by Bill Nugent
Albert Henry Ross (1881-1950) was an enemy of the Christian faith and a skilled advertising man. He was also a gifted freelance writer. He was born and raised in the north of England at a time when the skepticism called liberal theology was gaining sway in many of the churches in the UK. Ross decided to use his writing wit and his ability as an advertiser to send out a clever message to humanity. He wanted to strike a blow against Christianity and set mankind free from what he thought was a burdensome myth. (Wikipedia)
He started out to write a short book with the title: “Christ – the Last Phase” that would claim to show evidence that the resurrection of Christ never happened. Ross studied the Gospel accounts of the resurrection and was careful to read between the lines to infer motives of the various Bible characters. He studied the biblical and nonbiblical accounts of how the apostles lived and how they made great personal sacrifices in time, talent and treasure to spread the Gospel. He saw that the result of their efforts was a vibrant church filled with followers of Christ on three continents before the end of the first century.
The central miracle of Christianity is the resurrection of Christ. If the disciples manufactured that miracle, they more than all people, would have known that it was false. Ross wrestled with his skeptical assertion that the resurrection was a mere myth. He must have wondered that if the apostles and the women knew that Jesus was not risen, why did they continue to publicly claim to have seen Christ alive even to the point of their being persecuted and put to death? Down through history many people have died for a lie but no one dies for a lie knowing that it’s a lie.
Ross wavered in his skepticism and eventually came around to believe in the literal bodily resurrection of Christ. Ross, under the pen name “Frank Morison,” wrote the book “Who Moved the Stone?” The book covers a wide range of forensic evidence pointing to the validity of the resurrection. His book is a very intense and deep penetrating analysis of the disciples and others involved, it even gives a thoroughgoing analysis of Pontius Pilate. It also traces the entire episode of trial and crucifixion in an hour by hour analysis. Ross was certainly gifted with a keen analytical mind.
Ross focused in large measure on the behavior of three principle individuals. Those individuals are the apostle Peter, James the half-brother of Jesus (Mark 6:3 tells us that Jesus had half-siblings) and Saul of Tarsus who was radically converted after having been an avid persecutor of the church. Ross concluded that the radical behavior of those three men could only be accounted for by their having been actual witnesses of the risen Christ.
Ross insightfully shows that the Gospel account of Peter’s threefold denial of Christ is so unflattering and embarrassing to Peter that such an instance of Peter’s denial and repentance would not have been part of any fictional story of early Christian history. The fact that such an embarrassing event was included in the Gospel message, points to it being actually true.
Ross’s book was published in 1930 and had a great impact with many people claiming to have converted to Christianity after reading it. It’s become something of a classic and has been reprinted numerous times over the decades. A recent reprint contains a foreword by famous Christian apologist Lee Strobelwho said that the book was instrumental in his own conversion from agnosticism to Christianity.
God has raised up many witnesses to the truth of the Gospel. Many of the witnesses started out as skeptics, who were hardened against the claims of Christ. When people honestly and diligently study the Bible and the historical and archaeological evidence they will see that the carpenter from Nazareth was no mere man.
Jesus of Nazareth came in fulfillment of over three hundred prophecies that were written in the Old Testament hundreds of years before His birth. No other figure in all of world history can make this claim. The prophecies foretold many facts about His life and that He would suffer and die, taking upon Himself the penalty we deserved for our sins. The prophecies also predicted that He would be raised from the dead to offer forgiveness and eternal life to all who repent and call upon Him. Call upon the name of Jesus Christ today to receive forgiveness of sins!
Steps to salvation:
Jesus said “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).
Prayer to receive salvation:
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer:
“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask for your forgiveness on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!