Category Archives: resurrection

A Hole in History…

If the coming into existence of the Nazarenes, a phenomenon undeniably attested by the New Testament, rips a great hole in history, a hole the shape and size of the Resurrection, what does the secular historian propose to stop it up with?… the birth and rapid rise of the Christian Church… remain an unsolved enigma for any historian who refuses to take seriously the only explanation offered by the Church itself.

C.F.D.Moule (Cambridge), The Phenomenon of the New Testament

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Some helpful thoughts on the Resurrection of Jesus


This weekend is Easter weekend.

Australians in general love it because it is a four day long weekend, a chance for rest and recreation.

Christians love it even more because it is the very foundation of real rest, the relief from having to wonder about our relationship to the divine, and the ultimate freedom from having to prove ourselves via competition from others (if you want to know how that works, I spoke on this last Sunday, you can listen here).

There have been some very helpful posts leading up to Easter this year, so I thought I point them out.

1. Resurrection and Science

One of the major objections to belief in the resurrection of Jesus has been the thought that is is incompatible with modern science.Dr John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, has written a piece on how a scientist can believe in a ‘miracle’ like the resurrection of Jesus. You can find it here.

2. Resurrection and Sources

Another objection to the resurrection of Jesus is that the accounts in the primary sources, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, found in the Bible, are incompatible with each other. The claim is that, since these accounts mention different things and different people,  they can’t be speaking about the one event, and so therefore they are unreliable.

Dr Peter Bolt, Head of New Testament at Moore Theological College in Sydney (and PhD in the world of the first century from Cambridge) has written a piece showing how the different accounts weave together to speak of one narrative. You can read it here.

[Peter will be speaking at St Pauls on Thursday, 15th May 2014, on the evidence for the historical Jesus, his life and actions – all welcome!]

3. Resurrection and Evidence

Finally, here is a helpful piece from Dr William Lane Craig that puts together the case for the resurrection of Jesus.

May you have a safe and meaningful Easter.

[BTW, our services at St Paul’s Castle Hill where I work are Good Friday: 8am & 10am; Easter Sunday 8 & 10am, 5 & 7pm]

He is Risen – He is Risen Indeed!


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On the Resurrection Body

Body, therefore, affirms the biblical tradition of a positive attitude toward physicality as a condition for experiencing life in its fullness, but also assimilates, subsumes, and transcends the role of the physical in the public domain of earthly life
Hence it would be appropriate to conceive of the raised body as a form or mode of existence of the whole person including every level of intersubjective communicative experience that guarantees both the continuity of personal identity and an enhanced experience of community which facilitates intimate union with God in Christ and with differentiated “others” who also share this union. 
If the marriage bond, e.g., ceases at death, this is also not because the the resurrection body offers any “less,” but because interpersonal union is assimilated and subsumed into a “more” that absorbs exclusivity but “adds” a hitherto unimagined death. 
Such mutuality of union and respect for difference, however, presupposes a “pattern of existence controlled and directed by the Holy Spirit“, and a mode of existence designed by God for the new environment of the eschatological new creation. 
(emphasis his, paragraph spacing mine)
Anthony Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians (Grand Rapids:Eerdmans, 2000), 1279.

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The Story of Easter on Twitter

Better late than never…

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Experts’ Evidence for Jesus’ Resurrection

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thoughts on the michael jackson memorial

So I was up last night with the new boy, round about the time that Michael Jackson’s memorial was finishing.

I found it curious that people kept slipping into religious type language in describing what this man had done, and what he meant. Comments like (in paraphrase – it was early in the morning!):

‘He wanted to heal the world, and to some extent, he did.’ What?
“Michael paved the way for racial harmony with his music.’ Huh?
“Michael challenged us all to be better people, so as we leave here, lets take his message to heart and change.” What th’?

The clincher was the final message put up on the screen. A picture of Michael with his hand in the air, and the caption, in big, shining letters:

‘I am alive. I will live forever.’

It is this last one that drove me to blog! It is a bold, outrageous claim. It is a claim to have negotiated the greatest challenge that faces all of mankind and beaten it (Just Beat It!). To have shunned the final curtain for a perpetual encore. I am not sure I am a believer.

There is another who made such an outrageous claim. I’m not sure how much music he wrote (apart from a few pslams before his time, but that’s another story…). A carpenter. He faced the nails and beat them: “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!” (Revelation 1:18)

The thing with this second guy? There was some proof. He appeared again, to many, even to over 500 at one time.

C’mon, Michael, I want some proof. Its not enough for you to ‘live on in my heart’ if you are going to deliver the healing of the world that you promised in your songs, and that others are raving about on this day. Lets have you and Elvis show yourselves, once and for all.

Now that really would be a Thriller.

Postscript: The pastor who prayed slipped in a line amongst the guff: ‘But even the King of Pop will now have to bow to the King of Kings’. Hmm, maybe that guy had the inside running…


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It’s been a sobering week or so.

Last week, I presided over the funeral of a man who died at age 98.5. He had outlived all of his friends. His funeral was attended by a handful of family, who heard the 1662 Anglican Prayer funeral service’s take on life:

Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay. In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour, but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins are justly displeased?

This week, I presided over the funeral of a baby who died at 28 weeks in the womb. We read from 1 Cor 15 which seemed so apt in that situation:

The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.

And yesterday, I celebrated a birthday. In the midst of everything else that is happening, I was reminded of Psalm 90:

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Praise be to the Lamb who was slain, who has conquered death in his glorious resurrection, and filled our hearts with hope and longing for the New Jerusalem and unending fellowship with each other and with God himself.

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Life in a mini-skip

Our neighbours have been busy recently. All sorts of noises have been coming from next door. Cleaning machines,mowers, you name it. And a few weeks back, their 5th mini-skip arrived. The 5th mini-skip in 3 months. Why were they so busy?

The busy neighbours are the adult children of the elderly couple who used to live in the house. About 6 months ago, they both died, within a week of each other. One from cancer, the other in their sleep.

They had lived in that house their whole life. It contained all of their possessions, all of their trophies, all of their memories.

And here it was, disappearing into mini-skip number 5.

It was a sobering reminder that the shiny happy veneer of materialism all goes the same way. It is not the stuff of eternity. Praise God for the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, who secures our eternity and demonstrates where our hope should lie.

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