Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Former Atheist Lee Strobel's Follow-Up to Ricky Gervais' Easter Message

In response to Ricky Gervais’ controversial “Holiday Message” last week, one well-known Christian author and apologist followed up with what he’s best known for – the facts.

Presenting his case for Christ, former atheist Lee Strobel described how the evidence of Easter killed his faith in atheism in his essay published in The Wall Street Journal.

Over 30 ago Strobel – who was no stranger to investigating as the legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and an award-winning journalist – began his two-year search for evidence regarding the credibility of Christianity after his wife’s sudden conversion.

Recalling his first reaction to his wife’s newfound belief, Strobel stated in the WSJ how “it was the worst news [he could] get as an atheist.”

“Two words shot through my mind. The first was an expletive; the second was ‘divorce,’” the evangelist relayed.

Afraid she was going to turn into a “self-righteous holy roller,” Strobel decided to systematically investigate Christianity, focusing on Christ’s resurrection, in hopes to perhaps “extricate [his wife] from [the] cult.”

He also admitted to being genuinely curious about her faith because he had seen positive changes in his wife the months following her conversion (which she attributed to God).

Exhaustively studying the historical data surrounding Christ’s death and resurrection for nearly two years, Strobel found evidence after evidence, which supported not only Jesus’ life but his actual resurrection as well.

Recording in the WSJ each criticism he had, the famous author found that all his questions he had regarding Christ’s final days were substantially supported by historical evidence.

Was Jesus really executed, was Jesus’ tomb empty, did anyone see Jesus alive again, and could these encounters have been hallucinations were a few of the questions Strobel investigated and found to be valid.

“One by one, my objections evaporated,” Strobel penned in the WSJ. “I read books by skeptics, but their counter-arguments crumbled under the weight of the historical data. No wonder atheists so often come up short in scholarly debates over the resurrection.

“In the end, after I had thoroughly investigated the matter, I reached an unexpected conclusion: it would actually take more faith to maintain my atheism than to become a follower of Jesus.”

So on November 18, 1981, Strobel made a decision to become a Christian, just like his wife. “My eternity changed and my life changed in ways that I never foresaw,” Strobel told Brian Auten in an interview on Apologetics 315.

“The evidence is what tipped the scales… [I said to myself] ‘If this is true, then Christ deserves my allegiance, my world, my all.’”

Read more at Christian Post

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