“Just what would it take to convince an atheist that the resurrection had really happened?
And I said to him, ‘Well, if we had affidavits from the Roman guards standing at the foot of the cross that they’d seen the resurrection take place, they’d seen the body taken down, they’d seen the body taken to the grave, they’d stayed by the body and they’d actually seen the stone being rolled away and Jesus come out, and they’d stayed with Jesus all through the forty days and watched him ascend to heaven, and that was documented and that was authenticated, would an atheist accept that?’
And I said, ‘No. That is really the key. Evidence is not the issue. Belief is the issue. If you believe that Jesus was the Son of God, born of a virgin and died on the cross, was resurrected after the third day and ascended into heaven forty days later, then believe it. If you try and go down the evidential route, you will lose. Because the counterpoint to the scenario that I’ve just laid out is, if there were Roman soldiers standing at the foot of the cross and they were able to file affidavits to say, “Well, actually, yes Jesus he was crucified, we did take the body down, we did put it in the grave, but it wasn’t his grave the guy came out of,” would a Christian accept it? No! Because you’re coming back to what is it you actually believe. So I think evidence – it’s a very sticky road to go down, I think.’
~ Paul Baird, atheist, in his first debate with Christian apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate on U.K radio, July 31, 2010.