I’ve underscored that: it would be inconsistent to believe the Gospel and not believe in a physical resurrection; there are dire consequences of holding to a non-physical resurrection; and that there is no biological and cosmological grounds to outright deny a future physical resurrection. (I even shared some thoughts on how important the resurrection is to me in my experience.) Now, although I touched on some of this with the consequences of holding to a non-Physical resurrection, I wanted to delineate a theological necessity for a physical resurrection.
We’ve considered the necessity of a physical resurrection to the truthfulness and efficacy of the Gospel message. We also dealt with the logical, practical and theological ramifications of a losing a physical resurrection. In the end, we were left with a question on how such a thing would work.
Resurrection Ideas Have Consequences
Ideas have consequences. It’s easy to say, slips stealthily across the typed keys, rings exceedingly true; and in the end it’s ignored. Paul pointed this out to the Church in Corinth when they tried to make their concept of the resurrection more palatable to foreign, and likely their own, ears.
People do it today. In an effort to make one of Christianity’s key doctrines more palatable to the public religious palette, some confessing Christians have taken to modifying the future resurrection of Christians. So instead of a future people getting up from the grave, we put off this flesh and are freed from it: we become happy Ghosts, “resurrected” on a cloud in heaven.
I’m reminded of Yoda, pinching Luke in disgust while talking about “This crude matter”.
We know this portion of Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 15: Paul answers the question about the resurrection of the dead. We hear it at funerals. We hear it at wakes. But what about the question of the resurrection of the dead? Well, the answer usually goes: they didn’t believe it.
Yet in what sense they didn’t believe it, I think, is pertinent to today. For today there are many people, even Bible believing people, that hold to a resurrection and a life that is so totally disconnected to this life and reality that it separates the two. A resurrection, they might say, is fine—just not the one that people keep talking about.
I figured I should write something about the recent discovery of the Gabriel Tablet as they’re calling it. New York Times asserts that this tablet might actually prove that Christianity isn’t unique with its resurrections claims. What I found interesting about that bit is that most informed Christians don’t make a point of arguing about the uniqueness of the death and resurrection but rather the historicity of the death and resurrection. Let me flesh that out a bit.