Last week’s PJ Media column on faith by Quin Hillyer, re-published here while we still technically are in Easter Week;
As we celebrate Easter, we should also be reminded of, and confronted by, St. Paul’s stark claim in First Corinthians that “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” Three verses later, Paul re-emphasized it: “And if Christ be not risen again, your faith is vain, for you are yet in your sins.”
Thus, if we believe that Paul was an inerrant explicator of the Christian faith, we must accept that the Resurrection is not just important for Christianity but essential for it. Without it, Paul argues, none of the rest of Jesus’ story matters in any ultimate sense – not Jesus’ teachings, not the Beatitudes, not the two Great Commandments, not His miracles… nothing. All those things might be instructive, might be valuable, might be praiseworthy – but they aren’t worth worshipping, and (most importantly to Paul) aren’t the means towards salvation.
On the other hand, I know this is a stumbling block for many who are tentatively struggling to embrace Christianity, but who are skeptical of the more miraculous of its claims. Many people raised in secular cultures find themselves nonetheless drawn to the Beatitudes, to the idea of service to others, to the Great Commandments, and to a mystical-spiritual union with The Holy. But the more “supernatural” are the events described, the less these people believe them, and the more they fight against making the final commitment to the faith.
I’ve heard plenty of people theorize that the Resurrection was either a story concocted by the Disciples in order to keep Jesus’ important teachings alive, or, more often, that it was a somewhat metaphorical way for the Disciples to explain their feeling that Jesus “remained with them” even after his death….
For the most effective — maybe not theologically the best, but the most effective — answer to those theories, please keep reading here.
Quin Hillyer is a veteran conservative columnist with a degree in theology. His faith-themed satirical novel, Mad Jones: Heretic, is due for publication in June by Liberty Island Media.