..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jesus: Alive or Imaginary?

If we think that Jesus did not rise, but
"lives" and "reigns" only in his followers'
memories and imaginations, and is not
actively and objectively "there" in the
place of power, irrespective of whether he
is acknowledged or not, we should give up
hope of our own rising, and of Jesus'
public return, and admit that the idea
of churches and Christians being sustained
by the Spirit-giving energy of a living
Lord was never more than a pleasing illusion.

And, in that case, we ought frankly to affirm that,
though the New Testament is an amazing witness to
the religious creativity of the human spirit, its
actual message is more wrong than right, more
misleading than helpful; and we must reconstruct our
gospel accordingly. Only a weak, muddled, or cowardly
mind will hesitate to do this.

... James I. Packer (b. 1926), "Jesus Christ the Lord", in
The Lord Christ, John Stott, ed., vol. 1 of Obeying
Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3
vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 34

Let us be brave enough to examine our faith and
question what it is we truly believe and what
we are willing to base our entire existence on.
To do anything less, as Packer says, is cowardly

photo taken at the Painted Mines, El Paso County, Colorado

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