Keller follows three lines of support for the resurrection: the empty tomb and the witnesses; 1st century understanding of resurrection; and the immediacy with which Christianity was adopted. He seems to rely heavily on N.T. Wright for this chapter.
Keller cites Paul's recounting of post-resurrection sitings of Jesus found in I Corinthians. He notes that these witnesses to the resurrection would have still been alive and could have been questioned, so it's unlikely that the list is a fabrication. He also discusses the fact that the first witnesses were women, something unlikely to be made up as women's testimony was devalued and inadmissible in court. This line of reasoning addresses the idea that Christianity was intentionally fabricated, but what about ideas like the hallucination theory?
Keller states that it is also unlikely the concept of the resurrection was a human invention because it wasn't compatible with the Jewish or Greco-Roman worldview. He noted that many, but not all, Jews at the time were hopeful of a bodily resurrection when God came to renew the world. They had no concept of a resurrected Messiah. Most non-Jews regarded the physical body as corrupt and would view the resurrected body as undesirable, if not unbelievable. Death was viewed as a liberation from the bondage of a defiled prison.
Finally, Keller finds support in the fact that the idea of a bodily resurrection and subsequent worship of Jesus as divinity occurred so quickly in a culture not primed to accept a religion like Christianity. He stated that worldviews take a great deal of time to change unless there is some dramatic occurrence that causes a shift in thinking, such as a bodily resurrection. I'm always alittle skeptical of such arguments, when I consider how many other religions have sprung up and grown successfully. What about Mormonism for example?
Recently, a friend of mine (you know who you are) came to my home and we discussed many questions and concerns I have about Christianity. I shared that I think my acceptance of Christianity hinges on whether or not I believe in the resurrection. To me, this is what the apostle Paul repeatedly states in scripture. So, this is going to be where I spend my reading time for now. What do you think? Is there a way to salvage Christianity without a literal resurrection?