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Will No One Answer the Call? Update to the Open Letter to Bradley J. Lingo, Dean of the Regent University School of Law

Bradley J. Lingo, Dean of the Regent University School of Law, has not responded to my open letter. At this point, I feel like Diogenes trying to find an honest man. What else can I do—the sinister triple-dog dare?

One apologist estimates that “since the seventeenth century, over one hundred and twenty Christian apologists have composed juridical or legally styled apologetic texts.”[1] All that I want is for just one more Christian to do his/her Christian duty to obey the mandate of 1 Peter 3:15-16.

Nonlawyer apologists commonly argue that many eminent (but now deceased) lawyers believed that historical evidence supports the resurrection of Jesus. Popular apologists, such as Lee Strobel[2] and Josh McDowell[3], often cite Sir Edward Clarke and Sir Lionel Luckhoo for that ad hominem purpose.[4] However, none of these prestigious lawyers put their reasoning to the test of a legal adversarial process.

I am still not giving up on my ambition to engage in an online debate in a format closer to a real adversary proceeding. I had hoped to confer with opposing counsel about a briefing schedule. Christian legal apologists claim that they can prove that Jesus rose from the dead, so they would normally bear the burden of going forward with the evidence. In other words, they would file the first brief, and then I would reply—with subsequent reply briefs to be negotiated.

That is not happening now, so I will publish my brief on or before October 30, 2023. This poses no real problem for me. I have not read all of the many apologetic texts written during the last two centuries, but most of them have made pretty much the same arguments after Simon Greenleaf published Testimony of the Evangelists in 1846. I thus have the background knowledge to address the typical claims at the outset.

This probably explains why no one will step forward to advocate for their Savior. They know that I have seen their cards, and they know that they cannot win with the hand that they have been dealt. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

I don’t expect that my brief will stop legal apologetics in its tracks. Nonetheless, I challenge any would-be legal apologist to contact me via Internet Infidels before writing yet another book or article claiming that one can prove that Jesus rose from the dead according to legal standards of evidence.


[1] William P. Broughton, The Historical Development of Legal Apologetics (Maitland, FL: Xulon Press, 2009), p. 12.

[2] Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998), p. 225.

[3] Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, More Than a Carpenter (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1977), p. 76.

[4] Ross Clifford, John Warwick Montgomery’s Legal Apologetic: An Apologetic for All Seasons (Bonn, Germany: Culture and Science Publications, 2004), p. 11.