Monday, April 17, 2006

Washington Post:: Is Jesus Risen? Literal View Gains Ground

Is Jesus Risen? Literal View Gains Ground:
"Growing up in Fairfax County, Donita Dickerson and her family typically didn't attend church on Easter. She would dress up and go with her grandmother some years, but the holiday's central theme -- that Jesus rose from the dead -- was symbolic, not real.

"We were coming out of the 1960s, and everything was being challenged," she said. "My father was very into being against the establishment, and everything was about questioning everything."

Now 41 and the mother of two sons, Dickerson is in a study group at Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon that reads books such as the best-selling "The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus," which focuses on supporting the traditional Christian view that Jesus returned from the dead, an event commemorated today.

"As you mature in your faith, at some point you say, 'I'm just going to believe this,' " she said as the group of 10 women gathered recently for an Easter-themed discussion. Everyone else nodded as she said, "I still believe it. That's why they call it faith."...

This article from The Washington Post (free registration required) is a well-balanced look at the upsurge in traditional beliefs concerning the resurrection, even in the face of well-publicised criticisms from the Jesus Seminar, and and the recent promotion (by a fiction bestseller) of an older theory that Jesus survived the cross and had children by Mary Magdalene.

What is Christianity without the Resurrection? It seems that many people are asking that question, and finding the answer, not in science, but in faith. As we have seen with the recent "scientific" studies of the efficacy of prayer, the methods of science are not quite up to the task of studying the supernatural.

This does not preclude the use of rational thought in matters of faith. For example -- which is easier to believe? That the physical resurrection of Jesus took place as Scripture describes? Or that those who were there for Jesus' ministry were willing to die for what they knew was a lie?

But logic can only take us so far.

Faith is where the answer ultimately needs to be found.

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