I visited the blog<http://withalliamgod.wordpress.com/qa/> and commented there.
The relative posts are given below for the viewers. One may join the discussion on that blog or here to find the truth in the matter.
It is fine to doubt and lose faith. I were in your position when I were 15-22. The best part of this period is that we start searching to know why we believe what we believe.
I wrote a lot of atonement of Christ in my blog, if you would like to find them, I have a search box all the way at the bottom.
A simple answer is no. By Jesus rising from the dead, it showed that God affirmed His atonement, and that what Jesus claim to be is true is true. I think your atheist friend failed to understand the notion of atonement as described in both old and new testament. When Jesus died a cruel death(not just physical death, but away from God’s presence of His grace and love, to God’s presence of justices and wrath), He took away the just punishment to which those who He came to save rightly deserve. Resurrection does not cancel the payment but affirms it. You could reply to your atheist friend by asking if she understands what atonement is and how it works in Jesus of Nazareth.
Matthew, the only way to keep what you believe is to know what you believe and why you believe. Take online classes on critical think(introduction to logic), buy a book or two on philosophical foundations of Christianity and systematic theology. Doubt is a gift that enable you to dig deep. I would be glad to help you help yourself. Just let me know what you need.
Quoting your words “By Jesus rising from the dead”; I would like to state that since Jesus did not die on the Cross in the first place and he was delivered from the Cross in near-dead position; so there is no case of resurrection of Jesus from the dead; hence, there is no reality in the Christian belief of atonement.
I submit that there is complete misunderstanding concerning Christ’s death on the cross because of confusion in differentiating between the TWO SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT.
In the first, the Scriptures consistently testify about Jesus Christ’s perpetual demo, a.k.a., life-transforming “vision” of his divine identity and absolute authority, which “not even death will ever be able to overcome” (Matt. 16:18), about which Moses and Elijah witnessed in person at the Transfiguration (Ibid. 17: 1-13; Luke 9: 28-36), which were proved beyond doubt on the ground (Matt. 27: 50-56) and widely acknowledged on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
In the second, the so-called “near-dead position” is a speculative variant of the miracle of the apostate prophet, a.k.a., Jonah. (Matt. 12: 38-42)
@ Ephrem Hagos
@ Prayson Daniel
The “near-dead position” in real terms is not speculative and fulfills the prophecy of Jesus of what was to happen to him and how the message of one true God was to be spread in future among the Israelites by Jesus.
Jonah was not dead in the belly of the fish and came out of it alive and spread the message entrusted to him by the one true God; similarly Jesus was not to die; neither on the Cross nor in the tomb he was put by his friends after the event of Crucifixion. Like Jonah went to his people after the incident of the “in the belly of the fish” and spread the message to his people; so was Jesus to go to the lost ten tribes of the Israelites who were residing in the region that fall in the present Afghanistan. KPK province of Pakistan, Kashmir; and history confirms that Jesus did go to India.
This way the prophecy of Sign of Jonah was fulfilled.