The Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion (CSER) is a research division of the Council for Secular Humanism and endeavored to do the Jesus Project. Someone named Charlie on a blog said about the project "As if any group sponsored by the CFI -- notorious atheist apologetics -- can be trusted to deliver accurate, balanced, and even remotely unbiased conclusions." Never the less, they claim a secular approach/viewpoint to religion. Their mission, or I would say mantra, is to promote that nature is all there is and all basic truths are truths of nature. Keep in mind that "Science is an attempt to understand the natural world in a natural way. Science then in that sense is restricted to natural explanations for natural phenomena. If a natural explanation is inadequate then science stops." (D’Souza)
I am not sure how many have heard of the endeavor to find the truth that is Jesus. Although, in review of its predecessor called The Jesus Seminar, I will not be holding my breath. The "seminar" was a colossal fail. The Christian Arsenal accurately depicted the Jesus Seminar as a tool of Satan, meant to undermine Biblical beliefs. What else could be the purpose of it, I would ask?
The Jesus Project claims a different approach, but how different could it be with the same data and the same secular worldview? I digress. They claim that they are "the first methodologically agnostic approach to the question of Jesus’ historical existence." This description did spark my attention since I have had many conversations with people asking for this exact thing, that the events can be extra biblically corroborated. Although, it does beg the question as to starting with doubt in scripture. I am only 'curious' as to the results, and will be pleasantly surprised for confirmation of the Bible. If they conclude that there indeed was a Jesus and that Jesus was God himself, would it sway anyone to reconsider the Bible?
I do believe that Atheists would make some the strongest Christians, if there is such a thing, once convinced/enlightened. I denied Christ for years until that very special time in my life. Since Atheists are looking for evidence, would a positive conclusion as to the validity of the Bible's teachings from this project suffice as ample empirical evidence? In the past, the case was made that understanding through the intellect is a futile endeavor, but I wonder would this get Atheists to rethink the subject?
So when they admit that Scriptures are reliable and trustworthy historical documents and the Bible is a valid historical record then we can go to the next point, realizing that Jesus Christ claims to be the unique Son of God and that He bases this claim on His forthcoming resurrection from the dead.
Next, we examine the evidence for the resurrection contained in this historic document and find that the arguments overwhelmingly support the contention that Christ has risen from the dead. If this is true, then He is the unique Son of God as He claimed to be. If He is indeed God, then He speaks with authority on all matters.
Since Jesus considered the Old Testament to be the Word of God (Matthew 15:1-4, 5:17, 18) and promised His disciples, who either wrote or had control over the writing of the New Testament books, that the Holy Spirit would bring all things back to their remembrance (John 14:26), therefore we can insist, with sound and accurate logic, that the Bible is God's Word. This is not circular reasoning. It is establishing certain facts and basing conclusions on the sound, logical outcome of these facts. The case for Christianity can be established by ordinary means of historical investigation.
If you must trust man for evidence of the Bible, you will have to wait four more years for the results of the Jesus Project. So what do you do until then? All I ask is that you don't die before the findings. Have a safe New Year!