Easter is the foundation of our faith.
Any component of the belief that Jesus is the Son of God, died for our sins and was resurrected is a popular target for atheists and non-believers who like to poke fun at Christians. There are differences between the two; just find a commentary stream on any number of newspaper faith stories or online discussion boards and it’s pretty easy to parse it out.
Pastor-turned-atheist Dan Barker issued a challenge through his Madison, Wis.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation. The challenge was to piece together a cohesive chronological account of the resurrection using text from the Gospels.
Anyone who has read the different New Testament accounts knows there are some apparent differences even through a casual read. The way it was best explained to me, so far, is that ancient storytellers, not just the apostles, routinely told stories in ways where time and setting were often disjointed at the expense of making a point. Furthermore, it’s my understanding that the relative speed to which the Gospel accounts were written after Jesus’ death compared to other ancient historical summaries lends them credibility.
Craigmont, Idaho pastor Stephen Kingsley claims to have solved Barker’s challenge in his book “The Easter Answer.” He writes on his Web site that Barker has not responded to his submission of a manuscript a year ago using the literal biblical accounts to weave the answer seamlessly.
An interesting read, particularly if it reinforces how many Christians feel God moves in their daily lives–perhaps the best evidence of all.