Can you be a Christian without believing in the resurrection?


If you can be argued into believing, you can at some point be argued into not believing. And the cycle goes on…

The Holy Spirit converts us.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #391

A “spiritual” resurrection is not what the Jews, like Paul (in spades) called a resurrection. Paul went out of his way to specify that Jesus has a bodily resurrection, and after all Paul said he saw Jesus on the Road to Damascus. One does not see a spirit.

It is well known that the Greeks disparaged the physical and the body. It is the Jews and the Christians who restored the physical to dignity and thus made modern science possible.


Mmm. Even among pagans, all resurrections involved a physical body, such as those of the healing god Asclepius. One of the papers I mentioned in my long response regarding spiritual resurrection was John Granger Cook’s 2017 study Resurrection in Paganism and the Question of an Empty Tomb in 1 Corinthians 15. It analyzes resurrection claims in pagan and Jewish literature, and thoroughly demonstrates that the type of resurrection everyone believed in was physical resurrection. There is not even the presence of spiritual resurrection in the age of Christ, which is yet another reason why the claim is invalid to maintain.


I largely agree. The Greeks located evil in matter, and to die was to be rid of the body. But Jesus, after the resurrection, went out of his way to show that he truly had a physical body. Not exactly like ours, but close enough.

(Edward Miller) #394

Good Job, Beaglelady. God bless you.


Thank you.  

(George Brooks) #396


And that’s the “cleaned up” version!!!

As the “corrupted Republic” entered into the “Reformed Imperial” period under Augustus (to be soon followed by the “Corrupted Empire” period), there was a desire to re-establish respectability.

It is believed the ultimate origin of the of the “raised by a she-wolf” story was that Rome was known for bordellos, where the service providers therein were nicknamed “she-wolves”! So, there is some who surmise the original story of Romulus and Remus was that they were raised in a bordello!

(Edward Miller) #397

You are correct, Pastor. Jesus said after HIS resurrection in the Gospel of Luke that a " spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have."

God bless

(RiderOnTheClouds) #398

As it happens a prostitute was the one who found Romulus and Remus, and brought them to a farmer.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #399

Thank you, @Edward and @beaglelady for your confirmation.

The Bible is an i8mportant source.

(Luca) #400

I found it in one of his quora replies.

guy: So you are saying the tomb was not empty?

Tim: Would that be the empty tomb that Paul knows nothing about, despite being something that would bolster his argument in 1Cor. 15? The one that conveniently fits Isaiah 53:9, almost as though this element in the story was made to measure? The one with a rolling stone over the door of a kind that was immensely rare when Jesus was alive but common when the gospels were written? That tomb?
PS Crucified victims were left to rot on the cross and were then thrown in common graves or eaten by scavengers. That was part of the punishment.

link if you want to see more, tim replies to Hin lun Mak.

Also i personally have no answer to that refutation of the empty tomb.

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #401

Weak argument from silence. Mention of an empty tomb wouldn’t fit the cadence of 1 Cor 15 anyway, as it is all about the critical things that Jesus did, using these verbs: died, was buried, was raised, appeared, appeared, appeared, appeared. You try to fit, “and then his disciples found the empty tomb” into that discourse. It doesn’t fit. At any rate, it doesn’t need to be included, since it’s understood from the fact that he had been buried and then rose from the dead.

Uh, what? I read Isaiah 53:9 and all I can do is scratch my head. Not sure where he’s going with that one.

Reference, Tim?

Common practices do not preclude exceptions. Matthew 27:57-66 makes it pretty clear why, for two reasons, the typical rules didn’t apply in Jesus’ case.


Ah, I see. It looks like even O’Neill is open to blustering.

(Luca) #403

Sadly, yes.

(Mark D.) #404

This would seem to be a post older than 6 days so I’m surprised to find I can still reply.

Having read a several of the earlier posts in this thread it makes me wonder what really is the bed rock foundation of Christian belief. Is it accepting that Jesus was resurrected? Or is it accepting that the bible is authoritative regarding what God is and what He would have us know? Often Christians will tell me it is the relationship they feel themselves to have with God or Jesus which is the thing that most confirms their faith.

I fear if I ask if there is a consensus regarding what is most basic to Christian belief someone will quote a bible passage. But that would serve to endorse the sense I get that it is the belief that the bible is the word of God which is most basic. I wonder if there is anything to be said in favor of granting the bible so much significance or if that is the juncture where a leap of faith is required?


To me the bed rock is a personal relationship with God. How you come to this relationship can be the result of someone telling you what Jesus means to them or it can come from reading the Bible. So the Bible is an important tool in your personal growth with Jesus but isn’t required to come to that initial relationship. IMHO of course.

Here is summary of why I choose to place such significance on the Bible.

(Mark D.) #406

Thank you for your reply, Bill. I have an issue with the supernatural category which renders what sealed the deal for you unworkable for me. But I appreciate you sharing your experience nonetheless.

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #407

The six-day rule is applied unevenly, which is usually a good thing. :slight_smile:

As I understand it, this individualistic, pietistic rendering of Christian faith has only been widespread in recent centuries. The problem I have with it is that it depends on us, essentially on some perception on our part. But some people go through dark nights of the soul where God feels distant, and such a personal relationship may feel almost nonexistent. Are these struggling saints, then, less Christian?

If this is the core of Christian faith, then the earliest saints in the first decades of the Church were not Christians, because the Bible had not yet been written.

Of course, Christ would likely not be known today apart from the written record of the Bible, so in that sense it is central to the Christian faith, but one can certainly follow Jesus and be part of Christian community without intellectually assenting to American Biblical inerrantism, which is a product of modernity and not a necessary entailment of Christian discipleship. In fact, large branches of the Church, especially Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, see the Bible as just part of the Great Tradition, so these Christians would certainly disagree with you. (Wesleyans, though Protestant, have their own expanded version of this approach, called the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, which speaks of not one or two but four sources for theological and doctrinal development, “scripture, tradition, reason, and Christian experience.”)


I would say it is Jesus himself, as he is made known in the gospel, the good news. And what is that gospel? Some would say it is the plan of salvation, how to get to heaven, being made right with God by faith alone, etc. But this is not how the Bible itself defines the gospel. There is a reason that Mark 1:1 says that the book of Mark is itself the “gospel,” when the book of Mark does not really talk about justification by faith or saying the “sinner’s prayer.” (In fact, some would say it doesn’t even really talk much about the resurrection! NB: I didn’t finish reading the linked article and can’t endorse its contents, but I link to it just to point out that many scholars do agree that the ending of the gospel of Mark, with all its post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus, is not original.)

Mark 1:1 says that the book of Mark is the “gospel,” and the other canonical gospels are called “gospels,” because the entire story of the life and teachings of Jesus, his death and resurrection and ascension, is the gospel. The gospel — bearing in mind that this word in Roman times meant an “imperial proclamation” — is that Jesus is the King of Kings. This understanding of the “gospel” is consonant with the earliest Christian uses of the word, in the four gospels, in the sermons in the book of Acts, and in 1 Corinthians 15. (These ideas are not my own; I got them from Scot McKnight from his book The King Jesus Gospel.)

The glorious thing about this gospel is that it doesn’t require that we drum up some kind of emotional connection to Jesus that we may or may not feel, or fabricate confidence that we may or may not have that every single word written in Scripture is necessarily true in a modernistic sense. We just recognize Jesus as King, and we pledge our lives to become His disciples, with all that that entails. At the core is discipleship, or seeking to be more like Jesus, which is why Jesus calls on us to go into all the world and make disciples (not “tell people how to get to heaven”) of all nations (Matthew 28:18). It’s why Jesus calls to us,

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:18–20)

Now, of course we do believe that Jesus is alive (however we understand that) and that He answers prayer, and that God is our Father and cares about us, so absolutely we can develop that emotional relationship and it can nourish our faith; and as we read Scripture and let it speak to us (because we want to get to know Jesus and what He was / is about, more and more), we increasingly learn its truth and come to trust it; but I believe the core is this proclamation that Jesus is King and he invites our allegiance to him, and the rest flows from that. As scripture itself says (emphasis mine, and I also changed the word “Christ” to its meaning as a title, i.e., “the Anointed One”),

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus the Anointed One himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19–22)

Thanks for engaging with us here, Mark. You’re always welcome here.

(Phil) #408

I think it is more a software thing, rather than a conscience decision. There are usually bigger fish to fry.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #409

I echo and affirm AMWolfe’s statement above. Overall I think we idolize the bible (or collection of books, rather) to almost make it a fourth member of the trinity. But it (according to its own testimony! see John 5:39-40) is “merely” the pointer to our true source of salvation: the person of Christ. And to put the scriptures below Christ is hardly to diminish their importance, since they are for the Christian, after all, a pointer to Him.