Easter As The Starting Point

“It is obvious that the story of the empty tomb cannot be fitted into our contemporary worldview, or indeed into any worldview except one of which it is the starting point.  That is, indeed, the whole point.  What happened on that day is, according to the Christian tradition, only to be understood by analogy with what happened on the day the cosmos came into being.  It is a boundary event, at the point where (as cosmologists tell us) the laws of physics cease to apply.  It is the beginning of a new creation – as mysterious to human reason as the creation itself.”

“But, and this is the whole point, accepted in faith it becomes the starting point for a wholly new way of understanding our human experience, a way which – in the long run – makes more sense of human experience as a whole than does the reigning plausibility structure.  That the crucified Jesus was raised from death to be the firstfruit of a new creation is – in the proper sense – dogma.  It is something given, offered for acceptance in faith, providing the starting point for a new way of understanding which, instead of being finally defined by the impassable boundary of death…moves from death outward to an open world of infinite possibilities beckoning us into ever fresh regions of joy.  One does not defend this new perspective by trying to demonstrate its compatibility with the old.  One challenges the old with the demand and the offer of a death and a new birth.”

Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, p. 12.

shane lems

sunnyside wa

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