Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Rising

It is Easter Eve.

Whether you are Religious or Secular, Christian or Pagan, Spiritual or Earthy, all of the above, none of the above, or a combination of the above, you are all right with me and I hope you have a great weekend.

You're welcome to join us for Easter.



11:00.
119 West F Street
Elizabethton


Come on up for the risin'.


11 comments:

Robert said...

To all who believe in the resurrection of Christ, may you have a blessed Easter. To John and those of you who do not believe in the resurrection, may you have a nice spring day.

John Shuck said...

@Bob

(sigh)

After all this time, you still don't get what I am saying?

Happy Easter, Bob.

I hope to have a happy Easter as well. For the rest of y'all, here are some Easter sermons from the past:

2010

2009

2008

2007

Robert said...

@ John

I get what you are saying. We disagree. I believe in a real sure nuff resurrection with a physical Jesus present and that this is the core of the Gospel. You don't. You see it in a symbolic way that speaks to the way the world is instead of the way the world should be. We disagree. It is, from both our perspectives, a very big disagreement. You make radical statements about superstition and I know I am included in those statements. It doesn't hurt it just is. I define the word Christian to mean believing in a physical (although not historical) resurrection.

I guess I should say that we define the word resurrection in different ways. To me without a real resurrection Easter is just a nice spring day.

John Shuck said...

You see it in a symbolic way that speaks to the way the world is instead of the way the world should be.

I don't see it that way at all.

I rather like Matthew Fox's view.

To me without a real resurrection Easter is just a nice spring day.

It certainly fell on a nice spring day today. 86 degrees and sunny.

a physical Jesus is the core of the gospel.

I don't think it is the core of the Apostle Paul's gospel. I would like to think that a "real" resurrection ("the core of the gospel" is more than the resuscitation of a corpse, whether Jesus' corpse or anyone else's. You would agree, I think.

I think the symbol or myth of resurrection has many meanings and I like to add them to my mix as I find folks (like Matt Fox above) who articulates them in nuanced ways.

I claim the term Christian and I claim the myth of resurrection as part of my life whether you like it or not!

Robert said...

I'm all for nice spring days even if the winters aren't as cold and snowy as they were in upstate NY.

We have had this conversation several times before. You know I don't mean the resuscitation of a corpse but rather a transformation from death to a new kind of life. Paul does talk of a spiritual body but he makes it very clear that Jesus' spiritual body is also physical. That was what upset the Greeks so much, particularly the followers of Plato.

You have said several times that you don't believe that the crucifixion of Jesus atones for sins and that there is no resurrection in the sense I have used the word. You have teetered (I think teetered) on the edge of saying there is no God. If the resurrection is a symbol or myth the resurrected Jesus didn't have breakfast with the disciples or have real hands with real nail holes.

And John you can call yourself whatever you want. It's God's job to define the word Christian not mine. I don't expect you to change for me. Don't expect me to change either.

It's a good thing you are you and I am I. I couldn't be a pastor if I was you and I suspect it would drive you nuts to be me.

Robert said...

Of course sometimes it drives me nuts to be me. :)

John Shuck said...

Paul does not make it clear that the spiritual body is physical. I think you are mistaken about Paul.

Further, all the gospel accounts are fictions, so the fish eating Jesus with nail holes in his hands is a literary character.

And yes, Jesus was crucified or executed. But he didn't atone for sins any more than the thousands of others executed with him or the countless others before and after him who have lost their lives because of "sin".

Because he functions as a religious myth or archetype he points to unjust suffering.

And yes, conversation could happen about the word "God" and what it means.

In fact, we could have all kinds of fun and interesting conversation about this stuff, but you only seem interested in drawing lines and adding up all the things I don't "believe" correctly. I find that really not fun.

Michael_SC said...

Perhaps relevant... I just learned today that the 'empty tomb' tradition and 'appearance' traditions are distinct and quite different in date. The Appearances of which Paul wrote were early. The Empty Tomb tradition was late, perhaps started by Mark around 70 AD; Paul says nothing about it. So the original Resurrection may have been a spiritual vision or other non-physical perception. I got this from the 1950's-era Interpreters Bible Commentary, not really a font of radical thinking (the IBC doesn't put much weight on the Empty Tomb tradition as literal history).

Today my pastor gave an entire 45 minute sermon desparately trying to convince everyone of the Empty Tomb (which most everyone already believed anyway), with not a word of the implications for us today other than 'don't worry be happy'. This illustrates why I think focusing on literal-or-not-literal takes time away from more useful, applicational, discourse.

John Shuck said...

Michael,

Exactly. Excellent book on how resurrection developed through the New Testament is Bernard Brandon Scott's, The Trouble With Resurrection.

John Shuck said...

Thanks for the reference to the IBC. Yes, this scholarship has been available for a long time.

Jodie said...

You know, Robert,

That was a truly unkind greeting. When you wish someone something, it says something about you, not the person upon whom you make the wish.

In this case it says you are not a gracious person. It says the grace you bestow upon others is limited and conditional.

Was this the grace you received, by which you are saved?

Do you not understand the calling and purpose of God's people, to bless and be a blessing to the whole world?

Further down you make the following claim: "It's God's job to define the word Christian not mine."

I wonder where you got that idea. It is most definitely not Scriptural.

You make lofty claims about what you believe, but your words say you believe something else. It's not hypocrisy per say, but it is cognitively dissonant.

Listen to and examine your own faith. Then you will be in a better place to hear and examine the faith of others. Until you do, you will always be just a noisy gong and a clanging cymbal.