My Simplest, Strongest & Most Logical Argument for Christian Hope

This is my simplest, strongest and most logical case for bodily resurrection.  Which makes this my simplest, strongest and most logical defense of orthodoxy against American Gnosticism.

There are a million biblical arguments I could make.  There are a million theological arguments I could make.  This one is just logical.

When Jesus Christ came out of the grave (the tomb was empty, it wasn’t as if his rotting corpse remained and his “soul” floated around for 40 days) it was called his “Resurrection.”  Then after a period of about 40 days (of eating fish, walking and talking, touching, and appearing to over 500 people), he ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.  First, he was resurrected.  Then he ascended.  Those are two different events.  They are not two ways of saying the same thing.  And that is important.  Because what we are promised in the New Testament over and over again, at almost every turn of the page, is NOT ASCENSION!  We are promised Resurrection.  Never once are promised ascension.  Not. One. Single. Time.

The Christian hope held out in the gospel has NOTHING to do with leaving earth and going off somewhere in the sky when we die.  That, quite frankly, is heresy.  Rather, the Christian view is Bodily Resurrection.

Not ascension.  Resurrection.

Comments

  1. I will take no exception to your logical argument for Christian hope, nor with anyone else’s. As human beings, we are at great disadvantage when speaking and reasoning about Godly things. Frankly, the method of resurrection is not important to me; the fact that — in human terms — I will become one with by Creator is important. I know I will, and I know how I will. Like you, I pass on bits and pieces of my personal beliefs and the beliefs of those in whom I place my trust. God doesn’t help those who help themselves… God helps those who trust in God. I do. He will. Blessings to you and your work.

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  2. If I understand you correctly, I would want to add to what you said, that Saint Paul thinks that some things about our future have been revealed, and to whatever degree we can know about those revealed things, they are hugely important. I agree that the particular and unknown details are not to become the center of theological or biblical reflection, but for Saint Paul, we know that Jesus was raised from the dead, in the flesh, and that is THE center of Paul’s theology, not least in I Corinthians. Two chapters within that letter make it explicitly clear that what we believe about our future hope directly affects how we live today.

    Paul, in his next letter to the Corinthians, will not discourage them from reflecting on what lies ahead. Rather, he will strongly exhort them to think long and hard about what their future hope is:

    “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen…”

    I am not sure exactly what you mean by “Frankly, the method of resurrection is not important to me…” But if by that you mean that it doesn’t matter whether it is on earth, or somewhere removed from earth, or that it doesn’t matter whether it is a bodily resurrection or a disembodied one, I would take huge exception with those two. It matters, and has long been orthodoxy, that the Christian future hope held out in the gospels is bodily resurrection upon the renewed earth.

    But if by your comment you mean that the “how” of “how will the particular details of these things come to be”, I would agree they are largely insignificant so long as we can agree it will be the climactic work of God to redeem, renew and restore all things, which is the clear New Testament teaching.

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