A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Resurrection

A Presbyterian pastor raises the question of whether Christian faith could be had if one could find the body of Jesus. He argues yes and that it is possible to see the language of resurrection as metaphoric or symbolic.

The responders larger quote Paul 1 Corinthians chpt 15 that if the resurrection did not happen our faith is in vain. But it's highly selective to do that, especially when one ignores Paul's treatment of what resurrection means in the same chapter.
"How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?" How foolish!When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed.

It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.

The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. The perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
Their may not be agreement over such verses except to suggest that the notion of a spiritual body is a way of integrating a number of contrasting ideas into one. Also that forcing the resurrection into a physicalist framework is to ignore what Paul is up to.


At 8:55 PM , Anonymous Allen said...

I agree. I think putting such an event in human terms is to take away the mystery of what happened, to try and put God in a box.

At 8:40 PM , Blogger jmaroney said...

C.S. Lewis makes the claim Jesus is either
a liar, a lunatic, or exactly who He says
He is, The Son of God. Suppose I got up in
an open meeting and said "I am the way, the
truth and the life, if you want to know the
Father (God) you MUST come through me" .I
supposed I would be laughed at or thought of
as crazy, and rightfully so. So Jesus, himself makes these claims, then is crucified and then rises from the dead. No
Resurrection, no Son of God, Christianity is
then based on a foundation of Lies. It is either true or not true, there is no
middle ground. God Bless you all

At 10:16 AM , Blogger Dwight said...

The question is not whether there was a resurrection, the question is what kind, what does it mean, etc?

Lewis' arguement supposes that the gospels themselves are not later interpretations of the Christ event, rather they are almost journalistic accounts. If one doesn't suppose that, the problem is not there. What we have are claims by communities about the meaning of Jesus instead of claims he made about himself.

As such faithfulness requires that we likewise seek to engage in the same interpetative process, not closing the door on thought as we try to make sense of what Jesus means for us and our world today.

At 2:01 PM , Blogger JJ said...

jmaroney said "No
Resurrection, no Son of God, Christianity is
then based on a foundation of Lies. It is either true or not true, there is no
middle ground."

It is clear that this attitude permiates all throughout Christiany and has since the fourth centery. This was a way to exclude people how did not belive as the leaders of the various churches belived and gave those same leaders control over the flock. Look again to the verus you quoated. It says that you must go through the the Christ to get to the Father not men like those who created the Nicean Creed which you and others hold as a requirement of being a true Christian. The Savor did not put such requirements on the children of God.

Consider: His Holyness the Christ made refrence on several occuations to the church being His body. The "Body of Christ" did resurrect three days after Jesus's death when Mary had her vision of Jesus and ran to tell the others but to belive this way takes away from the exclusive club and allows the one billion Muslums to be aceptable as belivers. God forbid that we would have to to fellowship with them.

You talk about lies, to be fair to demand the flock to follow a man-made invented doctrine sounds kind of like a lie to me. Does not John warn that the anti-christ will come out of the church and that there is no truth in him? Does not John also warn that the anti-christ will show signs and wonders. Requiring the flock to belive in a man-made doctrine that is not supported by scripture makes you wonder what the church is up to but then if we followed the Savor's laws we could not justify the mass killing of woman and children in the middle east. I guess you shall know them by their fruits. And again: "You can proclaime Christ from the roof tops but if you do not follow His laws, you are a lier."

"Love one another as I have loved you."

Peace be with you

At 7:47 PM , Anonymous Jeff said...


Of course it's possible to see the ressurection as a symbolic or metaphorical event. The question is, what would a first century (if you'll give it the benefit of the doubt) Jewish or Gentile mindset understand by the concept of ressurection? That seems to be the proper starting point, doesn't it?

At 6:12 PM , Anonymous Tim said...

It's possible to see most things as metaphorical. Sometimes, this is the best way to treat them (eg the creation story). Other times, a thing is just a literal thing. I'm not entirely sure what the governing factors are as to whether you should see a particular incident in this light, or even if you do, then *which* metaphorical interpretation is right / least cheesy / most useful?

Those who have seen _Men in Black_ will know the little creatures' (over-)reactions in the locker whenever the agents spoke, or gave them a watch for safe-keeping, etc. Sometimes I fear we might be like them...


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