The Case for the Resurrection & the Consequences for the Christian Faith, May 2001

Fr. Roger J. Landry
Bishop Connolly High School, Fall River, MA
Chaplain’s Chat Series on Controversial and Often Misunderstood Issues in Catholicism Series
May 2001

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The Case for the Resurrection

Outline for the Lecture

I. Introduction

II. Resurrection Texts in Sacred Scripture

III. Synthesis of the New Testament Accounts

IV. Opposing theories to the Christian explanation

1) Theft

2) Hallucination

3) “Resurrection only in faith”

4) Swoon

V. The Case for the Resurrection

1) The coherence and credibility of the testimony itself

a) The weakness of the opposing theories

b) The evidence of the empty tomb

c) The evidence of the appearances

2) The credibility of the witnesses

a) The weakness of the apostles prior to the resurrection contrasted with their later boldness.

b) No incentive; in fact, many disincentives, including persecution and death

c) The miracle of the success of their mission.

d) The compelling case of St. Paul

VI. Practical consequences for us

1) God chooses all of us to be his witnesses.

2) Persuasiveness based on credibility of witnesses’ lived faith.

3) We are witnesses if we have experienced the Risen Lord.