(Photo: Saddleback Church PICS Ministry/Edward Arce)
LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Christian author and speaker Dr. Frank Turek, speaking at Saddleback Church as part of its “Apologetics Weekend” series on Sunday, made a case for the truth of the New Testament by saying its authors would not have disclosed embarrassing details about themselves had they been lying about what transpired with Jesus.
Turek, who authored I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist and is a co-leader with other Christian apologetics on the website CrossExamined.org, was one of five speakers during separate sessions at pastor Rick Warren’s megachurch in Orange County this past weekend.
Warren annually hosts the weekend in which experts teach on defending Christianity.
During his message at the church, Turek focused on a few elements from his book, which details the “Top Ten Reasons We Know the New Testament is True.”
He told the congregation that there is a principle historians use when they are trying to figure out whether a historical writing is true. He called the method the “principle of embarrassment.”
“The principle of embarrassment goes like this: If there is something embarrassing to the author or authors it’s probably true. Why? Because you are not going to make yourself look bad. You are not going to make up embarrassing details about yourself,” Turek explained.
“The New Testament is filled with embarrassing details about the authors and even potentially about Jesus,” he said. “Why would they put this in if they are trying to pass off a lie as the truth or they’re trying to make themselves look good.”
Turek said that this was also known as “the duh factor.”
“For example, the New Testament writers portray themselves as dim-witted,” he told the congregation. “They fail to understand what Jesus is saying several times. [They wrote] ‘we didn’t know what He is talking about. We don’t know what He was meaning here.’ Why would they put that in if they are making this up?”
Turek also pointed to the fact that Jesus' disciples were “uncaring,” by falling asleep on two occasions during His greatest hour of need.
He added, “They make no effort to give Jesus a proper burial. Who buried Jesus? Joseph of Arimethea. Who is Joseph? He is a member of the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin actually sent Jesus to die.”
“So, they are saying they ran away and had Joseph bury Jesus in a Jewish tomb.” Turek then asked, “Now, why would they make that up? They look bad, he looks good, they put him in a Jewish tomb. That’s the last place they would put him in if they were making up this story.”
Turek discussed the different scenarios described by eyewitnesses to the empty tomb of Jesus.
“If you have to come up with a story for an empty tomb story, what does that imply?” he posed.
“That the tomb was empty,” he said, answering his own question. “You don’t have to explain a full tomb, but you have to explain an empty tomb.”
Turek also addressed the severe penalty Christians paid for professing their faith in Jesus during the time of the New Testament authors.
“The people who had everything to lose by saying this was true still wrote it down and went and died for it,” he said. “Why would they die for a known lie? The New Testament writers were in a position to know whether it was a lie or not and went ahead with it any way.”
Turek concluded his lecture from the pulpit by saying there is proof that the New Testament is historically reliable and fact not fiction, therefore the entire Bible is true. He added that there should not be a reason for young people who grow up in a Christian home to fall away from the church when they go off to college.
“The bottom line here is that Jesus rose from the dead and if He rose from the dead then Christianity is true and you can trust it,” he concluded. “There is evidence that you can show beyond a reasonable doubt that Christianity is true and we don’t have to watch another generation walk away from the church.”
Turek is a consultant whose clients have included Bank of America, Coca Cola, Home Depot, Cisco Systems and CIGNA, among others. Earlier this year, however, he was fired as a consultant from Cisco and Bank of America over his views against same-sex marriage. After Christians rallied to his side, Cisco admitted last week that it was incorrect to cancel a contract with the speaker because of a complaint from a homosexual manager within the company.
The manager had complained about Turek being the author of Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone. Turek discusses homosexuality and his pro-marriage views as defined being between one man and one woman.
Bank of America had also canceled one of his talks because of his pro-marriage views, but recently announced that Turek is in “good standing” with the bank company, according to LifeSiteNews.com.