Re: resurrection etc

From: Michael Roberts (
Date: Fri Feb 15 2002 - 17:41:33 EST

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    See my addition to item 2).

    Belief in the fact that Jesus rose bodily ( but not physically) and left
    behind an empty tomb is essential if we are going to have any meaningfull
    belief in the Resurrection.

    The trouble with naturalistic theologians e.g. Arthur Peacocke is that
    ultimately they have a God who is impotent.

    I prefer William Temple (Arch of Cant died 1944) who wrote;

    ' To believe in miracle is to take divine personality in deadly earnest.'

    In other words A god who bound by scientific law cannot be God.


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Ted Davis" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Friday, February 15, 2002 9:45 PM
    Subject: resurrection etc

    > I find it helpful to distinguish three statements:
    > (1) I believe that the crucified Christ rose bodily from the grave
    > (2) I believe that the crucified Christ was seen and touched
    and spoke to and ate with his disciples

    , after his
    > burial, by multiple persons who were not hallucinating
    > (3) I believe that Christians must believe (1) and (2)
    > This can't be a long post--I shun them b/c my choice is typically to post
    > something short or not to post at all--and I grant readily that one can't
    > justice to this in a post whether long or short. But I wish to say
    > something about this.
    > I strongly affirm (1) and (2) myself, and am sympathetic to (3). I
    > understand the view (widely promoted by academic theologians since the
    > mid-19th century) that the resurrection was actually another thing, which
    > call:
    > (4) I believe that the followers of Jesus believed that they saw and
    > experienced Jesus after his burial

    This view is what most liberals hold and about 30% of Church of England
    > but I think both as a scholar and as a Christian that this view was a
    > complete surrender to scientific naturalism, a surrender that shows
    > of nerve as well as failure of faith.

    Totally agree, even though my previuous Bishop held this view

     I am not accusing those who
    > affirm(ed) it of failing to be faithful followers of Jesus--ie, faithful
    > Christians--but I am saying they haven't thought carefully enough about
    > this, and that they accepted a false view of science and its scope. I
    > a lot of this had to do with the pursuit of legitimacy in German and other
    > universities, but frankly I don't know that historical story nearly well
    > enough to say that with confidence. Nevertheless, I am confident about
    > failure of nerve and the failure of faith, and I intend to write about
    > in my current book project.
    > Thus I explain my response to (3).
    > I distinguish (1) from (2) simply to separate the claim of an empty tomb
    > from the claim of appearances. They aren't the same thing, and (again) I
    > understand the view that (2) led to (1). Lots of books have been written
    > about this, most of which I will never have time to read, so I want simply
    > to note the difference. But I think that the Thomas tradition, which I
    > accept as authentic, rules out accepting (2) without (1). It's also
    > consistent with Paul's discussion in Corinthians, which jumps from his
    > experience (close to category four, actually) to the highly un-Platonic
    > notion of the glorified bodies rather than separated souls. If the
    > glorified Christ who showed himself to Saul--er, Paul--is really the
    > fruits of them that slept," as Paul teaches, then I think we can readily
    > (1) and (2) in the same camp.
    > Ted Davis

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