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Id say as an official position I'm closest to 4 but on a personal level it's 3.
I believe he lives because of the resurrection accounts and the apostolic and catholic faith of the church. I know he lives because I often see him living in my brothers and sisters, have seen him in me, and on occasion still do.
I know this might seem a bit presumptuous, but I think I know how John Wesley might have aswered that question. I think he would have chosen all 4 reasons. Notice how they closely parallel the Wesleyan Quadrilateral . . . scripture, tradition, reason, experience. Just a thought!
I like your distinction of Anti- vs Post-Modern. I think the reason a guy like me can easily understand Post-Modern thought (even though I am not a "native" postmodern) is because I actually come from an Anti-Modern culture (as you have described the concept). I think you have a great insight there--and I think that my own thoughts on this subject are somewhere in between. I love the fact that in a Post-Modern context we are no longer bound by the necessity of formal proof. Proof is the standard of Science--the standard of Modernity. That's "their" standard. As Post-Moderns we can hold out the standard of Knowledge. We know, as a community, that there is more to this world than meets the eye (than appears to Science), but we don't seek to Prove God...we jsut want you to Know Him along with us. I think, though, that the concept of a community knowledge is important. The Post-Modern value is very much like the Pre-Modern reality: WE believe this to be true. We know it by faith, we know it by experience, we know it by testimony--it goes beyond a individual belief. That's the option I am taking. I KNOW that our Lord defeated death on that cold, bleak Passover weekend. God has allowed me the faith to believe what seems absurd to the world, and I join the community of those who testify to the reality of the Resurrection. I myself might be crazy--but together we find a reality that we can believe. I'm comfortable with that Shared Knowledge alone (even though I think Modern ideas like reason and evidence have merit).
Like you, I was raised on the anti-modern view. My seminary profs did their best to make a rationalist out of me, but in the end I am something of a postmodern. I belive in the resurrection not because I feel it--sometimes I don't.And it's not because I can prove it--proving the resurrection is a bigger boondoggle than finding Noah's Ark. I believe it because I just do.Jesus said, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet beleive."Count me in that number.
I, and most of my seminary profs, appear to be closest to #4. You can probably thank the work of Michael Polanyi for that. Once we decide that even scientific investigation involves fallible humans that interpret the work of other fallible humans...modern science seems just as shaky as the rest.Kierkegaard obviously helps throw off of the cliff as well. I mean, what is "faith" if its based on certainties? But on the flip side, I'm kinda in the same boat as Scott. The resurrection is the testimony of a time-tested community. That has to come into play somewhere.
I like Richard's response that it is a combination of all 4. But if I had to pick one of them 2- I believe b/c of the historical evidence
How do I know the Resurrection really happened? BY SCRIPTURE: prophets, psalmists, eye witnesses (gospels), history (Acts), apostles (Epistles), and the Apocalypse of John (Revelation). BY TRADITION: the church fathers, ancient liturgies / ritual / worship, and church history / growth.BY EXPERIENCE: personal revelation, witness of the Holy Spirit, transformation testimonies, and the present-day authority of Jesus Christ in transforming / delivering / healing.BY REASON: synchronizing of all of the above.Many post-moderns see such orthodoxy as irrelevant. Their response is: “what difference does it make”, or “how does the Resurrection relate to me”? On Easter Sunday our church is filled with visitors who come out of respect for family duties and traditions. Many of these are less concerned with scriptures, narratives, theology, authority, and history; and more concerned with relevancy and authentic relationships. Many have no belief or concept of sin, righteousness, and judgment. So they see the crucifixion and resurrection narratives as irrelevant. However, some are curious about just how the Resurrection relates to their fear or grief of death and eternity. My sermon topic was “Who is Jesus Christ?” I gave the meta-narrative about Christ and the significance of His resurrection. Today, a comprehensive approach is essential because so few understand the grand theme about the eternal, divine Christ (or the Holy Trinity). Don’t give them a bible story… give them truth and hope.
I would say more but Wes you said all I would have said. I really am surprised how post-moderns want to divorce "reason" and faith however.
The problem with the post modern belief system that I personally run into each weekend at work is demonstrated as follows:Muslim says: I believe in Allah. I pray 5 times a day. Everyone replys: That's cool. Wow- you are so dedicated. You must be a good Muslim. Anti-theist states: I dont believe in God. He is just made up by the weak minded so they dont have to face the reality that we all die, end up six feet under ground, and then rot. Everyone replys: I could see that. It's cool if that is what you believe. Christian states: I believe that the Jesus of the Bible came to earth to die for our sins and resurected on the third day so that we may all be saved. Everyone who has not sheepishly fled replys: Wow. That's a pretty bold. Where is your scientific evidence for this? Prove it. Are you calling me a sinner? That's pretty high and mighty of you. Oh- and don't forget you owe me lunch money from the other day when I spotted you that five in the cafeteria. I would like to say that this is an exaggeration, but in all honesty, I have been here done this... more than once. I do indeed work with Muslims, Anti-theists, and five lesbians each weekend. We are a motley crew, although we have great debates over the lunch table, but when it comes to Christianity- it all boils down to where is your emperical evidence. I find myself having to defend and " prove" the very fact that Christ ever lived before we even make it to the whole cross discussion. I wish the post modern approach applied to me but it seems that if you are a Christian, the very fact that it is your personal belief that Chtist rose from the dead just is not enough. Perhaps this is just the community or age group that I work with. What do you think? Does Christianity have more trouble getting by than other religions? It seems that way to me.P.S.- sorry I am not a great speller. I cant find the spell check on this thing.
THANK YOU ELIZABETH... you have put your finger on a very real situation... often it is the world who insists on a modernist approach to Christianity... what that is so is interesting to explore..thanks!
A few moments ago this morning (3/30) I heard old guy Robert Schuller say:"If they were to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was no God and that everything I've believed all my life is false I would still believe. I believe in something because it works." He just reminded me why I lean toward modernity... With post modernity I refuse to totally submit to Science as the arbiter of all truth... however with modernity I believe Christianity makes real claims about real events in history. To me it matters if those events are false (Of course I suspect Bob's point was supposed to be--"If Science could prove these claims unjustified (they have) then I shall still believe because I will not submit the universal claims of God to the narrow scientific method.
God's Spirit in me. "And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us." 1 John 4:13
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