ADVERTISING
 
Friday, July 21   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
LGBT debates in churches
Is the definition of marriage an important enough issue to split a church?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



René Breuel
 

The Christian conspiracy

If you look at it realistically, Jesus was a very unattractive messiah to believe in. He was a peasant who lived in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire.

CULTURE MAKING AUTHOR René Breuel 01 JULY 2017 19:00 h GMT+1
Photo: Nathan Anderson (Unsplash, CC)

In the mood for a conspiracy theory? The menu is vast: Russian hackers, Trump’s election, the landing on the moon, Area 51. But I have a biggie: the rise of Christianity. The growth of the world’s largest faith seems obvious now, with the benefit of hindsight and churches dotting every other corner (almost literally, here in Rome at least.) But if you look closer, the historic rise of the Christian faith seems more enigmatic than Swiss bank accounts: how could such a faith grow after the death of its leader? How do you explain Christian success after Christ’s failure?



If you look at it realistically, Jesus was a very unattractive messiah to believe in. He was a peasant who lived in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire. He offered eternal life but died tragically, executed like the worst criminals, like someone on an electric chair today.



 





So why didn’t Christianity die with the death of its leader? What relaunched the Christian movement and drove its growth? What moved people to believe in Jesus after he was crucified?



The Christian response is that Jesus came back to life, showed himself to people, and so faith in him was reignited: “on the third day he rose from the dead.” Oh right! Here comes the fairy tale!



Yet, can you think of any other explanation? How do you account for this massive relaunch of faith after Jesus’ violent and public death? Let’s look at the theories have been put forth to explain belief in Jesus after his death:



1. Wrong tomb: some people explain that the disciples went to the wrong tomb and, not finding the body of Jesus, concluded he was risen. Clean and simple explanation, eh? But if that was the case, the authorities should just show the right tomb with Jesus’ corpse, and the mistake would be cleared out.



2. Jesus didn’t really die: others say that Jesus did not really die, and after regaining strength, he exited the tomb and people thought he was risen. But that could be the case say, if Jesus had been poisoned in a hidden room and not many people had inspected his body. Jesus’ death was visible and public, however, and people for and against his message buried him. Besides, when a solder struck his side, blood and water came out: the separation of coagulated blood is a medical evidence of death.



3. Disciple’s conspiracy: others say that the disciples wanted to promote faith in Jesus so much that they secretly stole the body, and started preaching that he was risen. But the problem here is that the disciples gave their lives for this conviction, and were tortured and killed for preaching that Jesus was God and was alive. Trick-or-treat every now and then is fun, but nobody would have suffered so much and so long for a lie. They were absolutely convinced that Jesus was indeed risen.



4. Collective hallucination: a last theory suggests that the disciples were so psychologically shocked with Jesus’ death that they had hallucinations and thought they had encountered Jesus after he died. However, Jesus appeared to hundreds of people, sometimes to a few individuals, once to more than 500 people, and appeared to people in numerous occasions and repeated times. It is highly unlike that all of them had the same hallucination at once, and that all agreed on the details. Moreover, Jesus appeared after he died also to people who opposed him, like Paul on the road to Damascus, and who did not expect to meet him at all.



The best explanation for the change of mind in the disciples was that Jesus was truly raised from the dead. Can you think of any other explanation? No other theory but a historic resurrection explains adequately the rebirth of Christianity after Jesus’ death.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - The Christian conspiracy
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict

Shira Sorko-Ram, pastor and journalist in Israel, shares her views and a historical and biblical context on the latest events.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ” Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ”

Evangelical Focus asked the well-known Pentecostal pastor about his “open” approach to Roman Catholicism. Traettino defended his position about ecumenism during the Italian Evangelical Alliance 2016 assembly (8-9 April, Rome).

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA

Influence in society, evangelical identity and projects in Europe. An interview with Thomas Bucher, secretary general of the European Evangelical Alliance.

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch

Author and international speaker Dr Pablo Martínez discusses the main challenges in Europe nowadays and hopes Evangelical Focus will be a useful tool to help build bridges between churches and society.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
The abilities of Mefi-Boset The abilities of Mefi-Boset

Christian ministry Mefi-Boset has been working with people with intellectual disabilities in their leisure time, and supporting their families in Terrassa and Barcelona (Spain) for 20 years. 

 
Re-evangelise Europe and renew the biblical church Re-evangelise Europe and renew the biblical church

The 2017 European Leadership Forum gathered hundreds in Poland to celebrate the Reformation and connect to better share the gospel in diverse national contexts. See picture gallery.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country ‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country

Bilbao hosted the Spanish Evangelical Alliance's annual meeting (assembly). Politicians, professors and evangelical representatives shared views on social reconciliation. The theme was also analysed from a theological perspective and in workshops. 

 
WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues

A selection of pictures of World Press Photo 2017.

 
The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi spoke about how the biblical worldview shaped the West. 300 professionals attended annual GBG meeting on faith and work in Cullera (Spain). Photos: J.P. Serrano, S. Vera.

 
Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016 Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016

Around 1,000 young Christian leaders from 150 countries are participating in the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, to reflect on global mission.

 
“Spain, we pray for you” “Spain, we pray for you”

Hundreds of evangelical Christians from many denominations marched in Madrid (Spain) to pray for their city, the authorities and asking God to bring hope to its society. Many gathered in other cities on June, 11.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Living without your favourite things Living without your favourite things

A video by Open Doors UK & Ireland explains to children what it means to be a refugee. 

 
Playmobil animation on Luther’s life Playmobil animation on Luther’s life

British video platform GoChatter uses 4,000 individual photos to create stop motion video on Martin Luther's life.

 
Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi on how the Protestant Reformation underlined individualism as a means to please God, and how secular Europe corrupted it.

 
What role does the Church have in Europe? What role does the Church have in Europe?

Evi Rodemann (Germany) talks about the unique contributions to society that only the Church can make. 

 
Students in Europe: “We are present” Students in Europe: “We are present”

A summary video of the IFES Europe conference which brought together 1,700 students from many countries in Aschaffenburg (Germany) to reflect on God's mission in society.

 
You-To live-How? You-To live-How?

The Roldan Camacho are a Spanish couple with deafness. They tell us how the whole family experiences everyday life through sign language. A video report by Gabriela Pérez.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.