Easter Stands at the Heart of Gospel Preaching

Paul Vander Klay

April 4, 2010

It's "Apostles' Creed" because it was written by more than one Christian apostle.

April 7, 2010

When I think of the Bible’s unique influence in culture making I locate it primarily in creation. In other words, because God speaks in space and time, science can become a search for coherence in all things. It anchors our epistemology. The image bearing quality of man combined with our falleness, helps me understand politics and ethics. It means that in the best political systems we must acknowledge our fallen nature and the wisdom of limiting power by the competition of various interests, checks and balances. It gives us an appreciation for Grace. It is the basis for insightful literature and art. It provides a rationale for creation-care.

But the resurrection takes me somewhere else. It is not so much about culture making. The Large Hadron Collider is engaged in looking for additional hidden dimensions. Likewise, the resurrection opened a door into a 4th dimension. As Paul says in Colossians, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” or “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” The resurrection seems to pull us into another dimension. We wrestle not against flesh and blood but with principalities and powers in high places. The Athenians were intrigued by Paul’s philosophy and grasp of culture, yet the dialog suddenly stopped when it came to the subject of a man being raised from the dead.

The resurrection is the other world breaking into our reality. Christianity is at its core, a supernatural religion, and the average believer is expected to interact with that world. Paul tells the Corinthians, “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.” Even strong Christians seem to get uncomfortable when the subject of healing, speaking in tongues, deliverance from demonic bondage or other spiritual realities are raised. But the dimension of the resurrection is the critical fact that divides Christianity from every other philosophy and religious system. Though it validates and completes all the promises of the Old testament and offers a future for mankind, it is more than a theology, the power of the resurrection is a daily experience.

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