By GotDesign
Last Friday evening at 10 p.m., ABC News' 20/20 program aired a special broadcast on the hallmark event of Christianity -- the Resurrection of Jesus. When I heard about the program, I was skeptical. In today's media environment there are few who are kind to Christian beliefs. For the most part, the media treats Christians and Christian belief like school kids treat that girl in elementary school whose hair never looked the same from day-to-day, had a "curious" smell about her and constantly asked if you wanted to see her collection of dead caterpillars. This said, I was happily surprised.

20/20's ElizabethVargas hosted a program that honestly looked at the Biblical narrative of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Among 20/20's several guests were Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ, and Rev. Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, a noted New Testament scholar. I was surprised that 20/20 took so positive a view of the Resurrection. Usually, the MSM will aire such programs in order to pokes as many holes as they can in order to cast the most doubt. But I came out of the experience positively uplifted about their program. What countering opinions were expressed were very sketchy in nature. For instance, one arguement against the resurrection was based on the Roman practice of leaving the bodies of crucified prisoners in a garbage pit. The advocate of this point said that it would have been impossible for the family and friends of Jesus to find the body in order to bury it. But the Biblical account says that there were only three criminals to be crucified that fateful Friday. How hard could it have been to look at three bodies and carry away Jesus to be buried? Also, if Jesus' body could not be found why would both Jewish and Roman authorities grant the stationing of a guard at the tomb? Another argument against resurrection was that it was merely a spiritual resurrection, not a physical one. This argument was picked apart by the narrative about dispelling the doubt of the Apostle Thomas. Why spend time describing Thomas' experience of probing the wounds of Jesus if it were strictly a spiritual, non-corporeal event?

The one serious problem I had with the 20/20s program on the resurrection was there inclusion of interviews with retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong. Spong is the author of the heretical book The Sins of Scripture. While Spong's comments did not expose his heretical beliefs about Christian scripture, they did support belief in the resurrection. Here is an excerpt from's editorial review of The Sins of Scripture:
These biblical texts, according to Spong, are not the incontrovertible Word of God, but flawed human responses to perceived threats. An incendiary example of this is Spong's assertion that Paul was a closeted gay man whose anti-gay statements were motivated by little more than his own self-loathing. Spong does not stop there; in the course of the book he suggests that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married; that none of the supernatural events described in the Bible took place (including the resurrection); and that theism itself is a misunderstanding of God.
Spong should not have been included in this program. In my opinion, his heretical beliefs about scripture preclude any claim to authority on the matter of resurrection, let alone any claim to being a Christian.

All considered, I liked this program very much. I am even thinking of buying the DVD of the program from ABC News. Despite a few minor flaws, I greatly enjoyed this program.


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