Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Just a Few Thoughts On "Proving" Things...

It doesn't matter if the resurrection actually happened if it doesn't do anything for you or, more appropriately, to you. We get so caught up in proving that certain biblical events are accurately historical and my general response to this is, so what? Such an endeavor is only really profitable and helpful if it actually leads to discipleship and a transformation on account of the particular event. Yet, ironically, if such a transformation takes place then no further proof is really necessary. We, by how we live and how we love, are the proof of the truth (not the historicity) of the story of God's relationship with the world. When we lose sight of this then our work of "proving" and arguing and researching can become a golden calf, worshiped out of pure motives but also of a complete missing of the point. If our knowledge becomes greater than our faith then we risk our faith and the true power of our knowledge altogether. As the famous saying goes, "all truth is God's truth," but not all truth is science's truth, not all truth is provable or scientific. Once we've embraced the truth of the resurrection and a faith in God's vision for the world then it becomes less about proving things and worrying about historical precision and it becomes more about showing things, inviting others, and faithfully offering an historical hope.

2 comments:

lozeerose said...

It does matter whether the resurrection actually occurred or not. This is one of the cruxes of the Christian faith. St. Paul details this in 1 Corinthians 15 (especially verses 12-23):
"12 Now if Christ be preached, that he arose again from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen again. 14 And if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain: and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God: because we have given testimony against God, that he has raised up Christ, whom he has not raised up, if the dead rise not again. 16 For if the dead rise not again, neither is Christ risen again. 17 And if Christ be not risen again, your faith is vain: for you are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, the first-fruits of them that sleep: 21 For by a man came death: and by a man the resurrection of the dead. 22 And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But every one in his own order: the first-fruits, Christ: then they that are of Christ, who have believed in his coming."

What do you think?

WES ELLIS said...

Lozeerose,
I'm not saying it doesn't matter if the resurrection happened. I am quite familiar with 1 Cor 15 (one of my go-to passages for understanding not only the resurrection, but the gospel itself). But if you look at the climax of the passage, Paul's primary focus is that this resurrection should empower Christ followers in their work, in partnering with God. The power of the resurrection is in that because of it "...your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

All I am saying is that if you try to prove the resurrection as an historical fact you won't get nearly as far as you would if you try proving it as a present reality, something that actually changes you here and now. Who cares if it happened if it doesn't change anything?