Resurrection

Shihong wrote me: It was very encouraging to read your articles on Christian life and belief. However, I find something missing or deliberately hiding: resurrection of Jesus. My guess is that you don't want to scare people away by the word "resurrection".


I tend to identify God and Jesus; hence the resurrection remains in the background. But the result of the resurrection - that Jesus is alive today, exercises the power of God and will come back to judge us - this is of course very important, and I refer to it at various places:

The Easter message: God is powerful! Jesus is alive today! makes all the difference to each sermon

Thus the crucial question is how much trust we can have in Jesus, to what extend he deserves our trust. Now this trust to rely on Jesus in all situations rarely comes from one moment to the next; usually trust in him grows by living close to him, getting to know him better and better through his word and prayer.

This makes only sense when Jesus is alive today!

I believe in Jesus Christ, the son of God, ... in whose hands God has laid the future; who will surprise us all when, one day, he'll judge our lives, and his justice puts an end to our injustice.

My guess is that you don't want to scare people away by the word "resurrection".

As one can see in a number of my pages, I don't mind being provocative. However, I intentionally try to say everything with as little sacred language as possible, and to emphasize the practical consequences, not the dogmas.

There are many who believe the resurrection but live as if Jesus were powerless and dead; but very few who know his power and deny his resurrection. Thus teaching that Jesus is in power today is, from a practical point of view, more important than that he was resurrected 2000 years ago; trust in the latter comes automatically when the former is experienced.

Moreover, much of what I write is aimed at lukewarm Christians, and for them there is no need to be reminded of a 2000 year old fact, whereas what God wants us to do now is what needs to be said.


... to tell a chinese (not every chinese perhaps, but the majority of chinese students or intellectuals) about resurrection, you can imagine what you will get back.

Well, if you tell average Austrians intellectuals about resurrection, they may think you are crazy or simple-minded to believe in a material resurrection. (I am simple-minded, but not in the negative connotation such responses suggest.)

What I meant to say is: As long as one hasn't felt the power of Jesus there is very little reason to believe he was resurrected - there are so many reasons why the story should not be true. But once God has prepared the soul of someone to listen to him, things start to change, as they had changed for me:

Knowing that God can change your life because he did, and knowing that God can create such an intricate universe as the one we live in, it becomes credible that he also can do things that are a challenge to our intellect, such as the resurrection. And because the source of the information that leads to a strong faith is the same as that that testifies the resurrection, there remains little doubt. But usually God first touches the heart, and it takes some time to trust.


Gedanken zum Leben als Christ
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my home page (http://www.mat.univie.ac.at/~neum)

Arnold Neumaier (Arnold.Neumaier@univie.ac.at)