My response to the following article:
Rick: Recently, an atheist commentator issued a challenge on one of my posts. Specifically, in response to the post “Is there Evidence for Christianity?” the commentator quipped, “Heavens… where?” The phrase “the heavens” in the original post referred to creation, and I suppose a legitimate answer could have been, “Go outside, and look up.” However, I think the commentator’s real question was, “How can you believe in an afterlife, if you do not know where that afterlife physically is?” Maybe a better question might have been, “Where did Jesus physically go when he ascended into heaven? And if you don’t know, then how can you believe the witnesses who saw him ascend?”
Recently, I visited the commentator’s blog, and enjoyed the experience like a splash of cold water in the face. None of what he had to say was particularly convincing (in part because it was mostly just ridicule), but it is good to experience bracing challenges to one’s own beliefs, if only to see whether they can stand the exercise.
In the end, the real question here is not mathematical or scientific, but rather it is whether we believe the eyewitnesses who say they saw Jesus die, rise, and ascend into heaven. Was Jesus truly God, relating to us on our own level, as he so boldly claimed? Test tubes and telescopes cannot answer that question. Only the testimony can.
The Apostle Peter said, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16).
Tim: I was not issuing a challenge as much as I was responding to an absurdity of claim. If eye witnesses tell you that they saw a giant UFO beaming up a buffalo, you would remain skeptical. Now talk about an eye witness testimony some 2,000 years ago about a guy ascending bodily into the clouds. Now think about all the eye witness testimonies which you readily ignore coming from other religions, many of which are older than yours. Now return back to my question. “Heavens… where?”
A tribute to the validity of eye-witness testimony.