When people use traditional arguments for Jesus’ resurrection at Eastertime or use such arguments on other occasions, an objection will sometimes be raised about the nature of the evidence. Supposedly, we have too little evidence for events from antiquity, God ought to be providing more evidence, he should be more active in the world today if he was so active in the past, etc.
People often underestimate the traditional arguments for Christianity. We should continue using those arguments and should explain to people why and how they’re underestimating the arguments in question. But we should supplement the more traditional arguments with newer ones, including ones focused on evidence from the modern world. I want to provide some examples, then comment on some related issues.
Go here for a series I wrote several years ago about miracles in the modern world, based on Craig Keener’s two-volume work on miracles. Steve Hays has discussed modern apparitions of Jesus. We’ve sometimes written about God’s unusual providence in the lives of modern Christians, such as answers to prayer in the life of George Muller. See here, for example. And here’s something I wrote about video evidence for miracles. In another post, I wrote about modern evidence for the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. Earlier in this post, I mentioned arguments that come up in the context of Easter. People typically think of arguments for Jesus’ resurrection that are appeals to evidence from antiquity. But see here for a collection of posts we’ve written over the years on the Shroud of Turin, which involves a lot of evidence of a more modern nature.
Something we need to keep in mind, though, is that every generation can claim that it’s the generation in which human knowledge has advanced more than ever before and that it has the latest technology. Just as we have more knowledge and technology than previous generations, the same will be true of the generation after ours. And the next one. And the next one. Why think God should have parted the Red Sea or raised Jesus from the dead in our day? What if people a few generations from now think of our generation as too ignorant, not advanced enough, etc. to be at the center of God’s attention? It’s likely that we will be viewed that way, if human history continues on its normal course long enough. Why think our generation’s knowledge and technology represent the pinnacle? While people today speak so highly of video evidence, for example, how unadvanced will our video technology seem to people living a hundred or a thousand years from now? How much can you anticipate future technological developments? How many people a hundred years ago were expecting what we have today?
We should supplement traditional arguments for Christianity with more modern arguments. But we should keep in mind that the more modern arguments aren’t necessary and are often overestimated.