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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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History or Hoax?

The late Carl Sagan was a noted astronomer and agnostic. He claimed there was insufficient evidence to be able to be sure of the existence of God. He told the the following story in Cosmos: A newspaper publisher sent a telegram to an astronomer: WIRE COLLECT IMMEDIATELY FIVE HUNDRED WORDS ON WHETHER THERE IS LIFE ON MARS. The astronomer dutifully replied: NOBODY KNOWS-250 times. Sagan and other modem scientists are not the only people who are skeptical about God and Jesus. A radical group of Johnny-come-lately religious skeptics known as the "Jesus Seminar" has joined that intellectually pompous group who try to tell us we can't be certain of anything, and then turn right around and tell us they are certain Jesus did not rise from the dead! In the April 10, 1995 issue of Time, the scholars who comprise the "Jesus Seminar" held forth on their conclusions about Christ's resurrection: "The Bible's account of the event ... is a poetic rendering of a devout wish but certainly not an authentic record." Now get that. These so-called experts on the Bible want us to believe what they have written about the resurrection of Jesus two thousand years after the time of Christ is authentic, but the account as recorded by eyewitnesses and writers in the New Testament is "certainly not an authentic record." Is it not strange when scholars who are uncertain about the accuracy of the New Testament record turn right around and ask us to accept their statements as certain?!

Jesus and New Testament writers claimed again and again that He was the Son of God, that He was crucified, buried, and raised from the dead. After 2000 years of unrelenting and intense scrutiny, the testimony of the New Testament is still standing, calling us to place our faith in a resurrected and living Savior. Christianity is grounded and based on historical, space/time events attested to by eyewitnesses of the highest order in the New Testament. From the get-go opponents of Jesus and the Christian faith have sought to deny the events recorded in the New Testament. Matthew 27:13 records the first efforts at a cover up. Almost while the grave clothes of Jesus are still warm, Jewish authorities concocted a cover-up. They gave the soldiers who had guarded the tomb containing Christ's body a large sum of money and instructed them to say, "His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept." That is the hoax connected with Christianity. But the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is a matter of history!

Smithville church of Christ
Dan Gulley