Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Watch out for substitute Easter messages!

Continuing the dissemination of helpful resources on the Resurrection of Jesus, I share with you today an essay by Dr Robert Munday, Research Professor of Theology and Mission at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, Wisconsin, USA, where he was Dean and President from 2001 to 2011. Dean Munday is known for his commitment to biblical teaching, Spirit-filled ministry, and catholic faith and order within the Anglican tradition. He is an Oblate of St. Benedict’s Abbey, Bartonville, Illinois, and a prolific writer on a variety of subjects and is much sought after as a retreat leader and conference speaker. In his present capacity as Research Professor of Theology and Mission, Dean Munday combines his love for Scripture and the Church’s theological tradition with his passion for Christ’s Great Commission to spread the Gospel through preaching, missions, and evangelism. Dean Munday currently serves as clergy advisor to the Southeastern Wisconsin American Anglican Council (SEWAAC) in its ministry of bringing together Anglicans in the Upper Midwest for worship, fellowship, spiritual growth, evangelism, and church planting. His WEBSITE is well worth watching. 

The Message of Easter 
(Accept no substitutes!) 

Christ is risen from the dead, 
trampling down death by death, 
and on those in the tombs bestowing life! 

These words are what is known in Eastern Orthodoxy as the Paschal Troparion, which announces the Good News of Resurrection, that Christ is risen from the dead and has, by his own death, defeated death and has bestowed life on all who die in Christ. 

Some modern theologians teach that the resurrection of Jesus was spiritual rather than bodily. Some who hold this view maintain that Jesus' human body either vanished or was removed by God, and he reappeared in a spiritual form. 

According to the spiritual resurrection theory, when Christ was laid in the tomb, his physical body did not rise, but only his Spirit. Those who take this view maintain that a spiritual resurrection is a way of reconciling the Bible with science, history, and common experience which say that the dead do not rise.

Others say that it doesn't matter what happened to the body, the important thing is that God sustained Jesus in some way after his death and that this is our hope for life after death. As I have written in a number of places, if all we mean by resurrection is the hope for life after death, we do not need Christianity. Other religions and even the ancient Greek philosophers teach the immortality of the soul.

Still others say that Christ did not rise bodily or even appear to his disciples after his death. The resurrection stories are myths, invented to reflect the esteem in which Jesus was held by his followers. 

But talk of a spiritual resurrection contradicts the plain sense of the biblical accounts that the followers of Jesus did, in fact, find his tomb empty, and this was the first step in their believing that Jesus had risen bodily from the tomb. 

Read the rest HERE.


Post a Comment