“Liberal theologians typically give up the historical claims of Christianity for what they say is some deeper spiritual or ethical core. But if you strip away the history, there is no core left. If God has not acted in history to accomplish salvation, then there is no ‘good news’ to tell ( the literal meaning of the word gospel). As Paul told first century audiences, if Jesus was not ressurrected from the dead, if the tomb was not empty, then the Christian faith is based on a lie and is worthless (I Corinthians 15:17). He even urged his listeners to confirm the claim by seeking out the five hundred eyewitnesses who had seen the risen Christ. Paul was using a legal term, which means he was treating the resurrection like any other event that could be tested for its veracity. The central claim of Christianity is a stubborn historical fact, which was open to empirical investigation and knowable by ordinary means of historical verification.
The apostles were treating the ressurrection in a way akin to what scientists today call a crucial experiment – an event that confirms or disconfirms an entire theory (or an entire theology). in their minds, historical facts and spiritual truths must cohere. Facts and faith must agree. Truth is a unity.”
Nancy Pearcey, “Saving Leonardo” p.35