3 Apr 2004

The Absurdity of the Resurrection

Submitted by theshovel
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But doesn't the resurrection make sense of it all? Of course, but sense to WHO?

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Try as we may, the reality of the living Christ and him crucified will never make sense to those whose very existence is inextricably linked (that is, incapable of being disentangled) to an ever-dying creation. No doubt many would argue that the repeating cycles of death and new life - as in winter to spring or in the dawning of each new day - surely explain the miracle of resurrection to all who witness it. But does it?

For while one might recognize a truly new creation emerging out of the death of the old, another might be endlessly convinced that "new" is merely the early stage of old so that one eventually bleeds into the other. Such a resurrection makes sense to a world that vainly hopes for another chance in the next vicious cycle. The one who is of death cannot comprehend true life; the one without the mind of Christ cannot understand the things of God. Period.

Don't we realize that our charts, our presentations, our formulas, our common-sense principles, and our clearly defined doctrines have merely tapped into a logic that can only create imaginations based upon earth-bound concepts? Are we not aware that even our well-intentioned attempts to bridge that gap have only produced corruptible versions of resurrection? Do we not know that the true miraculous reality of new life lies beyond the reach of mortality?

After all, the world is filled with false speculations regarding the after-life - which are imaginations that might better be termed the after-death. Though it might be supposed that Christianity has somehow improved the world's perception of eternity by infusing Biblical teachings of heaven into the mix, I suggest it has only added to the confusion. For if your eternity is able to be discussed according to a wisdom devoid of THE eternal you should question the eternity you are holding to.

I'm sure some are wondering how we're supposed to relate the truth of the resurrection - or for that matter, any facet of the good news - to a world that has no capacity to receive it. For it is often reasoned - as being ridiculous - that if it cannot be understood it would be futile to even try. Those who denounce such an idea for its absurdity, usually under the guise of Scriptural proof-texts, overlook the fact that preaching the good news is not a matter of persuading someone through the process of reasoning. It is instead a matter of simply declaring Christ's reality, a ludicrous proposition that leaves the preacher in a totally helpless role as a messenger needing nothing short of a miracle to be believed.

Maybe we gravitate to rituals, forms and/or formulas - Scriptural, institutional or otherwise - because we don't want to be left in a position where we have absolutely no control. After all, wouldn't we prefer the added weight of at least SOME believability regarding the things of the Spirit? Perhaps our validation truly comes from Christ alone.

Jim :)

Comments

Maybe we gravitate to rituals, forms and/or formulas - Scriptural, institutional or otherwise - because we don’t want to be left in a position where we have absolutely no control. After all, wouldn’t we prefer the added weight of at least SOME believability regarding the things of the Spirit? Perhaps our validation truly comes from Christ alone. Jim :) Yes and this might also be behind our drive to “prove” faith through science and books and the miraculous healing ministries and what have you. or if others can see this visually then SURELY they will believe right? Hey how about the thought that WE ourselves would believe more if we only had “proof”? Once again this all makes sense to the realm of the natural mind.
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These comments were all transferred over from the original website


Posted: Apr-03-04 by guest

Jim,

That was great, what does it mean?????

I'm looking at this from Cor. and trying to see how it might tie in with what you're trying to get across in this new Shoveletter?

Richard

Hahaha! Richard, this sounds like a diplomatic way to say that your attempt to figure it out is tied in with my inability to communicate! Jim


Posted: Apr-03-04 by guest

Jim,

Just a follow up here. From what I can see, Paul is admitting to there being a wisdom that is understandable among those he calls "mature"!

Richard


Posted: Apr-03-04 by Angie

Hey Jim!

We're discussing this at the Believers Rest group right now... Cool thoughts! Didn't leave me hanging quite as much as the last one. I think you might be slipping....

Angie

Yes, I must be ... Jim


Posted: Apr-03-04 by Bruce

Perhaps our validation truly comes from Christ alone.

Jim :)
Oh what a wonderful word that was! The CHRIST in me validates and confirms the CHRIST in you!!!

Someone once told me...our job in "ministry" is merely to "confirm the CHRIST" in each other...

We "validate" that which does not need any validation!!! And we "confirm" that which needs no "confirmation".

What a wonderful paradox...indeed! And how difficult...we make that which is so "simple".

Bruce


Posted: Apr-07-04 by Sherri Minker

Yes, well this is what I definitely call a 'dangling' message! Just how dangling can one get? LOL

wifus


Posted: Apr-07-04 by Mercy Man

Right on, Jim! So much for the "Evidence that demands a Verdict" approach to conversion. No doubt we are better off being viewed by the world as some sort of a wingnut because of the absurd "Good News" drivel we talk about and live, than that of a reasonable, got-it-all-together, ducks-in-a-row kind-of-a guy, who "convinces" people about the reality of Christ through the use of intellect and precise logic. As you say, the first requires a true miracle of God for anything to happen. The second requires nothing, as it is nothing.


Posted: Apr-13-04 by John Elrod

What you have written reminds me of a lyric from a song I heard recently. On our recent trip, a friend blessed us by lending us a tv set for the car and the kids (it was just me and them) watched movies all the way--one of their favorites which they have seen many times before was "The Prince of Egypt." A song from there named, "When You Believe" has the following interesting lyric:

"Who knows what miracles you can achieve
When you believe.
Somehow you will,
You will when you believe."

Isn't that kind of where folks in churches are today? We often believe that miracles are things that can be "achieved." By the way, is it even possible to understand eternity when we are caught up in the context of time? I think not--eternity (Christ) is really a concept that can only be believed. One of the blessings of your ministry came on the first day I found your website and it is the epiphany that is constantly reestablishing itself in so many ways throughout all of what you have written and over and over in the Bible. THIS NEW LIFE IN JESUS IS SIMPLY A MIRACLE! It cannot be achieved.


Posted: Apr-09-05 by guest

It truly is absurd to say that the Creator of the universe would condemn Himself in His Son in order to commune with us and give us spiritual life, again, that we lost when Adam fell. Yet He made us, fully aware that we would choose our own prideful self-reliance, as we always do. He knows us better than we could begin to know ourselves. That's why it has to be His Way, because He made us for this purpose. We will never be happy or fulfilled until we accept His free gift of salvation through Jesus' death and resurrection. We do not have to fully understand this to accept it. There are many things we ask our children to accept as true from us on faith. I would hope we could do the same for God, Who knows so much more than we do. God made this whole creation knowing the price He would ultimately pay to redeem it. This alone inspires my complete awe and devotion to Him. My prayer is that many would come to know this Lord of boundless Love that I am still just beginning to know and have an eternity to live with. Tess

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