It seems reasonable to me to believe that there is intelligence behind our universe. I have no problem with this. In my opinion there are good philosophical arguments that can get an open-minded person at least to deism or a bare bones theism.
But the whole Christian religion hinges on the truth of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And I can see no argument, philosophical or historical, that can get a person to this. Jesus may have been resurrected, but how can we, 2000 years later, know this? The historical arguments don’t work, for me anyway, because we don’t know how trustworthy the testimony of the gospel writers is, and even if it is trustworthy we don’t really know what it was they saw or experienced. The evidence is too flimsy.
So, how do people who call themselves Christians know that Jesus was resurrected? The whole religion hinges on this event after all, so it seems rather important to know whether it really happened or not! What could it be that could convince a person 2000 years after the event that a man was resurrected from the dead?
People have said “the holy spirit”. Well, if “the holy spirit” is responsible for this, then there’s nothing, no argument, that can convince the unbeliever since this is experiential knowledge, and apologetics seems a bit pointless.
Others have said that they believe it because the doctrines and the content of the Bible just ring true and make sense of life. Well, this may be the case, but could it not be the case that the reason Christianity as a religion resonates with human experience is because it was designed that way by the Church? I.e. to fulfill human needs. Why believe that its ringing true with human experience is because it comes from God rather than man?
I’m not hostile to Christianity. Far from it. But I have read many apologetics books and listened to many debates and talks by Christians, and I can never get beyond this resurrection issue. How can a person know such a thing?
Then again, what is truth anyway? As Graham Greene said in Travels with My Aunt: All characters once dead (…) tend to become fictions. Hamlet is no less real now than Winston Churchill. So, perhaps it doesn’t matter whether the resurrection really happened or not? Maybe the truth of Christianity is elsewhere, and the endless debate about what really happened is beside the point?