OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
Jacob, I picked this spot in your discussion with Bobby to raise an issue and to commend Bobby for his patience, charity and resolute endurance in pressing his point.
So I am not flying under a false flag, let me say clearly that I am in Bobby’s “camp”. Or, probably more correctly, in the Apostles’ camp. If Christ did not rise from the dead, Christians are to be pitied more than anyone else. I believe what I believe (which can be essentially summed up in the Creeds) because eyewitnesses to the Lord’s crucifixion, death and resurrection say so and wrote it down and passed it around. There is nothing new about it. Emergent people just don’t seem to like it very much.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I am as sceptical of the emergent movement as I am of the much criticized (by emergents and others) evangelicalism. I think the emergents rightly criticize the evangelicals for many reasons yet have nothing to replace what they tear down. Baby out with bathwater and so forth. The two seem like the first two little pigs with houses constructed respectively of straw and sticks.
You, Jacob, seem to be a man who likes to steer clear of straightforward propositional statements (as do many who seem to write and speak for the emergent movement) except where such statements suite your position and argument.
For example: “The point that we often miss is that not everyone is a philosophical realist—and being a philosophical realist is not a prerequisite for being a follower of Jesus. So, to me, it does not matter whether he really did rise from the dead or not, because ultimately we can never replay that moment—we have to trust the evidence that our eyes and ears gather. Trust, in my view, is more significant than the evidence—it is my trust in God that enables me to see the evidence in this new light of creation.”
There is a lot packed in there.
True, not everyone is a PR.
PR not a prerequisite for being a follower of Jesus. That’s a statement of propositional truth. Don’t know if being a PR is or is not a prerequisite. Maybe “real” followers of Jesus, the sheep, not the goats, are PRs. Or, maybe being a follower of Jesus under your terms is different from being a Christian and every Christian, whether they know it or not are PRs but not all PRs are Christians. Maybe trust in the literal resurrection of Jesus is a prerequisite. So, until you know for sure, maybe it should matter to you.
The literal Resurrection can’t be replayed. We can only trust the evidence our eyes and ears gather therefore (my interpretation of your comment) because we cannot witness the literal Resurrection with our very own senses when it actually happened, it shrinks to a meaningless event or non-event. In either event, irrelevant. If this is in fact your point, it too is a statement of propositional truth and a very neatly constructed one at that.
I know one thing, your eyes can read the scriptures and your ears can hear preached evidence of eyewitnesses that attest to the fact that Jesus rose literally from the dead. Seen by the women, by the disciples, by 500, by Paul. Touched. A flesh and blood real Man that they sat and cooked fish and ate with. Spoke with. All written so that we might have confidence in what and, more importantly, Whom we put our trust. Blessed are they who have not seen yet believe. It seems to me you are actively rejecting evidence of the literal resurrection in the hope of maintaining a pristine philosophy. I fear it is the only evidence God is going to give you.
I pray your quest is not spiritually fatal. It would be terrible to present yourself before the Master as a fine fellow, as a loyal follower of Jesus and as a man who eschewed with all his heart philosophical realism maintaining a purer, more honest philosophy and then hear the horrible words…
As I write these final words, I realize concerns of the judgement of God and eternal consequences for our actions may have little room in your philosophical constructs.
I fear it is so but I pray it is not.
Lord have mercy upon us; Christ have mercy upon us; Lord have mercy upon us.