1) There can't be an eternity of the past of cause and effects because mankind would have approximated into that alleged past eternity, as all things in nature would be, so we would not still be sinning to the extent we still do along the exponential progression of conscience we are clearly on. Similarly, heat death would be far greater than it is for a universe(s) older than 13.7 billion years, and any alleged universe we were in would have undergone far more heat death than has already occurred.
2) The universe can't come from nothing, because the overwhelming preponderance of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt is that all things in nature have a cause with trillions of causes and no hard evidence something happens all by itself from nothing. And that which does not exist can't produce anything for it doesn't exist! For the atheist no time existed, therefore according to him without time this universe can't come into being and we should not exist.
3) Don't misrepresent God of the Bible in forming your arguments, otherwise you are on the wrong hill and not dealing with the character and nature of God being shown to you on this other hill.
4) If you want to suggest an eternity of the past of cause and effects outside the natural realm of supernatural beings or things, again, since mankind would have derived from that alleged past eternity, we would not still be sinning to the extent we still do along the exponential progression of conscience we are clearly on.
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1.20).
1. Without assuming Biblical inerrancy, what can we glean from
the Scriptures? Over 95% of skeptical scholars who do their thesis work, are
accredited and have peer review journal work done on the resurrection in the
past half century (see
Gary R. Habermas) agree Paul really wrote and really believed what he wrote
in 1 Cor. 15 and Gal. 1 & 2.
2. In these three chapters, Paul said he spent fifteen days with Peter and also time with James, the brother of Jesus, which would be within five years from the cross. Paul was converted two years after the cross then went away to study the word of God for three years, after which time, he returned to Jerusalem whereupon he got to know Peter and James. Later on he met up with John. And he continued to see them again over the years. They all testified to having seen Jesus alive from the dead in various group settings.
3. People do not willingly allow themselves to die for something they know is a lie. So the Apostles really believed they saw, talked with, touched, walked with and even ate with Jesus in various group settings after He died on the cross which convinced them He is God and so became bold proclaimers when before they were doubters.
4. Therefore, it must be true they saw Jesus alive from the dead, since all naturalistic explanations have been exhausted these past two thousand years. Amen.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof remains on the person who wants to deny
the existence of God and resurrection of Jesus. Shutting your mind down is not a
To argue against the existence of the uncreated Creator, you would first need to show how something can come from nothing despite the overwhelming evidence of trillions of causes in nature, or, explain how the universe could always have existed even though mankind would not still be sinning to the extent we still do along the exponential progression of conscience we are clearly on. Unless and until you do that, you have been unable to overturn the evidence for God, and therefore have no grounds to believe in atheism or agnosticism. Be honest with yourself.
If you now concede God exists, but don't want to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, you still need to find a naturalistic explanation to account for the origin of the disciples' beliefs without which lead inextricably to the resurrection of Jesus proving He is God. Unless and until you do that, you have been unable to overturn the evidence that Jesus is God, and therefore, you have no grounds for deism or any other faith.
It's safe to say Paul and Peter talked about more than just the weather for 15 days, and Paul did say in 1 Cor. 15 that he received this message from someone: "I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures" (1 Cor. 15.3). The early creed for the original disciples was given: "And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (v.4), and "he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve" (v.5) and "James" (v.7). This oral tradition continued in building the first churches.
We have 11 sources of the martyrdom of the original apostles (see The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, 2004 by Gary R. Habermas). Paul was almost killed 7 times in the Bible before he was finally martyred around 65 A.D. Suffice it to say he and the disciples knew what would happen given their prior experiences and the martyrdom of James and Stephen. Antipas was also martyred recorded in Revelation 2.13 which was written about 95 AD. Jesus even said to his disciples they would be put to death as He was.