There is this all-too-common assumption among skeptics of religion that Christianity must somehow be “falsifiable” in order to be a legitimate interpretive framework for reality.
The quick (and tempting) response is to say that Christianity is falsifiable: if there is no resurrected Jesus then there is no Christianity.
However, many nominal Christians have continued in the faith even after coming (either implicitly or explicitly) to reject the historical resurrection of Jesus. Indeed, some of them have been leading preachers, theologians, and biblical scholars such as Rudolf Bultmann, Albert Schweitzer, or Marcus Borg.
So if the bones of Jesus were to be recovered, would Christianity be falsified? The proper answer surely is that Christianity of a particular form would be falsified. But it hardly follows that Christianity simpliciter would be falsified.
Thus, the likelihood is that Christianity would continue in another form. Perhaps its numbers would be diminished overall. It might look very different. But I have no doubt that it would continue in some form, perhaps with a theology similar to the moralism of Schweitzer, the ecclesial existentialism of Bultmann, or the mysticism of Borg.
Most likely, all of the above and more.
What’s the point of this? The point is not to suggest that Christ’s resurrection isn’t essential to Christianity. Perhaps the Christianity that confesses a historical resurrection of Jesus is, at the end of the day, the only one worth defending. (Certainly, that’s my view. But if the bones of Jesus were ever to be found, you might want to ask me again then.)
My only point here is that the criterion of falsification is ill-suited to address the cognitive status of a worldview. And so, the proper response to the falsification criterion is not to say that Christianity meets it. Rather, the proper response is to challenge the criterion outright. A worldview doesn’t need to be falsifiable in order to be legitimate or valid or an option worth considering.
Indeed, to think otherwise is to fail to grasp the expansive nature of worldviews as interpretive grids which are, in principle, endlessly adaptable so long as their adherents find the benefits of further adaptation to outweigh the costs.