#194…science, RELIGION, etc.: “Our Neglect of Easter and Passover”


[Note: We’re presenting Monday’s post one day early. The next new post will be Wed.]


“For shame…you fumbled the ball!”

accuse two regular readers.


We apologize for saying nothing in advance about these 2 holidays which are important to Christians.


So, for a bit MORE, even ill-timed as it may seem, use the DOOR.




    The feast of Passover (which my family celebrated Sat. night with a large group) is a remembrance of the time when the Jews, under Moses, left Egypt for the promised land, Israel…now once again occupied by Jews who remember their ancestral connections to those who were once slaves in Egypt. Part of the Passover meal¹, Christians believe, has direct reference to Jesus Christ and his place in the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).

    Easter is a traditional remembrance of the the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  And the day varies because of uncertainty of the actual days these events took place. (Christmas, which is traditionally celebrated on Dec. 25, represents the unknown date of Jesus’ birth.)

    But the actual history of Christ’s living, dying, and literally rising from the dead is another matter.

    There are two books that, we’ve discussed earlier, that address the literal death and resurrection, and other issues of Christianity from a scholarly (and most readable) evangelical point of view. They, in our view, are perfect for a Kindle or other electronic reader. Further, a skimming of the contributors notes is fascinating for many, showing the kind of people who are putting their lives and reputations on the line for believing that a supernatural God exists and is at work today.

    Here are the two books²:

    Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science.  Edited by William Dembski and Michael Licona. See in particular the essays: (27) “Did Jesus Really Exist?” (28) “The Credibility of Jesus’ Miracles,” (29) “The Son of Man,” (30) “The Son of God,” (31) “Jesus as God,” (32) “Did Jesus Predict His Violent Death and Resurrection?” (33) “Can We Be Certain That Jesus Died on a Cross? A Look at the Ancient Practice of Crucifixion,” (34) “The Empty Tomb of Jesus,” (35) “The Resurrection Appearances of Jesus,” and (36) “Were the Resurrection Appearances of Jesus Hallucinations?”

    Jesus’ Resurrection: Fact or Figment? by William Lane CraigThis book is a respectful true debate that took place at the Robsham Theatre at Boston College between scholars with opposing views. The “side” rejecting the historicity of the supernatural events associated with Jesus Christ is represented by Gerd Lüdemann, NT scholar formerly prof of theology at the Univ. of Göttigen. Since then, Lüdemann has repudiated any kind of “Christian” label and, according to Paul Copan, has “deeply regret[ed] [taking] such an approach.” His new credo, following the spirit of “the unwavering race” mentioned in the Gnostic Nag Hammadi texts, is to distance himself from the creator God and to affirm the deepest and best potentiality within human beings.

    Some of you…who have gotten this far…will find these books hard to put down. Both make excellent reads in small segments, perhaps even as daily devotions. For the “50 arguments” one I spent 2 days on each chapter for 100 days.


¹In the traditional Passover celebration–which is perhaps the oldest continually celebrated religious festival in the world–3 pieces of matzo (unleavened bread) are tucked away in a special 3-pocketed bag. At one point the second piece is broken and part of it is hidden away and later looked for by a child for a reward. Christians believe that this second piece of matzo represents Christ dying in payment for our sins.

²For more on the first book, put this in the search rectangle in the left column: < taking god seriously {27} > We’ve already discussed and recommended this book.

Author: John Knapp