A spin on the Easter story

Why did nobody think of it before? Get a homicide detective to investigate the Jesus story. Of course! Then even the small minority of people who are atheists will throw in the towel.

A New Jersey church will put a spin on the Easter story by bringing in a professional detective to examine Christ’s death and resurrection.

Homicide investigator J. Warner Wallace will utilize his “cold case investigation skills” to examine the historical circumstances surrounding Christianity’s sacred weekend in a four-week series that starts on Sunday at Liquid Church’s four locations.

“Cold case investigation skills” can investigate stories from 2000 years ago to determine the truth of elements of the story? I did not know that! Right then; let’s start with Euripides. Did Medea really kill her children?

“We know people’s faith rests on understanding if the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was real or not. What better way than to bring in a CSI detective and have him examine the biblical evidence available for a homicide investigation?” Tim Lucas, lead pastor of Liquid Church said in a statement.

The biblical evidence? Words in a book count as evidence of more than the fact that this story has been told?

A self-proclaimed “angry atheist” for 35 years, Wallace shares on his website that he enjoyed frequently debating his Christian friends, and admits that he was “hostile to Christianity and largely dismissive of Christians.”

But once Wallace began to use the same tools he used in the field to examine Christianity, he “found the evidence for Christianity to be as convincing as any cold case I’d ever investigated.”

Uh oh. Maybe some of his cases should be re-opened.


  1. Blanche Quizno says

    What *I* want to know is whether Kronos actually castrated his father Uranus in order to seize the throne himself!

    And then I would like to know whether, in the aftermath of the Great Flood, Ham castrated Dear Old Daddy Noah or if he just raped him. I think the castration scenario is more likely, but of course a homicide detective could get right to the heart of the matter.

  2. Blanche Quizno says

    Ever notice how, if you want to get lots of attention from Christians, the go-to ploy is to claim to have been a longtime and usually “angry” atheist before finding Christianity irresistibly convincing?? HOW many times have we seen these bunko artist flimflammers wrap their snake oil in “I used to be an atheist, you know”?

    And why are Christians so eager to eat that shit up with a spoon?

  3. says

    Did you know that there are Christian Whodunnits?

    They are pretty boring, it’s always the Devil, in the Drawing room, with a pitchfork.

    Anyway ‘J. Warner Wallace’ is a great name for a detective (Xian or not), and I’m sure that he’ll find Jesususus’ DNA on a cross and that’ll nail it.

  4. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Fitz will get Judas to confess and Bilborough, desperate for a conviction, will accept it. But then Judas will admit to Fitz that he didn’t do it, and he’ll leave Penhaligan at the airport.

  5. says

    I’m beginning to see “angry atheist” as a sign of someone who thinks with their passions rather than their cognition, and both their aversion and conversion to religion should be seen in that light. Yeah, we’ve got atheists who can do anger really well, but it’s clearly *posterior* to having done the hard-nosed rational work.

  6. Randomfactor says

    And why are Christians so eager to eat that shit up with a spoon?

    Because they feel we have to be as angry as they are.

    I want to see the court case on this.

    “But the women said the tomb was empty…”
    “Objection! Hearsay evidence.”

  7. matty1 says

    I want to see the court case on this.

    Been done (kind of) see Earl Doherty’s Challenging The Verdict.

  8. opposablethumbs says

    Oh ffs. When what you mean is “we’re playing let’s-pretend cops-‘n-robbers using the bible stories as our gameplaying script” you should say so. Clearly this charade is only going to be playable if they start out pretending the bible contains actual witness statements – i.e. the whole thing is a silly question-begging exercise from the first. If this were actually treated as a cold case, you’d have to start by assessing the reliability of the accounts – and oops, there’s this little problem of a total lack of corroborating accounts from any other source than the bible (not to mention that other little problem of the accounts being written down, uh, how many years after the events was that again? Maybe a couple of hundred? Whatever …).

    This is pathetic. Make-believe children’s games are great – when you know that’s what you’re playing. For grown-ups to pretend this shit is real is just … pathetic.

  9. Claire Ramsey says

    This is the kind of case that the ADA’s on Law and Order would never touch, not even w/a ten foot pole. No evidence at all. No grand jury would indict. It’s ridiculous and a waste of resources.

    I never believed it to tell you the truth, once my mom told me that the bible was “just some stories people made up to explain things.” But I figured if something like this did happen it was b/c the person they thought was dead wasn’t really dead. Just in a coma or something.

    Still, a crappy case no one would take.

  10. johnthedrunkard says

    Ah, the ‘I used to doubt’ lie. Always popular with New Agers too.

    I had a door-to-door fundie leave me a self-written pamphlet a while ago. Something like ‘From Unbelief to Faith.’

    Problem was, he had been born into a totalist fundie crackpot family and had never drawn a breath unfiltered through that world view. His ‘progress’ was a downward spiral into ever darker levels of Predestination. Each level requiring further extirpation of any sense of individual value or moral agency.

    I would like to have said to him: ‘If I thought there was a god, I would pray for your deliverance.’

  11. screechymonkey says

    Blanche@2, johnthedrunkard@10,

    Pretty much everyone loves an apostate (in the broad sense of “person who used to believe the ‘opposite’ of what I believe but has now come around”). The atheism community has its share of former evangelicals and other believers: wasn’t there recently an instance of an atheist organization hiring a former pastor of some kind who misrepresented his or her credentials? In recent years, it seems that the surest way for a modest political figure to get him or herself a speaking slot at a national party convention is to endorse the other party’s candidate (hi there, Zell Miller!).

    After all, it’s a pretty powerful persuasive tool to have someone who can say “I used to be one of you, I used to say all the things you’re saying now, I’ve heard and considered all of your arguments and evidence. But after listening to the other side’s arguments and evidence, I was won over and just had no choice but to change sides — despite how difficult it is to admit being wrong, and to lose friends and status.”

  12. says

    @8: Not to mention that the four witnesses we do have (five, if you include the Pauline material as additional background) don’t agree with each other. Yes, real investigators have to deal with contradictory accounts, just because people’s memories aren’t perfect — but the Evangelists were supposed to be writing (more or less) at God’s dictation. I wonder how Wallace will deal with that?

  13. rikitiki says

    The things to me with the Easter story that make it unbelievable is simple even without
    the “resurrection”. It doesn’t make sense on a HUMAN level:

    1) A group of powerful individuals are SO bent with the leader (Jesus) of a sect that they
    coerce the rulers (Romans) to bump him off.
    2) He gets bumped off (and supposedly comes back to life 3 days later)
    3) ANY group that was THAT concerned about Jesus & sect to do this would naturally
    continue to spy on them after killing Jesus — history has numerous accounts of even
    more powerful leaders stepping up to the plate after the first leader gets martyred.
    The Pharisees would know this and wouldn’t take the chance of that happening.
    4) IF Jesus came back, they would’ve bumped him off again as soon as their spy told
    them he was back!
    5) If somebody killed the group’s leader and he came back from the dead, the ENTIRE
    group would advertise that, rub the Pharisee’s noses in it and parade the live Jesus
    as proof of his divinity! After all, that supposedly was the charge that killed him.
    This is NOWHERE in the Easter Story.

    See? It absolutely fails on just the human-nature level.

  14. medivh says

    rikitiki: Not to mention that they’d be putting out propaganda that would be widely believed about the disgusting, violent and disruptive nature of the sect. And if they had the power to get anyone executed, why stop at the leader? Off the apostles too, and say it was for the good of the Jews.

    In short, the bible shouldn’t have been written if the Pharisees were truly that far against a real living Jesus; there’d be no one left who knew the story to write it.

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