ABC News 20/20 "Resurrection" to Directly Attack Christianity

This Friday, May 20th, 2005, The ABC News program 20/20 will air a segment named “Resurrection”. The segment is being advertised:

"The Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Searching for Answers. Elizabeth Vargas travels to the Holy Land and talks to scholars, writers and theologians about the debate at the core of the Christian faith.

I am concerned that ABC will place a weak Christian theologian to speak for Christianity and then position scientific possibilities as overwhelming fact. From what I have been able to discern from the advertisements, the tact that ABC is taking is that Jesus never really died on the cross but only wounded, and thus, there never really was a resurrection.

I am amazed that all of Christianity will likely take this lying down. Should ABC do such sacrilege to Muslims, Hindi, or Buddhists, there would be such an outcry that the entire world would take notice.

I know we are to “turn the other cheek”, but are we not also to defend the faith?

Who is the person chosen to defend Christianity? Lee Stroebel has a good book that details reasons that Jesus’ death and ressurrection could not have been faked. It’s pretty compelling and as a former atheist who became a Christian, he is not simply a talking head.

The alphabet channels sure have it in for Christians don’t they?
Lisa N

Let me be the first to go out on a limb here and predict they are going to interview John Dominic Crossan as part of this presentation.

Stroebel’s book The Case for Christ is an excellent book on Jesus’ death. It reads like a court proceeding where all the evidence is laid out. I would recommend it.


I wouldn’t trust ABC’s 20/20 to give me the correct answer to “How much is 1 + 1”. No doubt scads of mathematicians and other “experts” would have answers ranging from infinity minus to infinity plus, and if by some miracle one person gave an answer of “two” s/he would be soundly criticized, called “conservative”, “bigoted”, and “antidiluvian”!

Yes what IS his beef with the Catholic church? I know he’s a former priest and I’ve heard his talks many times. He is certainly a good speaker and well known. But I get a bit weary of the constant drum beating. I have heard him make assertions that the truth of the ressurection is not relevant blah blah blah. Kind of central to the faith to dismiss so easily.

I understand he is now an Episcopalian. Anyone know?

Lisa N

Here is the official list of the “experts” we can expect to see in the presentation:

  1. Albert Baumgarten
  2. Kathleen E. Corley
  3. William Lane Craig
  4. Arthur Dewey
  5. Luke Timothy Johnson
  6. Karen L. King
  7. Paul L. Maier
  8. Father Richard P. McBrien
  9. Father Jerome Murphy-O’Connor
  10. Daniel Schwartz
  11. Lee Strobel
  12. Bishop John Shelby Spong
  13. Ben Witherington III

I can spot at least one dissenter in the bunch. Can you guess?

Somebody already expressed positive views of Lee Stroebel. That is reassuring.

I do not know enough about the other eleven. But I am sure some of you do. Let’s hear it!

Paul Maier is also a good choice

st julie

:thumbsup: Whew!

Some good names in there but that doesn’t mean the program will be balanced. After watching many of these types of shows I’ve noticed that the orthodox are always heavily edited to a couple quick sound bytes that make them look stupid compared to the liberal radicals who groan on endlessly.

…says the gates of hell would not prevail, never said the gates of hell wouldn’t try…

Without a doubt, this will be the case.

After a very brief investigation following my original post, I have found out that not just one but both of the listed Catholic “authorities” (those with “Father” before their names) are very anti-Catholic in many of their beliefs.

Add to that heretical company Spong, who is a retired Episcopal bishop.

Bishop Spong is a NUT. He is a hateful, vitriolic hatemonger. I cannot FATHOM why anyone listens to him anymore. I was “stuck” reading a couple of his books for a book group. This man needs a Valium.

Father McBrien? Just what we need a dissenting priest who represents Catholicism. He’s a bad choice.

Karen King is a “finding the sacred feminine” type who likes the Gnostic gospels. She’s a Harvard prof I believe. Do not know what tradition she is from, maybe Episcopal?

Glad Lee Stroebel is on the panel. I’ve heard Luke Timothy Johnson on some of the Great Courses series. I don’t recall he’s particularly dissenting although I believe he’s a former priest, now married.

Lisa N

Why can’t ABC get someone who is in communion with the teaching of the Holy See like Jimmy Akin, Father Corapi, or Karl Keating. If we are going to be “damned” by those suckered in by ABC, I would rather it be for what we really believe.

Luke Timothy Johnson is an excellent scholar. I read his book “The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical
Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels”. I recommend it to everyone as he destroys the academic malfeasance perpetrated by professional malcontents.

Much of Christianity has to be accepted as revelation; not as scientifically established fact. Everyone who reads scholarly books on the subject has to know the difference between scientific investigation and apologetics. Raymond Brown, for example, is an excellent scholar but he is also an apologist and will not discuss facts that conflict with doctrine… Crossan is a scholar but is not an apologist and will discuss facts that conflict with doctrine.

Even Thomas Aquinas in his Summa acknowledges at the first that the existence of God cannot be proved in the scientific sense but has to be taken on faith.

There is nothing wrong with the networks running programs that are based on scholarly inquiry. This is America and people have freedom of speech. By the same token there is nothing wrong with Relevant Radio running programs that are based on revelation.

He is a former Benedictine monk and priest with loads of animosity for the Church’s teachings on sexuality, birth control, etc. He is a favorite at Commonweal Magazine and a strong critic of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae. But then, I guess this might be expected from somebody who left the clerical state in order to get married.

Here are some links about LTJ:

I agree with you in principal, with the exception, for that which was stated in my original post:

Should ABC do such sacrilege to Muslims, Hindi, or Buddhists, there would be such an outcry that the entire world would take notice.

ABC knows that if they did the same type of “News Article” on the Muslim faith, their (ABC’s) offices would likely be fire bombed. (I am obviously not saying that is what should be done, before anyone gets panicky). It just seems that Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular are targets in which the media takes relish in trashing.

Thank you! I will get that book. From the recent course on Jesus I got the impression that he wasn’t a supporter of “the historical Jesus” movement. Glad to hear it’s true.

Lisa N

Not McBrien, I already had to write one letter to him this year. I don’t want to have to type up a new letter of disgust. By the way if Fr. McBrien (should we even call him Fr.?) is on the list, where is Fr. Reese? Shouldn’t he be on the “Call to Bash Catholics List”?