Yesterday I watched a debate between W L Craig and James Crossley. The debate was “was the tomb empty” – that is, is it historical fact?
Craig argued in the affirmative. Although he was a bit crusty, his argument was always reasoned, and well constructed. James Crossley, on the other hand, started off with a decent enough argument saying that the historicity of the empty tomb cant be proved from the gospels. The rest of his argument was pretty much adhoc and pointless.
The thing is, the empty tomb is proof that Jesus gained victory over the final enemy, death. If Jesus was not raised from the dead, that is, if it is not fact, to which the empty tomb attests, then the Christian faith has nothing. Paul Himself says this:
1Cor 15:12 Now if Christ is being preached as raised from the dead, 9 how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is futile and your faith is empty. 15:15 Also, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified against God that he raised Christ from the dead, when in reality he did not raise him, if indeed the dead are not raised 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised. 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless; you are still in your sins. 15:18 Furthermore, those who have fallen asleep 10 in Christ have also perished. 15:19 For if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we should be pitied more than anyone.
It seems to me that unless Dr Crossley holds on one hand, that the tomb can not be proved to have been empty, but on the other hand believes that He too will be raised to eternal life in the manner of Christ, which is the hope of our salvation, then Mr Crossley must be seen to be denying Christ. I dont know if He does, I guess I shall have to investigate his writings further.