Concrete fact – the Resurrection

By Dave Henning / March 10, 2024

“The Resurrection, not taken as a symbol but believed as concrete fact, will lift up the downtrodden, and will change the world.  Belief in a final judgement gives us enough hope so that we will neither resort to violence to bring in justice nor give in and collaborate with injustice.”- Timothy Keller

Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 8 of Making Sense of God with four distinct, even unique aspects of the Christian understanding of hope.

1.  The Christian hope is personal.  Heaven, Pastor Keller explains, is not a consumer paradise.  A place where all the pleasures and comforts you sought to purchase on earth you now receive free for the asking.  Because at the center of heaven there lives not a generic God but the Triune God.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit pour love into one another in degrees of unimaginable power and joy.  We no longer fear separation from those we love.

2.  The Christian hope is concrete.  The longer you’re alive, Pastor Keller observes, the more you sense the things you are losing.  That those things, within the walls of this world, will never come back to you.  For example, beloved places (Luther South Chicago) that literally have been torn down.  Wonderful relationships unravel and can never be restored.  Above all, Jesus’ resurrection provides revelation, not just consolation.

 3. The Christian hope is unimaginably wonderful.  As J. R. R. Tolkien once wrote, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the story to which all other fantasy literature stories point.  Thus, Tolkien pointed out, even well-told story provides a taste of the Gospel, the evangelia.  Where there is a “sudden and mysterious grace” and “the joy of deliverance.”

4.  The Christian hope is assured.  In conclusion the Resurrection of Christ himself serves as the ground of our assurance.  And with formidable historical evidence to back it up.  In addition, we ground our hope in a foretaste of the Feast to come.

Today’s question: How does belief in the concrete fact of the Resurrection anchor your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the annotated bibliography of Making Sense of God

About the author

Dave Henning

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