Why do Moderate Christians Reject Many Biblical Supernatural Claims but Believe in Jesus’ Bodily Resurrection?

Moderate Christian:

I think that Genesis 1-11 is myth. Technically myth doesn’t necessarily mean unhistorical, but I think there is very little history in 1-11, though as I said, scholars think there was really a devastating local flood that triggered the Gilgamesh/Noah stories.

From then on (in the Old Testament) I think it is a mixture of history and legend/myth in proportions that I don’t think we can always know. That’s why I said I’m with Peter Enns in between the minimalists and maximalists. But by the time we get to David, we have pretty much history, though obviously slanted in the lessons it draws. This is all the view of CS Lewis some 60 years ago, though I don’t know exactly where he stood on details.

But Lewis made a key point, which you can see in both the blog references I gave, that God can reveal through myth (just like parable) and these are God-inspired myths. Pretty much all myths around the world tell what the culture thought were important truths, whether they thought the stories were literally historical or not, so all the more can we see the OT as teaching truths.

But most of the important stuff about the Messiah comes after David when we are pretty much in the realm of history. There really was an Isaiah, and he really did write the messianic prophecies in chapters 7-11. And either he or someone else historical wrote the messianic prophecies in Isaiah 53 etc.

So the whole OT is a revelation of God, just using different writing forms – myth, history, poetry, prophecy, etc. We can only understand Jesus in his context if we understand the OT. But that is true regardless of which bits we think as being history and which are not.

…I believe Jesus brought the truth, and he brought it in the context of first century Judaism, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept the OT as entirely literal history. Rather, we need to understand it as Jesus understood it, and as the scholars understand it today, and combine those two understandings.

Does that make sense?

Gary:

Your belief system is classic “moderate” Christianity. While fundamentalists defend all the supernatural claims of the Bible, and the most liberal of Christians deny them all except for the existence of a Creator, moderates pick and choose which supernatural claims to believe and which to not believe based on the most puzzling (to me) of logic.

If God can raise a man from the dead, give him the ability to teleport between cities, walk through walls, and levitate into space, he surely can create a universe in six literal days just as Genesis 1 and 2 state, but make it look like he did it over billions of years. He surely can cause a world wide flood without leaving geological traces of it. He surely can cause several million ancient Hebrews to exodus Egypt and wander in the Sinai for forty years but not leave a single trace of their presence.

So why latch onto to one supernatural claim (the Resurrection) as historical fact, but chalk most of the others up to “myth”?

I believe that moderate Christians latch onto the Resurrection claim while denying many other fantastical supernatural claims in the Bible for one reason:   Without the Resurrection, there is no longer an explanation for that still small voice that you hear talking to you in your head all day long…other than that voice being YOU; there is no explanation for your feelings of security, peace, and comfort…other than your creation of an imaginary friend. There is no explanation for the “miracles” you experience…other than random chance.

You latch onto the Resurrection because without it your entire worldview collapses. You don’t need the Creation or World Wide Flood Story to be true to believe that Jesus is God, but you damn for sure need the Resurrection…and that is why moderate Christians so desperately cling to it based on the flimsiest of evidence.

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