It seems to me that so much modern Christian thought about the resurrection goes in the wrong direction. It moves to the resurrection. That is, we feel the need to think toward it, to establish it, to prove it. So we argue that it did indeed happen, and once we’ve made our case, we imagine our work is done.
Reading through Acts recently, I was struck again by how so much early Christian thought moved from the resurrection. That it happened was a given, but that was only the starting point. They proclaimed the resurrection and then got to work.
The early Christians began with the reality of the resurrection and then asked these questions: What exactly happened when it happened? And, how does this now change everything?
Starting with the resurrection, rather than ending with it, allowed them to talk about the new world that God had brought into being by raising Jesus from the dead.
They thought from the resurrection about all of life. If God raised Jesus from the dead, how are relationships now reconfigured? What do marriages look like in light of the resurrection? How should friendships be reconfigured? How does parenting look in light of God’s transformation of all things? How do we resolve conflicts in light of this new reality?
How does the resurrection reorder how we think about owning and sharing our possessions? What does a resurrection economy look like? What about resurrection politics? If God raised Jesus from the dead, should I think differently about putting myself on the line for what is right? What should a community shaped by the resurrection of Jesus look like?
I’m not saying that the apologetic task is completely wrong-headed. But it sure seems that we’ve neglected to make the moves the New Testament does–purposefully re-imagining all of life in light of that world-altering and cosmos-transforming reality of God raising Jesus from the dead.