is a huge difference between testimony from eyewitnesses and testimony that there are eyewitnesses.

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