Does God Care For Me? (Resource Materials)

DOES GOD CARE FOR ME?

Even if God is all powerful and good … this world is still harsh and unforgiving. Where is the evidence that such a God would care for me?

The presentation material explores God's fundamental involvement in history through the incarnation and resurrection of Christ and the establishment of the ecclesia.

Presentation

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Background Information

About the materials

These are the presentation materials for the lecture, "Does God Care For Me?" which was presented at the Melbourne Seventh Day Baptist Church on 20 February 2016.

About the argument

Deists and some agnostics naturally assume that God does not care what occurs in this world. For those who view the world naturalistically, the presence of apparently blind natural forces, violence, suffering and death might convince them that God doesn't care.

This presentation begins by observing the indisputable presence of Christianity in the world. It traces the historical tradition of Christianity, through an unbroken chain of succession, from the present era right back to the apostolic era. Christianity is capable of naming those in the second generation who discipled directly from the apostles.

We then turn to asking what it is those apostles taught the second generation. We discover the fundamental focus of their teaching was rooted in Christ's resurrection from the dead, which became a Divine vindication of Christ's claim to be God manifest in the flesh.

So then the presentation turns to asking whether or not the historical evidence suggests the resurrection happened, or whether there might be another, more plausible explanation. The argument revolves around:

  • Credibility and independence of the oral and written accounts (both Jewish and Christian).
  • The probability Jesus actually died on the cross, and was buried in a known location.
  • The empty tomb.
  • Reports of Jesus' post-resurrection appearances.
  • The emergence of Christian faith.

The presentation concludes that the most rational and reasonable explanation of these well established facts is in fact that Jesus did rise from the dead in a glorified body. Jesus' resurrection represents Divine vindication for Jesus' claims. And Jesus' claim to Divinity implies that God did take a personal interest in this world, and does indeed care for you. Given this, each one of us have a personal responsibility to evaluate Jesus' claims, and respond in faith when God calls.

Influences

These materials are informed by:

  • N. T. Wright (2003), "The Resurrection of the Son of God." Fortress Press, Minneapolis.
  • William Lane Craig (2008), "Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, Third Edition." Crossway, Wheaton, Illinois.

The argument for the resurrection being established by the presence of the Christian faith is drawn from N.T. Wright's monumental tome, The Resurrection of the Son of GodThe evaluation of the evidence for Jesus' resurrection, and the propositions for alternative hypotheses, is drawn from William Lane Craig's Reasonable Faith, chapter 8.