Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Friday, August 25, 2006

Converting the Episcopal Church...

On another blog, there was a reference to a website run by or contributed to by prominent ECUSA clergy, seminary faculty, a retired bishop, and a well-published author, called explorefaith.org. I would not recommend it to anyone wanting to find biblical Christianity. It is a classic example of why ECUSA is failing. It has a Q&A section on the faith which waters down, rationalizes away, or reinvents meanings of the faith once delivered to the saints.

Whereas the Scriptures are clear that Jesus' resurrection from the dead was physical and literal, as attested in many places in the gospels (invitation to touch his wounds to Thomas, eating with disciples after the Resurrection, etc.) and attested to in Acts 2:31-32

Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.

But this site, rather than giving solid biblical, theological instruction to answer questions, gives 3 or 4 opinions about each answer from different authors, not one matching the Universal Faith.

For the Resurrection we read this answer as one of several.....
Do I have to believe that Christ literally rose from the dead to be a Christian?
I think that human beings have always turned to the use of metaphor when they’ve had an experience that words alone cannot express. For example, “I was scared to death!”or “She’s so happy that she’s walking on air” or “The news truly broke her heart.” None of these statements is literally true, yet each one of them gives expression to a sentiment or an experience that is nonetheless profoundly true.
I believe that there is a similar dynamic of truth in the concept of Christ being raised from the dead. So, no, I don’t think that to be a Christian we have to believe that Christ literally, bodily rose from the dead and that he literally, bodily ascended into heaven. Yet I do believe that these words are our best attempt to give expression to an experience which was true to the followers of Jesus in his time, and is still true to those of us who engage with Jesus in heart, mind and spirit still today. What Jesus’ rising from the dead means to me is this: That life is eternal, and that we are a part of that eternal life even now, in this life we are living. That we live in eternal life was true of us before we were born; it is true while we are living here and now; and it will be true after we have died. We live always in the embrace of God’s eternity.

Note my bold...WHAT IT MEANS TO ME....it is all a private opinion, not God's revealed truth! God help us!