Ted wrote, in part: "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, after his
burial, by multiple persons who were not hallucinating.
(3) I believe that Christians must believe (1) and (2).
I appreciate your thoughtful comments; at this time I want to comment
only on the first part (above).
I have a bit of a problem with the word "bodily" in (1) since the Christ
arisen certainly had a different KIND of body than he had prior to the
cross. So as it stands I can't (yet) affirm it (the specific statement)
as it stands. Let me hasten to say that I do affirm the Apostle's Creed,
as it stands, but then I've thought that one through a long time ago.
I don't think (3), independent of my comments above, can stand. Let me
explain. Friend wife and I have, over the years, often taught Sunday
School classes to developmentally challenged adults. We love these
people. Their faith is childlike, though they are very much NOT children.
They understand little -- and they understand a great deal. What is it
that they "believe" about God and Jesus? I would say that they understand
that God loves them, that Jesus died and came alive again, and that they,
personally, are in a love (agape) relationship with God. They are, in
every sense of the word, Christians. But I would not say that they
particularly "believe" (2) above. To the extent they hear the story,
sure, but it is not one that sticks in their memories particularly. (1),
of course, does.
Another story. When I became a Christian, back in about 1961, while I
knew "something" of the Christian stories, I don't know as that I had any
particular knowledge of (2) -- of course I soon did! Was I not a
Christian because I did not yet believe in a story I had not yet heard? I
think I would challenge that.
Finally, as I understand Marcus Borg, I think he would challenge all
three as being "beliefs that a statement is true" vs "beliefs (trust) in
a person, Jesus the Christ," and so, while such beliefs reasonably follow
a conversion to Christianity, they do not lead. In this, I tentatively
Thanks for the thought provoking post.
John Burgeson (Burgy)
(science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
humor, cars, God's intervention into natural causation, etc.)
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Feb 16 2002 - 11:23:17 EST