Today's Devotions

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Worth Considering: JI Packer

  • The Christian Grows in Grace (JI Packer excerpt) +

    SANCTIFICATION THE CHRISTIAN GROWS IN GRACE Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Read More
  • The Ministry of the Spirit by JI Packer +

    The Holy Spirit is given to all Christians to transform them by his teaching, making them into God-focused thinkers and Read More
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594899577_ThvHp-TiNow, as a literary historian, I am perfectly convinced that whatever else the Gospels are they are not legends. I have read a great deal of legend and I am quite clear that they are not the same sort of thing.

They are not artistic enough to be legends. From an imaginative point of view they Ire clumsy, they don't work up to things properly. Most of the life of Jesus is totally unknown to us, as is the life of anyone else who lived at that time, and no people building up a legend would allow that to be so. Apart from bits of the Platonic dialogues, there are no conversations that I know of in ancient literature like the Fourth Gospel.

 

There is nothing, even in modern literature, until about a hundred years ago when the realistic novel came into existence. In the story of the woman taken in adultery we are told Christ bent down and scribbled in the dust with His finger. Nothing comes of this. No one has ever based any doctrine on it. And the art of inventing little irrelevant details to make an imaginary scene more convincing is a purely modern art. Surely the only explanation of this passage is that the thing really happened? The author put it in simply because he had seen it.

Then we come to the strangest story of all, the story of the Resurrection. It is very necessary to get the story clear. I heard a man say, "The importance of the Resurrection is that it gives evidence of survival, evidence that the human personality survives death." On that view what happened to Christ would be what had always happened to all men, the difference being that in Christ's case we were privileged to see it happening. This is certainly not what the earliest Christian writers thought.

Something perfectly new in the history of the Universe had happened. Christ had defeated death. The door which had always been locked had for the very first time been forced open. This is something quite distinct from mere ghost-survival. I don't mean that they disbelieved in ghost- survival. On the contrary, they believed in it so firmly that, on more than one occasion, Christ had had to assure them that He was not a ghost. The point is that while believing in survival they yet regarded the Resurrection as something totally different and new.

The Resurrection narratives are not a picture of survival after death; they record how a totally new mode of being has arisen in the universe. Something new had appeared in the universe: as new as the first coming of organic life. This Man, after death, does not get divided into "ghost" and "corpse". A new mode of being has arisen. That is the story. What are we going to make of it?

C.S. Lewis, "What are we to make of Jesus Christ?" (originally published 1950; this edition from The Essential C.S. Lewis (Touchstone, 1996)) 331-332.

http://www.merecslewis.blogspot.com/

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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The Hit List

  • Supplications, Prayers, Intercessions, and Thanksgivings +

    Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, O Lord, turn from yourfierce wrath; change your mind and do not Read More
  • Thanksgiving +

    Why should we give thanks to God? Why should we come to him with our praises,? In the scriptures, there Read More
  • ACTS (Adoration, Contrition/confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) +

    Following this introduction to prayer, there are links to articles involving each of the four types of prayer-adoration, contrition/confession, thanksgiving, Read More
  • Thanksgiving: ACTS, A Blueprint for Prayer by Alex Kirk +

    Alex Kirk of Chatham Community Church discusses Thanksgiving, part 3 of his series on prayer-Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. Read More
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Gems

  • Avoiding Casualties: A sermon by Jim Hugerich +

    Spiritual warfare is something that few Christians, regardless of their denomination, are accustomed to thinking about, let alone engaging in. Read More
  • Does God Control Everything?: Tim Keller sermon +

    Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, has an insightful discussion about free will, pre-destination and God's omnipotence, Read More
  • A Healthy Obsession: a sermon by Jay Thomas +

    Jay Thomas's sermon in November, 2010 at the Chapel Hill Bible Church, "Why Am I So Obsessed with the Gospel?", Read More
  • Just People: a sermon by Francis Chan +

    Francis Chan's sermon at the Reality Church August 22 and 29, 2010. http://realitymessages.com/audio/20100822-Fearless-32kbps.mp3 http://realitymessages.com/audio/20100829-Fearless_Part2-32kbps.mp3 Read More
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