Saturday, March 29, 2008

Christianity Without The Resurrection Is Useless

You're probably quite familiar with how in I Corinthians 15:17, Apostle Paul shows that the Christian faith would be useless if Christ really didn't rise from the grave.

The Apostles did not mince their words. They brought a strong antithesis to the non-Christian thinking of their day. They didn't take the "safe" route. They staked their claims on a particular event, and laid everything on that one event. And most of them lost their lives because of their uncompromising dedication to the gospel. And in presenting that gospel, they did so even though they were keenly aware that the natural state of the people listening was such that the message would be rejected (even if they had witnessed the resurrection with their own eyes). But they counted on that way that God graciously works in the hearts of the hearers to open their hearts to the truths being proclaimed.

Some modern thinkers who reject the resurrection try to maintain that there still is some usefulness to Christianity even though they are rejecting a central tenant of it. They think it still has some social benefit or is useful for teaching morals. But they are wrong! If the resurrection never happened, then Christianity is useless and all Christians might as well become atheists. There is no benefit to a "resurrection-less" Christianity; it would be worse than worthless. It would be miserable. Apostle Paul essentially said that if we have Christianity without the resurrection, we are of all people most miserable. Without the core of its gospel, Christianity really has nothing to offer.

J. Gresham Machen spoke of this in "What Is Christianity?:

"...if the Christian religion is founded upon historical facts, then there is something in the Christian message which can never possibly change. There is one good thing about facts — they stay put. If a thing really happened, the passage of years can never possibly make it into a thing that did not happen. If the body of Jesus really emerged from the tomb on the first Easter morning, then no possible advance of science can change the fact one whit. The advance of science may conceivably show that the alleged fact was never a fact at all; it may conceivably show that the earliest Christians were wrong when they said that Christ rose from the dead the third day. But to say that that statement of fact was true in the first century, but that because of the advance of science it is no longer true — that is to say what is plainly absurd. The Christian religion is founded squarely upon a message that sets forth facts; if that message is false, then the religion that is founded on it must of course be abandoned; but if it is true, then the Christian Church must still deliver the message faithfully as it did on the morning of the first Easter Day."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found your blog via a'burg liberal.
Very good comments on the Resurrection. The recent Macleans (Mar. 31/08)was a lame attempt to discredit the historical Truth.

8:15 PM  

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