Michael Dormandy & Carl Laferton, Tricky: The hardest questions to ask about Christianity (and some answers)
John Dickson, If I were God, I’d Make Myself Clearer
Links To Video’s & Images
- Info Graphic: Reliability of the New Testament
- Video 1: What is the Bible?
- Video 2: Is the Bible trustworthy – 90 Seconds
- Video 3: Is Jesus just a myth – 90 Seconds
Miracles are an integral part of the story of Jesus. Taking just the first nine chapters of Luke we are told not only about the extraordinary circumstances of his birth, but the numerous exorcisms that he performs, the dramatic healing of lepers and paralytics, and even the raising of two dead children back to life. Add to this the stilling of the storm (in ch. 8) and the feeding of the five thousand (in ch. 9), and you have a picture of someone with extraordinary power.
There is little doubt, historically speaking, that Jesus was famous as a miracle worker. The many stories of his miracles are spread throughout the four Gospels, and even Josephus, the Jewish historian, records that Jesus was known for his ‘surprising feats’.
We will come back to consider why Jesus’ miracles are important, and what they mean, but first we need to deal with a more basic issue. Can we, as modern people, believe that these miracles really happened? Can we accept that the laws of nature were broken or suspended so that Jesus could walk on water, or feed thousands of people with a single cut lunch? These stories seem so strange to us, so outside our experience, that we almost instinctively doubt their credibility.
Can we believe in miracles? And if we can’t, can we believe in Jesus? Before we answer these questions, there is a more basic problem to solve.
What Are Miracles?
The first step towards understanding the miracles of Jesus (and the Bible generally) is to understand what Luke and the other Bible writers thought a ‘miracle’ was. This is because they thought about the whole subject very differently from most 20th century people.
For us, a ‘miracle’ is where the normal laws of nature are supposedly suspended or broken, indicating that some ‘god’ or supernatural force has been active. Someone might be ‘miraculously’ healed of cancer, for instance, and since there is no other explanation available, we shake our heads and say “Well, maybe there is a God after all”.
This way of viewing miracles stems from how 20th century Western people think about the world in general. Most of us assume that the world is like a giant complex machine or organism, with millions of interlocking parts. Science has discovered how many of these parts work, and has formulated laws and principles by which we can predict how ‘the machine’ will operate. According to this way of thinking, the world runs along under its own steam. If there is a ‘God’, then he might have been responsible for designing the world, and even setting it running, -but he isn’t involved in its day to day operations. In fact, the only way you know he exists is when he puts his fingers into the machine and dabbles with it, producing what we call a ‘miracle’.
In many respects, people in biblical times thought very differently from us, not only about miracles, but about the world in general. But this is not to say that they thought completely differently. They knew, for example, that the world was a regular and orderly place. Like us, they noticed the patterns of nature-day and night, the seasons, and the rain. They knew that if you dropped something, it fell, and that if you stood on water, you would sink. They understood that the world operated according to certain patterns and you could make the most of these in order to live successfully-for example, if you planted your seed at the right time of year, in the right kind of soil, under the right weather conditions, you could be fairly certain of getting a good crop.
However, unlike us, they regarded all this is as being the work of God. They saw the world not as an independently operating machine, but as something that God had made and continued to sustain and uphold. It was God who caused the sun to rise, the rain to fall and the seasons to come and go. They knew God to be the sovereign ruler of all things, who kept everything going in his great power and wisdom. And precisely because he was in charge of everything, God could change his normal way of doing things and act in an amazing or unusual way, if it suited him.
This way of thinking about the world is often called ‘theism’. According to biblical theism, a miracle is not God sticking his finger into the works of the machine so as to prove his existence. It is simply God working outside his normal regular patterns. This, then, was what the writers of the Bible (like Luke) thought a ‘miracle’ was-some work of God that was surprising or noteworthy or unusual, and which was performed, for some important reason.
Objections To Miracles
With this background in mind, it is not difficult to see that many of the objections that people have to the miracles of the Bible are either not very relevant or not very clever.
Some have argued, for example, that because 1st century people were primitive and did not understand science, they were prepared to believe anything. However, this is hardly reasonable. First century people, like us, knew that dead people stayed dead. That was their experience, as it is ours. That is why they mourned, as we do. They also knew that people who had been paralytics for 30 years didn’t suddenly get up and start walking. And this is precisely why they called it a ‘miracle’ or a ‘wonder’ when Jesus raised the dead girl to life, or healed the paralytic. They believed that the God who ruled the world was well able to do such things, and regarded it as an amazing and exciting occurrence when he did so.
Another argument against miracles is that it is so unlikely that a genuine miracle would ever happen that we should dismiss all claims of miracles as being inherently unreliable. According to this argument, it is much more likely that the people involved were mistaken or deceived or were themselves deceivers-and so we should not trust their testimony. This approach has a number of problems, not the least of which is that it rules out testimony about all unusual or extraordinary events. Take for example, the following occurrences:
- In Greenberry Hill, London, in 1679, three men were hanged for the murder of a local magistrate. By pure coincidence, their surnames were Green, Berry and Hill.
- In the mid-1700s, a Russian peasant, the wife of Feodor Vasileyev gave birth to 69 children. In 27 separate pregnancies, she had 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets.
- In 1664, 1785 and 1860, three separate passenger ferries sank while crossing the Menai straight off North Wales. Amazingly, each disaster occurred on December 5th. More bizarre than this, however, is that on all three occasions there was only one survivor; and in each case his name was Hugh Williams.
Each of these events is strange, unusual, and highly unlikely. Yet there is excellent historical evidence that they all, in fact, occurred. Extraordinary things do occur. That they don’t occur very often is what makes them extraordinary!
To say, therefore, that the miracles attributed to Jesus could not have happened, simply because they are beyond our own normal experience, is to prejudge the question entirely. It is to make up our minds without looking at the evidence. It is like someone who lives in the tropics refusing to believe in the possibility of such a thing as ice, simply because they have never seen or touched it.
If theism is true, then the occurrence of miracles is quite reasonable. Miracles are simply the extraordinary (as opposed to the ordinary) workings of the God who made the world and continues to rule it. What is more, if Jesus is God’s representative-if he speaks and acts with all the power and authority of Godthen it- would seem quite consistent for him to be able to perform what we could call ‘miraculous’ feats. If theism, and Christianity, is true, then the miracles recorded of Jesus are almost to be expected.
The first thing to work out, then, is whether theism (and Christianity) is true. And that is one of the purposes of the Simply Christianity course. One final thing needs to be said about the miracles of Jesus.
The Meaning Of Miracles
We have already said that for Luke (and the other Bible writers) miracles were not some proof of God’s existence. They already knew that God existed and was powerfully in control of the world. Miracles were simply God acting in a striking or amazing way to achieve a particular purpose. In other words, the important thing about the miracles of Jesus is not so much that they happened, but what they signified or meant.
We get an important clue to the meaning of Jesus’ miracles from this episode in Luke, chapter 7 verses 20 to 23:
When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”’ At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, ‘Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”Luke 7:20-23
In response to John’s enquiry about whether he really was ‘the one’, Jesus sends back the report of all the miracles he has been doing (as well as his preaching of the good news). Clearly, Jesus thinks this is all the answer John should need. And in light of the Old Testament, it was. John, like Simeon and Anna (of Luke Chapter 2) and many of the Israelites of his time, was looking for-ward to the Messiah, the One who would come in God’s name as God’s ruler, to bring redemption and victory for Israel. The Old Testament prophets had promised that this would happen in passages like this one:
Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you’.. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.Isaiah 35:4-6
Or the passage from Isaiah -that Jesus quoted in the synagogue in Nazareth:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour:”Luke 4:18-19 quoting Isaiah 61:1-2
The miracles that Jesus performed were the signs of the Messiah. They were the powerful indication that God had fulfilled his ancient promises, that the time had come, and that ‘the One’ that Israel had waited so long for had arrived.
Non Christian Writings About Jesus
Cornelius Tacitus, born 52-54 AD, was the greatest Roman, historian of his day. Writing in 112 AD, he recounts how Nero was widely suspected to have been responsible for the fire of Rome in AD 64, and how he sought to divert attention from himself by fastening the blame on the hated ‘Christians’. Tacitus goes on to briefly describe how these Christians had come into being:
“Christus, from whom the name [Christians] had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate [in] Judaea. The deadly superstition, thus checked for the moment, broke out afresh not only in Judea, the first source of the evil but also in the City [of Rome], where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world meet and become popular.”Annals of Imperial Rome XV.44 Lives of the Caesars 26.2
Flavius Josephus was an aristocratic Jew and an historian, born in 37AD. He was also aware of the ‘Christians’, and wrote of them and their founder. It is significant that his account agrees in historical detail both with Tacitus and the Gospels.
“He [Anon’us] assembled a council of judges, and brought before it the brother of Jesus, the so-called Christ, whose name was James, together with some of the others, and having accused them as lawbreakers, he delivered them over to be stoned.”Antiquities XX 9:1
Pliny the Younger
Pliny was a friend of Tacitus, and Governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. He wrote to the Emperor Trajan to ask his advice on how to deal properly with the Christians in his province, whom he was persecuting. He explains that when they were being tried, the Christians defended themselves as not being guilty of any crime:
“They [the Christians] affirmed, however, that the sum of their ‘guilt’ or ‘error’ was that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verse a hymn to Christ as to a god. They then bound themselves by a solemn oath not to do wicked deeds, but rather never to commit any frauds, theft, or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor to deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up.”Epistles X.96
Suetonius was another Roman historian, who also writes about the troubles in Rome regarding the Christians.
“As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus [another spelling of Chrestus], he [Claudius] expelled them from Rome.” “Punishment by Nero was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition.”Life of Claudius 25.4 and 26.2
Can We Trust The Gospels?
It is one thing to establish that the Gospels have come down to us as they were written, but can we trust that what they record is true? Is it possible that they are fictional, or partly fictional? Professor E.A. Judge doesn’t think so:
“An ancient historian has no problem seeing the phenomenon of Jesus as an historical one. His many surprising aspects only help anchor him in history. Myth or legend would have created a more predictable figure. The writings that sprang up about Jesus also reveal to us a movement of thought and an experience of life so unusual that something much more substantial than the imagination is needed to explain it.“
The claim about Jesus’ resurrection does one of two things to the story of Jesus’ life. If the claim is false, it robs the entire story of any credibility. It becomes just another myth or legend from the past. If the resurrection bit is phony, how can we trust anything they told us? How can we be sure Jesus ever taught with incredible authority, or healed, or calmed a storm, or handed out God’s forgiveness? On the other hand, if the claim is true, it elevates the story to dizzy heights. It makes Jesus the most unique and confronting person in human history.
So, did Jesus rise from the dead?
For centuries people have tried to rule out the whole discussion about ‘resurrection’ as ridiculous. They say, “Dead people just do not come back to life, so Jesus can’t have been raised from the dead”. That is, because we have never seen a resurrection we rule it out as a possibility. At first, this seems fair enough. I mean, I’ve never seen a pink and polka dot coloured elephant, so I rule it out as a possibility.
However, there’s a problem with this. The problem has to do with the rules of logic. Limited observation does not establish fixed laws. Or put simply, just because we’ve never seen something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. For example, if you lived in England two centuries ago, you would have been brought up to believe that all swans were white. You would have dismissed the rumours about black swans (coming from Southern Hemisphere countries like Australia and South Africa) as wild hoaxes or a case of mistaken identity. But the fact of the matter is, black swans did exist even though the English had never seen them. You see, limited observation can only help you predict what to expect. It can’t determine what actually is. So, according to the rules of logic, an 18th century Englishman could only say, “Having never seen a black swan in the past, I do not expect to see one in the future. Further evidence is required before I accept the existence of black swans.”
The same is true of Jesus’ resurrection. It can’t be ruled out merely by logic. But it is fair enough to ask to see some evidence. This, of course, raises a few questions:
Is there good evidence to support Jesus’ resurrection?
Is this evidence strong enough to contradict our expectation that resurrections don’t happen? There are four pieces of evidence that suggest Jesus was raised from the dead. You can be the judge of whether or not the evidence is strong.
Jesus’ tomb was corpse-less
One of the most compelling reasons for Jesus’ resurrection is the fact that it is almost beyond doubt that Jesus’ tomb was empty a short time after his execution.
There are three things that make the empty tomb virtually beyond doubt.
Jesus’ resurrection was proclaimed in Jerusalem just weeks after the crucifixion.
This is very important. If Jesus’ tomb was not empty, such preaching could not have taken place. The tomb was owned by a prominent politician of the time named Joseph of Arimathea and so could easily be found by anyone who wanted to know. How on earth would the apostles have gotten away with telling people in Jerusalem (where Jesus was buried) that they had seen Jesus alive and well, without a body being produced to contradict them? Let me put it like this. Down at Balmoral Beach in Mosman, Sydney there is a statue of a dog named ‘Billy’. He was a well-known canine in the area years ago. Suppose next week I claim to have seen the statue of Billy the wonder dog come to life and run away. Now, I might just get away with that claim in Perth or New Zealand (no offense meant), where no-one could check up on me. But I couldn’t get away with it in Mosman itself, could I? Mosman residents could too easily take a drive down to the beach and prove me a liar. The fact is, the first public claim of Jesus’ resurrection occurred less than five kilometres from his burial site. This is a strong reason to be confident that the tomb was, in fact, empty.
Jesus’ tomb did not become a holy site in the years immediately after his death.
This doesn’t sound very interesting on its own, I know. But what is odd, is that during the time of Jesus there were at least 50 tombs of great religious leaders in Palestine, and all of these sites were considered to be holy sites. A fair bit of religious activity took place at them. So, the question needs to be asked, “If Jesus’ corpse remained in the tomb, why was this custom not followed?”
The Jewish leaders did not contest the empty tomb.
In Matthew’s biography, it is clear that the popular argument against Jesus’ resurrection in the years following the claim did not revolve around whether the tomb was empty but how it became empty. It was assumed, even by those who violently opposed the disciples’ claim, that the tomb of Jesus was vacant and had been from a couple of days after his execution. There’s even an ancient document a hundred years after Matthew’s Gospel that records a debate between a Jewish intellectual named Trypho and a Christian leader named Justin. In the document, it is clear the Jews of that time still did not argue against the tomb being empty. They simply raised suspicion about how it got to be empty!
So the obvious question is, “How did the tomb get empty?” Here are a few explanations:
Perhaps Jesus didn’t die on the cross, but simply fell unconscious, was buried, and later got better in the tomb.
According to this explanation, Jesus unwrapped his own burial clothes, rolled away the boulder that blocked the entrance, walked for two or three kilometres, showed himself to his friends and was somehow able to convince them that God had powerfully raised him to a new life. All I can say to this explanation is that it used to be argued. Modern scholars are now a bit embarrassed that this argument was ever used. The more we’ve learnt about Roman execution in the period, the more impossible it looks that Jesus just ‘got better’ in the tomb, let alone convinced his friends that he was powerfully alive and well.
Perhaps they went to the wrong tomb on Sunday morning.
Jesus’ tomb was visited by some women who were his followers. They were the ones who discovered the tomb was empty. Some people reckon they visited the wrong tomb.
This explanation suggests that the tomb Mary and the other women went to looked like the one Jesus was placed in, but in actual fact was another one that happened to be unused. Thus, the whole of Christianity is based on a couple of people losing their way in the night. This explanation faces the very serious problem that sooner or later someone would have checked again. Remember, the tomb where Jesus was buried was owned by one of the prominent politicians of the time. It could have easily been accessed and the women’s mistake would have been revealed.
Perhaps the disciples stole the body and later claimed he was raised.
This is the oldest explanation of the empty tomb (actually it’s the second oldest!). It’s the one Jewish people have used ever since the 1st century. For me, though, it is also the hardest to accept. Think of it this way. Suppose I stand up in church next week and claim to have seen the statue of ‘Billy’ the wonder dog come to life and run away. After a thorough search of Balmoral Beach, it is discovered that the statue is missing. Within weeks I’m a national celebrity. A radio talk-show host invites me onto his show and praises me for having seen a modem miracle. TV current affairs reporters ring me offering a million dollar contract for the exclusive rights to a step-by-step re-enactment of the miracle. Media moguls want to publish my story and Oxford University offers me an honorary Doctorate in the Metaphysics of Animated Statues. What would you conclude? I’m sure some of you would be thinking, “I bet he stole the statue for his own personal gain”. I reckon that’s what I’d conclude too.
But suppose things went the other way. The talk-show host grills me for being a scam artist. The reporters expose me as a fraud. My family disowns me. The media mogul prints an article about the stupidity of belief in animated statues. I am eventually taken to court and tried for ‘public deception’, and then taken to prison until I admit to the truth. If I had stolen the statue, how long do you think it would take before I confessed to my deception? Not long I think.
The same problem applies to Jesus’ resurrection. If the disciples had become rich and famous for their claims about Jesus, it would be easier to conclude that they stole the body from the tomb and made up this incredible resurrection story. But the opposite is true. They were considered ‘heretics’ and ‘traitors’ by many of their fellow Jews. They were taken to court and thrown in prison. And many of them were, in fact, executed. Why, if they knew they had merely taken the body from the tomb, did they die for the claim that Jesus was raised from the tomb? Sure, plenty of people throughout history have suffered and died for beliefs they did not know were wrong, but who on earth would willingly die for something they knew was a lie? It is almost impossible to accept.
It seems that none of these attempts to explain away the empty tomb succeeds. This brings me back to my first piece of evidence. It seems almost beyond doubt that the tomb of Jesus was actually corpseless on Easter Sunday morning, and no attempt to explain it away satisfies the facts. In the words of historian, Paul L. Maier:
“If all the evidence is weighed carefully and fairly, it is indeed justifiable, according to the canons of historical research, to conclude that the tomb in which Jesus was buried was actually empty on the morning of the First Easter.”
Here’s a few more pieces of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus.
Women were the first witnesses to the resurrection
One of the interesting features of the biographies is that they all claim that women were the first people to witness the event. This may not sound like a very big deal to us modern onlookers, but in first century Palestine it was a very significant point. A woman’s testimony was considered untrustworthy by first century Jewish leaders, so much so that they were not allowed to give evidence in a court of law. I know this sounds unjust, but it was the legal situation of the time (incidentally, the fact that women were the first to witness the resurrection shows that God had no problem with this).
This being the case, the question must be asked, “If you had made up a lie about a man rising from the dead, why would you add the point that women were the first witnesses?” In Jewish society this would have only worsened their outrageous claim. Unless it was just plain TRUE, why would all four biographies agree that women were the first to witness Jesus’ resurrection?
Similarities and dissimilarities in the accounts
A third reason for the resurrection of Jesus has to do with the nature of the biographies themselves. On the one hand, the different accounts agree in profound ways. For example, they agree on the day it occurred and that it was morning when it happened. They agree that women were the first to realise the resurrection had taken place. And they agree that there was confusion and doubt among the apostles when they first heard that Jesus was raised. However, someone could look at all this ‘agreement’ and argue that the biographers just got together and made sure they all said the same thing.
However, the hole in this argument is that there are also significant differences between the biographies. And some of these differences are very difficult (though not impossible) to reconcile with each other. For example, Mark’s biography says that just after daylight on Sunday morning, three women first went to the tomb. John’s biography, however, mentions only one woman, and she apparently visited while it was still dark.
If all the accounts were full of contradictions you could conclude they were not trustworthy. But if they were identical, word for word, you could conclude there was a planned scam or cover-up. But neither looks likely. The different biographies display both profound agreement and significant variation. This is exactly what you’d expect from four relatively independent people telling the truth about the same event.
Transformation of the disciples
A fourth piece of evidence for the ‘ resurrection is the amazing transformation of Jesus’ disciples after Easter Sunday. How did a small group of uneducated Jewish people become so adamant about their leader’s resurrection that they confidently claimed, proclaimed, debated, stood trial, suffered and, in some cases, died, for that claim? And, how on earth did devout first century views (who naturally avoided other races and nations), begin the largest, most international and multicultural religion in the world?
Let me give you an individual example of the transformation that took place in one of Jesus’ followers. In the biographies, it is clear that Jesus’ own brothers (yes, he had a few brothers) did not believe in him. In fact according to Mark’s biography, early on, they thought their famous brother was insane. However, in the Bible book called ‘Acts’, which describes the first years of the church after Jesus’ resurrection, one of Jesus’ brothers, James, has somehow become a key leader of the early church. How did this happen? What caused the transformation of James if it wasn’t seeing his own brother risen from the dead?
More than that, James eventually died for his belief in his older brother. The question is simple: what stands between the unbelief of James recorded in the biographies and his willingness to be executed for believing in the risen Jesus? What caused such a transformation if it was not that he had seen his brother raised from death? This is only one example. Several, if not most, of the Apostles were eventually executed for their beliefs in the risen Jesus. What caused such fearless devotion?
Over the years, there have been a number of attempts to explain away this transformation. Here are a few of them.
Perhaps the disciples simply saw a ‘vision’.
Some people have suggested that what the apostles saw was not the raised body of Jesus, but some religious vision, like the kind spoken of in many religions. The basic problem with this explanation is that the Bible is full of ‘visions’ and is happy to name them as such. There is no question that the eyewitnesses (and biographers) of Jesus’ resurrection knew the difference between a vision and a real event. However, nowhere do they speak of the resurrection as a vision.
People who suggest the resurrection was simply a religious vision are left with a dilemma: why did people who were well acquainted with visions claim that the resurrection was a real physical event?
Perhaps the disciples hallucinated.
Another explanation of the disciples’ transformation suggests that after their terrible weekend – seeing their master executed, not sleeping or eating – the disciples may well have experienced hallucinations of Jesus which they thought were real. The problem with this explanation is that, to sane people, even hallucinations are clearly identifiable as such after the event. Secondly, you have the problem of explaining how over 500 people in many settings could have had the same hallucination over a forty day period.
This transformation of the disciples is so difficult to explain that a leading modern scholar, Dr Pinchas Lapide, has admitted that Jesus’ resurrection must have happened. This is not so amazing by itself—heaps of modern scholars believe Jesus rose from the dead. What is amazing is that Lapide is a devout Jew who adamantly opposes the Christian belief that Jesus was the Christ. Here is what he concludes:
How was it possible that his disciples, who by no means excelled in intelligence, eloquence, or strength of faith, were able to begin their victorious march of conversion … In a purely logical analysis, the resurrection of Jesus is ‘the lesser of two evils’ for all those who seek a rational explanation of the worldwide consequences of that Easter faith. Thus according to my opinion, the resurrection belongs to the category of the truly real.
A fact which indeed is withheld from objective science, photography, and a conceptual proof, but not from the believing scrutiny of history which more frequently leads to deeper insights.
We know that carving out 5 weeks of time isn’t always easy and we really appreciate you giving it to us as we gave some though and space to the claims of Jesus and what life can look like with him.
If you’d like to keep exploring Jesus and Christianity (Please do!) here are some next steps you may like to take:
Read about Jesus
The Gospel of Mark is a biography all about Jesus. We have free copies we’d love to give you so you can read at your own pace. Even better is when you can read with someone else. You can also read it online here.
Come to Christianity Explored
Another course like this one, but it digs ever deeper into the Bible and Jesus. There’s details on each table about when and where or you can click here to visit their website and have a look at the content yourself.
Pray to God
Maybe you’d like to begin the rest of your life following, loving and enjoying Jesus? Why not pray this prayer to begin:
Most merciful God, I confess that I have sinned against you in thought, word, and actions. I have not loved you or others with my whole heart. I am truly sorry and humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on me and forgive me so that I may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
You are warmly invited to attend a Trinity church. Each church meets at 10am each Sunday in the following locations: