But Christians don’t hold any of their beliefs because they like the way it feels. These aren’t whims or fantasies we’re working with here. Christians have come to see that they stand in the long line of a history–our basic message is something happened! In fact, our message is even more than that–a whole bunch of things have happened! For thousands of years, God has spoken to people, acted, moved water, air and earth, won battles, raised dead people to life, pulled nations out of slavery, saved little babies, heard prayer, kept promises, foretold the future…and then, the Son of God came and looked out of human eyes, spoke with a human mouth, healed crowds, let his body be killed, raised it up to new life, and ascended into the sky with a promise to return!
In other words, we hold the beliefs we do about God because of a whole history of events (events which happened in our world, in our history) in which God has personally proven his character to us. He didn’t have to. But he did it anyway.
When people doubt this history, it doesn’t prove a thing about whether or not the events happened. If they haven’t personally seen a resurrection, that doesn’t say anything about whether the event could or did happen. It only reveals their personal experience.
And so, we don’t need to listen to people who scoff at our ideas about God, or our witness to what he’s done in the world, when their only objection is how long ago it all seems to them and how unlike their daily experience the stories are. Living after something happened doesn’t change what happened before. Distance in time from an event doesn’t transform the event into fantasy.
We wouldn’t trust a man with no long-term memory to tell us about his life. Neither should we trust one collective Man with a tragically bad memory.