Thursday, April 27, 2017

Mascall: the nature of the resurrection

Thursday, April 27, 2017
    Feast of Christina Rossetti, Poet, 1894
    For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
    —1 Corinthians 13:9-12 (ESV)
    There are, of course, interesting questions that can be asked about the nature of the transformation which our Lord’s body underwent in his resurrection, and if we know anything about physics and biology we are quite likely to ask them. But, since we are concerned with an occurrence which is [by hypothesis] unique in certain relevant aspects, we are most unlikely to be able to give confident answers to them. [Paul M.] van Buren’s remarks about biology and the twentieth century are nothing more than rhetoric or, at best, are simply empirical statements about his own psychology. The first century knew as well as the twentieth that dead bodies do not naturally come to life again, and no amount of twentieth-century knowledge about natural processes can tell us what may happen by supernatural means.
    ... E. L. Mascall (1905-1993), The Secularization of Christianity, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966, p. 79-80 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 13:9-12; John 6:39-40,54; 10:28; 11:25; Rom. 6:23; 1 John 2:25; Jude 1:21
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your will alone has raised me from death to life.
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