From a famous skeptic of Christianity:
“But we must examine this question whether anyone who really died ever rose again with the same body. […] While he was alive he did not help himself, but after death he rose again and showed the marks of his punishment and how his hands had been pierced. But who say this? A hysterical female, as you say, and perhaps some other one of those who were deluded by the same sorcery, who either dreamt in a certain state of mind and through wishful thinking had a hallucination […] or, which is more likely, wanted to impress the others by telling this fantastic tale, and so by this cock-and-bull story to provide a chance for other beggars?” (Wilken 111)
This quote could easily come from any contemporary critic of Christianity. But in fact it comes from Celsus, second-century Roman, whose massive attack on Christianity, True Doctrine, evoked an eight-book reply from Origen. Celsus is one of the cultured Roman despisers of Christianity covered in Robert Louis Wilken’s fascinating and compact book, The Christians as the Romans Saw Them. On the surface, Wilken’s book is only a historical work. But it does not take long to find that his subject, apologetics in the apostolic age, can teach us a thing or two about apologetics now.
So what can we learn? [Read more…]