Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday Thinking - About Resurrection

I hope you're enjoying the third week of Easter. I would enjoy it more if the snow would go away, the sun would come out and stay, and the temperatures would rise at least into the 50s. Not only would I feel better, it would take less effort to celebrate Resurrection. And boy, could I ever use some resurrection today!

As promised last week, I'm sharing thoughts about about resurrection every Thursday until Pentecost. So here's what I've got for you this week.

From Brennan Manning in Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging --
“For me the most radical demand of Christian faith lies in summoning the courage to say yes to the present risenness of Jesus Christ.”
From Richard Hays in First Corinthians, pp. 277-278
Paul saw that underneath all the dismaying problems of the Corinthians lay one massive theological fallacy: they denied the resurrection of the dead.  And by doing that, they denied the importance of the world that God created.  They denied—whether they meant to or not—that these flawed bodies of ours are loved by God and will be redeemed.  And therefore—whether they meant to or not—they denied that what we do with these bodies is of ultimate significance in God’s eyes.  So they lapsed into confusion, both moral and theological.

These are sobering observations for a Christian church that all too often denies the resurrection in one way or another. . .   [W]e find forms of otherworldly pietism that dream warmly of “going to heaven” but ignore the resurrection of the body—and thereby ignore the challenge of the gospel to the world we inhabit: such pietism falls unwittingly into the heresy that Justin Martyr decried as a “godless, impious” betrayal of the faith.  It would not be difficult to document the various moral failings that follow from each of these errors.

In such a situation, Paul’s treatment of the resurrection of the dead presents the church with a compelling word that needs to be heard again and again.  It is no accident that his teachings on the cross (1:18-2:16) and resurrection (15:1-58) stand like bookends—or sentinels—at beginning and end of the body of his letter to the Corinthians.  These are the fundamental themes of the gospel story.  All our theology and practice must find its place within the world framed by these truths.
From N. T. Wright -- The Difference Resurrection Makes


  1. Thanks, Dave! When my father passed away, my "grief healing" process was marked very much with the sentiment Wright talks about in the video when his own father did. It was hard for people to understand my point of view, which was, and still is, that resurrection is reserved for all of us in Christ. So many Christians, it would seem, view Jesus' resurrection as simply a benchmark point in history rather than a demonstration of what is in the cards for every last one of us if we believe and live out God's will to work in redeeming creation. This is right in line with Hays' comments above -- all too often we have missed the point of resurrection. The question we should be asking when talking about the good news is not "what happens when you die" but "what happens when you live forever, having been resurrected as Jesus was."

  2. Amen, Kris. And in keeping with the Manning quote, that living forever starts now!

  3. The same powerful Spirit who raised Jesus' body from the tomb resides in me and wants to amaze the watching world...and I'm busy on Facebook chronicling how many movies I've watched? Yikes!