Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Eugene Peterson

  • Eugene Peterson on Caiaphas +

    What did it mean for Jesus to stand before the high priest, Caiaphas, and confront his disbelief? Read More
  • Eugene Peterson: In Between the Man & the Message +

    A thoughtful interview with Eugene Peterson, 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

  • Worry +

    Do we trust God to take care of each and every one of our troubles, or do we act like Read More
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    Yolanda Adams effectively portrays the experiences of brokenness and longing for change I know there are times in your life,When Read More
  • The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life +

    The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life, by Hannah Whitehall Smith. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/smith_hw/secret.titlepage.html From Christian Classics website: Sometimes it just feels Read More
  • June 10 Devotional: AW Tozer +

    LET FEAR BECOME TRUST What can we do but pray for the throngs of defiant men and women who believe Read More
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Gems

  • Falling in Love With God +

    “falling in love with God,” as Boa’s subtitle for the facet explains. In this approach we attempt to enter into Read More
  • Revelation Song +

    Revelation Song provides us with a means to do what we are called to do: glorify God. I give thanks Read More
  • Reflections on the Psalms +

    C.S. Lewis' book, Reflections on the Psalms, is not an easy read, but Lewis provides a poet's insight into the Read More
  • God is Personal: Eugene Peterson on prayer +

    The following is from Jesus Creed, Scot McKnight on Jesus and Orthdox faith in the 21st century. There is a Read More
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