Brief Explanation of the Meaning of Resurrection

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Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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11 Responses

  1. Avatar Francis says:

    wow, the mental gymnastics that Christians go through are amazing!

    As the ad campaign says, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”Report

    • Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

      it’s not mental. it’s about a way of life.

      that you only think in terms of mental means you are still stuck in the Enlightenment paradigm where “belief=”mental propositions” either to be believed (in your head) or not.

      Enjoying your life is fine, with or without God. I’m all for it, on its own level.

      The bumper sticker still assumes the notion of heaven critiqued in the above post. If there is God we’re not supposed to be able to enjoy this life because the only real life that would matter is the one after death. Religion is just a tool to deny this life and a tragic con on the masses who would otherwise be so happy in this world.

      Sorry but we’ve been there, done that.

      The more pertinent question (imo) is: Is this life redeemed? Is there justice?

      That’s what the teaching of resurrection is ultimately about, not some superficial do you believe (in your head) in some wacky theory or not.

      It shoots the gap between a secular individualistic only pursuit of the good life, or social justice types in this world who become burned out and nihilistic when the perfect world doesn’t come, or the traditional religious view of pie in the sky happiness after death.

      sheesh.Report

  2. Avatar John Howard Griffin says:

    The more pertinent question (imo) is: Is this life redeemed? Is there justice?

    So, you think the pertinent questions are:

    – Are we (or will we) be saved from our sinfulness?

    – Will the sinners be punished?

    That looks like some mental gymnastics to me. How can one be saved from sinfulness but also be punished for that sinfulness?

    The Bible is full of lists of the sins punishable by death or by eternal damnation. No one will be spared from the justice/punishment (if you believe what the Bible says) because the number of sins listed in the Bible covers almost everything that someone might do.

    Have you ever masturbated? Sinner!
    Have you ever disobeyed your parents? Sinner!
    Not circumsized? Sinner!
    Taken the Lord’s name in vain? Sinner!
    A woman? Really, really big Sinner!
    Do you beat your wife and children when they disobey? No? Sinner!

    Redemption is only important if you believe it is important for your “soul”. You have assumed this belief in your article.

    sheeshReport

    • Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

      jhg,

      it’s not about punishment. that’s a medieval and later reformation misreading of the text I would say. They understood justice in the forensic sense of individuals being imputed righteousness.

      The Biblical arc is about the character of God’s faithfulness. And the trajectory of that story is forgiveness and spiritual transformation (via the Holy Spirit) not punishment or guilt.

      In other words, righteousness isn’t about our souls but participating in the Divine undertaking of redemption.

      You’re still thinking it is about us as individuals–the dominant mode of Western thought no doubt–but I would say that’s only one slice of a much larger reality. e.g. The story of redemption in the Bible is heavily built around the formation of a holy people, what Martin Luther King, Jr. (quoting the Gospel of John) called a beloved community.

      The community becomes the bearers of the God image. Individuals are members of the community yes but they are not completely isolated, separated atomistic beings. They find their true personhood in relationship (i.e. The Trinitarian imagery).Report

      • Avatar John Howard Griffin says:

        I have to beware of getting too wordy here…

        You write: The Biblical arc is about the character of God’s faithfulness. And the trajectory of that story is forgiveness and spiritual transformation (via the Holy Spirit) not punishment or guilt.

        I’d have to disagree, if we include the Old Testament in “The Biblical arc”. There is certainly a current school of thought with these interpretations, but this school of thought is very, very new – considering how long the religion has been around. (I was educated by Jesuits, including 6 years of Theology. I’m well aware of this school of thought – just so you know).

        Of course, Jesus was challenging the traditional, conservative beliefs of his day – which were mostly based on punishment and guilt. His message was (as you say) much more about forgiveness than punishment.

        However, forgiveness was not his only message. There is much of the Abrahamic Law that continues to run through the NT. I’m not sure what you mean by “righteousness isn’t about our souls but participating in the Divine undertaking of redemption.” (mostly, what are you referring to with “righteousness”?)

        Part of the message of the NT is that faith is a journey, not a destination. This may be what you are getting at with “participating in the Divine undertaking of redemption”.

        I’ll stop here before I go on and on for 9 pages…Report

  3. Avatar SAR says:

    Quick correction: In Spanish, it’s Pascua, not Pascha ( http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascua ).Report

  4. Avatar Francis says:

    “Is this life redeemed” is the pertinent question.

    Seems to me that you quickly get into a big problem as to which god is the real god. The big six are, per google, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Judaism. Is there any common agreement among these six as to anything, much less redemption?

    Side note: I pretty much always get a chuckle when one person asserts that another person’s understanding of faith is “mistaken”. Given that we’re dealing with revealed truth here, I’m not sure that there’s any such thing as a “mistake”. Not so long ago people were burning witches; now, not so much.

    Second side note: Speaking of justice and redemption, I could use an explanation for the following: “Sex scandals in the Catholic Church are continuing proof that the devil has infiltrated the Vatican, the Holy See’s chief exorcist has revealed.” The Catholic Church still has an exorcist? What is the nature of Satan these days?Report

    • Avatar John Howard Griffin says:

      To add to this…

      I think it is not which god is the real god, but rather which redemption is the real redemption. I’ll guess that Mr. Dierkes is using a definition of “being saved from our sins via Jesus’ sacrifice”.

      Unfortunately, the question “is this life redeemed” can never be answered in this life. So, ultimately (to me), the question is unimportant because no answer is possible. Occam’s razor applies here. Actually, lots of people claim to be able to answer the question, but there is no manner of examining the answer except philosophically. Which is still unimportant to me.

      Your side notes also are good points.Report

  5. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    This is an interesting exegesis. Thanks.Report