A Serious Question

I received this serious question via e-mail and I'm quite busy today, so I'll throw it up for serious discussion, although it's already being discussed in the post below this one.

I'm a christian who has become quite skeptical. An honest doubter, as you might say. As an elder in an evangelical church and one who has been a passionate lay bible teacher and defender for 13 years, this is a difficult time for me.

For me, the one thing that keeps me from rejecting the whole thing is this: the testimony of the apostles. Why would a dozen men give up everything they had, and, for all but one, their very lives, for their proclamation of the risen Christ? I can see why a modern radical islamic "martyr" would give his/her life for their beliefs. They have simply been deceived into believing something that isn't true. The case is much different for Jesus's apostles, though. If what they proclaimed was not true, they would have been the very ones who fabricated and propagated this vicious lie. Why would they give their lives for something they *knew* very well was a lie (if indeed it were a lie)?

I'm curious what answers you could offer or where you could direct me to read them.

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