Some people think that Christianity is simply a certain set of beliefs and values, like any other world religion. But to those critics and scholars who have set out to study it, all have come away with the conclusion that Christianity is unique because it is based upon a historical event: namely, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Dr. J.N.D. Anderson, professor of oriental law and the director of the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies at the University of London, concluded his research on the resurrection by saying:
“It seems to me inescapable that anyone who chanced to read the pages of the New Testament for the first time would come away with one overwhelming impression, that there is a faith firmly rooted in certain allegedly historical events, a faith which would be false and misleading if those events had not actually taken place, but which – if they did take place – is unique in its relevance and exclusive in its demands on our allegiance.”
Even Dr. David Friedrick Strauss, an unbelieving skeptic who has severely criticized anything supernatural in the Gospels, was forced to acknowledge the fact that the resurrection is “the touchstone, not of the life of Jesus only, but of Christianity itself.” It “touches Christianity to the quick” and is “decisive for the whole view of Christianity.”
In other words, the entire Christian faith rests upon the validity of one supernatural, historical event which was witnessed by approximately 500 people in the first century A.D.: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. No other system of religious belief draws its authenticity from such an event.