When a man undergoes persecution, contempt, beatings, prison, and death for a message, he has a good motive for reviewing carefully the grounds of his convictions. It is extremely unlikely that the original disciples of Jesus would have persisted in affirming the truths they affirmed if Jesus hadn’t actually risen.

–A. J. Hoover, The Case for Christian Theism (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1976), 234.

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