Thursday, March 22, 2018

Real Historians Consider a Supernatural Hypothesis

Shelby Mustang at our Ford dealership (just looking!)

This afternoon, in personal preparation for Easter week, plus my One-Hour Seminary presentation on Jesus' resurrection (3/27/18, 9 PM EST, Facebook Live), I am reading two books by N. T. Wright. 

They are Wright's massive The Resurrection of the Son of God, and The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion

Today, in Revolution, I read what may be the best presentation of "crucifixion" available.

And in Resurrection, Wright's chapters on ancient views of death and the afterlife are excellent.

In reading Resurrection I laughed, just five minutes ago. (I don't laugh a lot, in spite of being one of the happiest persons alive.) 

As Wright presents a historical case for the bodily resurrection of Jesus, we know some scholars are incapable of reasoning historically since they - by fiat, and by worldview - automatically rule out non-scientific, supernatural explanations. 

My funny moment came when Wright cites New Testament scholar Michael Goulder. (I read this book, edited by Goulder, in 1979.) If you are a professional theologian, as I am, get ready to be happy.

"Goulder is a good example of this tendency [to auto-reject the supernatural]. ‘We should’, he writes, ‘always prefer the natural hypothesis [as opposed to the supernatural one], or we shall fall into superstition.’ The natural/supernatural distinction itself, and the near-equation of ‘supernatural’ with ‘superstition’, are scarecrows that Enlightenment thought has erected in its fields to frighten away anyone following the historical argument where it leads. It is high time the birds learned to take no notice." (Wright, N. T.. Resurrection Son of God, Kindle Locations 32434-32437)

I'll explain more this coming Tuesday.


My first two books are...

Praying: Reflection on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God (May 2016)

Leading the Presence-Driven Church (January 2018)

I am now writing...

Technology and Spiritual Formation

How God Changes the Human Heart: A Phenomenology of Spiritual Transformation