Is The Doctor Trustworthy?

"...I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account."  Luke 1:2

If you were with us this past Sunday, you heard my sermon on Scripture and science and the battle taking place over the Bible. With Holy Week starting this Sunday with Palm Sunday, I'd like to share this fresh thought on the lines of my sermon.

As you know, the Gospel of Luke was written by Luke who was a medical doctor. His status as a world-class historian, accurate in even the smallest details, was confirmed by the agnostic archaeologist and Oxford professor, Sir William Ramsay. 

He is considered to be one of the greatest archaeologists of all time. But it would seem that he used his skill as an archeologist to discredit the Bible. Ramsey thought he would scientifically destroy Luke's accounts by visiting and examining the places mentioned of Paul's travels in the Book of Acts.

William Ramsay came out of the theological liberalism that poisoned Europe's 20th century churches, and he taught that the New Testament was an unreliable book written in the mid-second century by individuals far removed from the events described. 

However, after doing the hard work of scientific investigation, Ramsay completely changed his thinking. After years of retracing Luke's account of Paul's travels and doing archaeological excavations along the way, Ramsay completely reversed his view of the Bible and first-century history.

He became convinced that Luke's gospel and the Book of Acts were written in the first century by Luke, and he acquired a very high regard for Luke as a historian. He discovered that in every case where the critics had said Luke was wrong, Luke turned out to be right. 

I love what Ramsey wrote after years of masterful research, "Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy, he is possessed of the true historic sense; in short, this author should be placed along with the greatest of historians."

Ramsay began publishing his discoveries in a book called Paul the Traveler and the Roman Citizen. The book caused such dismay among the skeptics of the world. The evidence was so overwhelming that many atheists gave up their atheism and embraced Christianity.

The famous historian, A.N. Sherwin-White, carefully examined Luke's references to 32 countries, 54 cities, and 9 islands, and he could not find a single mistake!

The evidence shows us that Luke was so careful to get his facts right about names, places, events, and dates. So can't we be confident that he was just as careful to get his facts right concerning Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection? 

Let's remember that Luke's Gospel opens with these words, "carefully investigated" so that the readers can know the "certainty" of the life of Jesus Christ.

Belief in the resurrection is not a leap of faith into the dark. It is a step of faith into the light that's based on solid historical evidence. 

Let's celebrate our faith!

Pastor Dave

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