Comments on the Resurrection Post
David, I will have you know that I just wrote a brilliant and articulate rant about your mistreatment of that passage in 1 Corinthians. It was glorious and long, and it took me four hours to write, and then I mis-clicked in the browser window, and all was instantly lost.I'm too tired and disheartened to pick it up right now. I might try to re-create the magic tomorrow.Here is the only part that survived the event (on my clipboard during the tragic click):
To the particulars, Paul is not having the irrelevant conversation about the Holy Anatomy of The Risen Person you keep mentioning (though I am sure it would have been most engaging). Rather, he is arguing the importance of a historical event: that this thing happened, and the impact it has on our theology. He says if it didn't happen, in the end, we are to be pitied, because we conduct our lives on the basis of a lie. If there is no resurrection, then when we die, we rot. Furthermore, then Christ was never raised from the dead. If Christ was never raised, then he was not the Son of God, with proof that he has authority to forgive sins. If he cannot forgive us our sins, then we are still doomed, and we grossly misunderstand our relationship with God. And while we may believe something that gives us hope for the short time we have on earth, when we die, we rot. And we are to be pitied.
He has also called out this one truth as very important; not that all things ever written into the canon are weighed equally. I think this is where your entire criticism is going astray. Besides the fact that you want to read into it the goofiness you found in some poem, and use that to indite the entire canon of scripture. Regardless, it is a gross overreach to come to your conclusions from what Paul has written here.So I guess I'm just saying you should prepare yourself -- maybe I'll post again tomorrow. But since I don't have the time or energy for a more articulate or involved reply right now, suffice it to say:Die, heretic! Die!
Ouch! I feel for your loss. Stuff like that never used to happen with typewriters.
I think I can spare you SOME of the rewriting, however, since I like to think I deliberately avoided the worst of the poem's goofiness (the loom, angels made of quanta, etc.) and I would never suggest that Christians actually think this way.
(By the way, you're right that I was misremembering the central doctrinal nature of Paul's discussion in I Corinthians. I was trying to give him a little wiggle room, but I guess that won't stand. That was just a minor side tour, so let's not let it distract anyone.)
The point I was trying to make--but I published before I was sure I was clear, which also never used to happen with typewriters--is that Christians generally DON'T think this way--literal spiritual cells and all that-- but at the very same time, and sometimes in a parallel thought, they DO act as if the bodily resurrection were the point of the resurrection...despite the fact that they DON'T try to think through the obvious implications of it. It is somehow both literally and factually true, and yet scientifically incoherent. (And I don't mean in the standard way that all miracles stymie science; I mean you can literally barely picture it at all. The Red Sea would have looked like water under a microscope even when it was allegedly forming a wall around the Israelites. But what ever happened to that fish the resurrected Jesus ate at the end of John? Holy shit!)
You have to believe it and then stop thinking just before you get to the DNA question, and my point is that this is weird, exhausting, and unnecessary, and that's why liberal Christians made the move. Because just as Jesus scraped accretions off the law of Moses to get to the actual point of it underneath, "Christ Event" theologians are doing the same thing to the stories of the resurrection--which, it should be pointed out again, can't be reconciled with each other anyway. (And again, this isn't "miraculous" unscientificness, which you could at least make a case for; it's the simple incoherence of being unable to tell who saw what at the tomb when.)
Faced with a Bible that a.) seemed to be demanding belief in a physical resurrection, b.) seemed to be very unclear about the details of the resurrection or of Easter in general, and c.) seemed to be saying, like Paul, that bodily resurrection is essential when it clearly isn't, the liberal theologians eventually, I think, made the right call: focusing on how Jesus gives life, and that more abundantly, is a better use of everyone's time than making flow charts of who saw which angel when, and asking modern-minded people to accept a story that leaves open implicit weird questions like what, at the Ascension, was Jesus's escape velocity. Yes, it's a silly question. That's why the liberals decided God couldn't have wanted it to matter. They sacrificed the Bible in the process, but they were more interested in a Jesus they could actually think about, in the service of a God whose ways made at least a little modern sense.