Author Topic: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?  (Read 2943 times)

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Offline JamesR

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Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« on: May 30, 2013, 02:09:36 PM »
This is something that I've been wondering. Ultimately, this question is related to the differing views of atonement and salvation. In Orthodoxy, we tend to view sinfulness more as a disease or condition in need of fixing, with the purpose of the Incarnation being to unite something that was broken and fix the main problem--death. Hence why the Resurrection is important to us because it means that just as Christ was resurrected, we too can be resurrected someday. It means the overthrow of death and thus a restoration of the chasm that had been created between humanity and God after the Fall.

But in western Christianity, sinfulness is understood more in the judicial sense as an offense that needs to be punished because God is "all-just."  The Incarnation is about Christ stepping in to pay off that debt for humanity via the Crucifixion. So, why does the Resurrection matter to them? There really isn't much of a concept of restoration or defeating death in western Christianity because they simply believe in Heaven and Hell as literal places you go to after you die and thus are not very concerned about this physical world or our condition at all. Salvation is more about being acquitted. So why does the Resurrection matter to them? Many of them don't even believe in the concept of a resurrection of the dead. Wouldn't all that matters to them be only the Crucixion because it means that the debt was paid off? I don't really see a purpose for the Resurrection in the western system of atonement.
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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2013, 02:54:58 PM »

Offline WPM

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 02:57:50 PM »
It matters if you're Western Orthodox.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 03:01:22 PM by WPM »

Offline WPM

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 03:05:05 PM »
This is something that I've been wondering. Ultimately, this question is related to the differing views of atonement and salvation. In Orthodoxy, we tend to view sinfulness more as a disease or condition in need of fixing, with the purpose of the Incarnation being to unite something that was broken and fix the main problem--death. Hence why the Resurrection is important to us because it means that just as Christ was resurrected, we too can be resurrected someday. It means the overthrow of death and thus a restoration of the chasm that had been created between humanity and God after the Fall.

But in western Christianity, sinfulness is understood more in the judicial sense as an offense that needs to be punished because God is "all-just."  The Incarnation is about Christ stepping in to pay off that debt for humanity via the Crucifixion. So, why does the Resurrection matter to them? There really isn't much of a concept of restoration or defeating death in western Christianity because they simply believe in Heaven and Hell as literal places you go to after you die and thus are not very concerned about this physical world or our condition at all. Salvation is more about being acquitted. So why does the Resurrection matter to them? Many of them don't even believe in the concept of a resurrection of the dead. Wouldn't all that matters to them be only the Crucixion because it means that the debt was paid off? I don't really see a purpose for the Resurrection in the western system of atonement.


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Offline Alpo

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 03:35:06 PM »
Actually this is a legitimate question. For many Western Christians resurrection has no soteriological function outside of the idea that it sort of confirmed that God accepted Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. It's not that they wouldn't believe in resurrection or didn't value it but there's no room for resurrection in their soteriology.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 03:35:26 PM by Alpo »
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Offline Nephi

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013, 03:43:04 PM »
Actually this is a legitimate question. For many Western Christians resurrection has no soteriological function outside of the idea that it sort of confirmed that God accepted Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. It's not that they wouldn't believe in resurrection or didn't value it but there's no room for resurrection in their soteriology.

I remember a Reformed professor of mine touching on the fact that the Reformed community still wrestles with this issue. If the necessary event for our salvation was Christ bearing our punishment on the cross in our place, then why is the resurrection so important? I don't think they have an easy answer.

Although I don't think this problem is necessarily to all Western Christians as the OP implied, since there is not one "western system of atonement."

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013, 03:44:10 PM »
Actually this is a legitimate question. For many Western Christians resurrection has no soteriological function outside of the idea that it sort of confirmed that God accepted Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. It's not that they wouldn't believe in resurrection or didn't value it but there's no room for resurrection in their soteriology.

Agreed.

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2013, 03:50:16 PM »
Actually this is a legitimate question. For many Western Christians resurrection has no soteriological function outside of the idea that it sort of confirmed that God accepted Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. It's not that they wouldn't believe in resurrection or didn't value it but there's no room for resurrection in their soteriology.

Sure, it's a legitimate question, but when "extras" are added into the mix, it's not always easy to determine what's going on.  For example:

Many of them don't even believe in the concept of a resurrection of the dead.

Who?  And where?  

I'd be interested in hearing the Westerners' take on the main question, though, particularly in terms of how their liturgy addresses the matter.  Since the liturgy doesn't influence them as much as it does us (e.g., overall we have more engagement with the canonical hours than they do, and that's where a lot of the theology is spelled out), I wonder if the liturgy reflects "the stereotype", or if there is a divide between the two, or if the stereotype itself is false.  
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2013, 01:42:16 AM »
Many of them don't even believe in the concept of a resurrection of the dead.

It has been my experience that not many Evangelicals really have given much thought to the resurrection of the dead. It is not foundational to the concept of salvation in the minds of most I've known. It's kind of a footnote in things about the end of time.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 01:42:29 AM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline spyridon

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2013, 06:04:24 AM »
"Many of them don't even believe in the concept of a resurrection of the dead".

The Nicene Creed

"We confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins; we look for a resurrection of the dead and life in the age to come. Amen" (Nicene Creed [A.D. 381]).

Its rash to suggest a 'Western opinion' on these issues. If you consider the Roman Catholic and Anglican opinion as the mainstream then they follow the Nicene Creed and believe in a resurrection of the dead. Evangelicals however.......

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2013, 06:08:41 AM »
As a former evangelical Protestant, I will try to answer this. The Resurrection matters because it proves that Christ was God. There is no atonement if Christ is not risen. Only the Incarnate God could atone for the sins of humanity. So if Christ is not risen, then we have no hope for the forgiveness of our sins.

We have to be careful not to create straw man arguments against Protestantism. There is much to be criticized regarding Protestant theology; but to be fair, I think the Resurrection of Our Lord is as important to them as it is to us.

Selam  
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Offline spyridon

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2013, 06:17:43 AM »
I agree with Gebre M K. It would be ludicrous to suggest the resurrection wasn't pivotal to the various Western theological understandings.
A few Catholic perspectives of Christ's Resurrection-
It shows the justice of God who exalted Christ to a life of glory, as Christ had humbled Himself unto death (Philippians 2:8-9).

The Resurrection completed the mystery of our salvation and redemption; by His death Christ freed us from sin, and by His Resurrection He restored to us the most important privileges lost by sin (Romans 4:25).

By His Resurrection we acknowledge Christ as the immortal God, the efficient and exemplary cause of our own resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:21; Philippians 3:20-21), and as the model and the support of our new life of grace (Romans 6:4-6 and 9-11).



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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2013, 10:34:54 AM »
As a former evangelical Protestant, I will try to answer this. The Resurrection matters because it proves that Christ was God. There is no atonement if Christ is not risen. Only the Incarnate God could atone for the sins of humanity. So if Christ is not risen, then we have no hope for the forgiveness of our sins.
For many Western Christians resurrection has no soteriological function outside of the idea that it sort of confirmed that God accepted Christ's sacrifice on the Cross. It's not that they wouldn't believe in resurrection or didn't value it but there's no room for resurrection in their soteriology.
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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2013, 10:43:30 AM »
As a former evangelical Protestant, I will try to answer this. The Resurrection matters because it proves that Christ was God. There is no atonement if Christ is not risen. Only the Incarnate God could atone for the sins of humanity. So if Christ is not risen, then we have no hope for the forgiveness of our sins.

We have to be careful not to create straw man arguments against Protestantism. There is much to be criticized regarding Protestant theology; but to be fair, I think the Resurrection of Our Lord is as important to them as it is to us.

Selam  
Christ is risen!

To be fair, the term Protestantism is way overused and inaccurate. It almosts suggests a cohesiveness to their beliefs. There is no monolithic entity of Protestantism and I think we would do well to remember that. Sadly, the only thing the sectarians really actually have in common with each other is that they are outside of the Church.

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2013, 12:41:50 PM »
But in western Christianity, [...............]

Whenever you find yourself about to say or type these words, the thing to do is to take a break and then come back and delete those words. There is no sentence out there which begins this way that isn't going to end in a gross misrepresentation.

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2013, 12:59:20 PM »
As a former evangelical Protestant, I will try to answer this. The Resurrection matters because it proves that Christ was God. There is no atonement if Christ is not risen. Only the Incarnate God could atone for the sins of humanity. So if Christ is not risen, then we have no hope for the forgiveness of our sins.

We have to be careful not to create straw man arguments against Protestantism. There is much to be criticized regarding Protestant theology; but to be fair, I think the Resurrection of Our Lord is as important to them as it is to us.

Selam  

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2013, 03:19:10 PM »
This thread is asenine. But in answer to your question, yes it matters. We believe that if we die with Christ we will be raised with Christ.
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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2013, 09:30:21 PM »
As a former evangelical Protestant, I will try to answer this. The Resurrection matters because it proves that Christ was God. There is no atonement if Christ is not risen. Only the Incarnate God could atone for the sins of humanity. So if Christ is not risen, then we have no hope for the forgiveness of our sins.

We have to be careful not to create straw man arguments against Protestantism. There is much to be criticized regarding Protestant theology; but to be fair, I think the Resurrection of Our Lord is as important to them as it is to us.

Selam  
Christ is risen!

To be fair, the term Protestantism is way overused and inaccurate. It almosts suggests a cohesiveness to their beliefs. There is no monolithic entity of Protestantism and I think we would do well to remember that. Sadly, the only thing the sectarians really actually have in common with each other is that they are outside of the Church.

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Offline Doubting Thomas

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2013, 04:17:40 PM »
I agree with those who have pointed out that the OP paints with too broad a brush in his characterization of 'Western Christians'.

Having said that, not only is the resurrection important because it vindicates (or validates) who Christ is (Romans 1:4), but also because we are actually saved by His LIFE (Romans 5:10).  As the Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians: "And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins" (1 Cor 15:17).

To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, Christianity started with the proclamation of one specific doctrine (the Atonement) and one specific historical fact (the Resurrection).  I'd say both the Atonement and Resurrection are important for ALL Christians, East and West (or at least they should be). Belief in the Resurrection is essential to saving faith (see Romans (10:9-10).
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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2013, 09:36:12 PM »
I started to boo and hiss when I saw ICEL in the url, but when the page loaded I realized it was not the old translation.  :P
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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2013, 09:21:51 AM »
Well, I'll stick with the old ICET translation, thank you, (a) because that's what the BCP prescribes, and (b) because the newest translations may be more accurate, but they are painfully unpoetic English.

Offline Knee V

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2013, 08:00:31 AM »
Sure, "Western Christianity" might be a little broad, but if you replace that with "almost all of Protestantism" it's relatively accurate.

I wrestled with this exact same problem growing up. Sure, the resurrection might "validate" or "put a stamp of approval on" Christ's work on the Cross, but if what God needed to have accomplished was accomplished by Christ being tortured and nailed to the cross, then how could Paul say that if there is no resurrection there is no hope? In fact, what would even be the point of Him having to die? If it is in His blood being shed that gives us our salvation, then shouldn't being tortured and bleeding be enough? What is the practical point of the rest? If it is just a matter of having a stamp of approval, wouldn't salvation still be accomplished without it? If so, why the emphasis on the Resurrection in the New Testament? Why did the Apostles think it was so important, when clearly it's just icing on the cake at best?

That was one of my struggles as a kid in an Evangelical home. Even in my searchings in Catholicism that wasn't answered for me; which is not to say that they don't have a good answer - I just never came across it. It was until I discovered Orthodoxy that I was able to begin to see why the Resurrection matters so much.

Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2013, 11:05:40 PM »
     I think it's an over-generalization to think the Resurrection is trivialized in the West, and my own understanding of Eastern Orthodoxy also doesn't necessarily minimize Christ's Passion and death.

  Some Protestants understand the resurrection in different terms than those that might be emphasized in Orthodoxy.  Does that make it wrong? I don't think so.


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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2013, 11:36:57 PM »
If it is in His blood being shed that gives us our salvation, then shouldn't being tortured and bleeding be enough? What is the practical point of the rest? If it is just a matter of having a stamp of approval, wouldn't salvation still be accomplished without it? If so, why the emphasis on the Resurrection in the New Testament? Why did the Apostles think it was so important, when clearly it's just icing on the cake at best?

I don't think his torture and suffering would be enough, as the punishment due for sin is not "severe punishment," but "eternal death" (which raises an interesting point, IMO, about whether Christ really satisfied "eternal death" in the PSA model). So, Christ had to actually take upon himself the punishment for sin and die. In penal substitution at least, and his resurrection would seem to be evidence of his accomplishment thereof. Some of the academic Protestants are willing to include other aspects of the atonement into their theology. My Reformed professor had no problem with Christ's atonement as healing, victory over evil, uniting humanity to divinity, etc. so long as the penal substitutionary atonement was likewise affirmed. So a Protestant like this could easily see an importance in the Resurrection.

Others, however, that are only affirm the penal substitutionary aspect, and deny all others, seem to have the Resurrection as evidence of the efficacy of the salvific act rather than a part of the salvific act. But even then, from my perspective at least, it seems something is missing that was part of the early church's witness. The importance in the atonement has moved primarily from the resurrection to his death, whereby the former is only there to affirm the latter. Icing on the cake, as you say.

Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2013, 01:41:22 PM »
   From a rationalistic standpoint, penal substitution doesn't make sense, especially since most of them think of hell as the punishment for sin.  Hell is eternal ,and yet Christ only dies in a temporal, not eternal, sense, so Christ could not literal pay that penalty.

  Calvin was a lawyer and he came up with this particular understanding and no doubt it fit his legal mind.   Luther didn't understand the Cross as legal punishment so much as Christ exhausting the wrath of God against the sinner.

Offline Nephi

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2013, 02:37:10 PM »
  From a rationalistic standpoint, penal substitution doesn't make sense, especially since most of them think of hell as the punishment for sin.  Hell is eternal ,and yet Christ only dies in a temporal, not eternal, sense, so Christ could not literal pay that penalty.

It's also confusing about what they even mean by "eternal death;" do they mean that "eternal death" is annihilation (obviously they don't), or do they mean that it's eternal spiritual death (separation from God), or just eternal punishment (then why is it called death?)? If it's the former then Christ didn't suffer it, if it's the second then Christ didn't suffer it, if it's the latter then Christ didn't suffer it. It has to be another nuanced definition of "eternal death" that I haven't seen from the little I've looked at their classical (Calvinist) creeds.

How do PSA-ers respond to these sorts of criticisms, I wonder?
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 02:37:44 PM by Nephi »

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2013, 01:10:09 PM »
Many of them don't even believe in the concept of a resurrection of the dead.

It has been my experience that not many Evangelicals really have given much thought to the resurrection of the dead. It is not foundational to the concept of salvation in the minds of most I've known. It's kind of a footnote in things about the end of time.

As a former evangelical (Pentecostal/Southern Baptist/nondenom), I agree.  I used to give more thought to the "rapture" than to the resurrection of the dead.  I kind of skipped that part in the Bible. :-\
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Offline DanM

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2013, 09:47:57 PM »
As a former Evangelical/United Methodist, I would have to agree that the Resurrection was not heavily emphasized in the over-all system of belief.  As for Catholicism, I came across an interesting article with these words:  "Why have we largely lost interest in what [such and such Catholic Thomists] had to say about the redemptive function of Christ's Resurrection?"  See "Thomas Aquinas and Christ's Resurrection" (http://www.ts.mu.edu/readers/content/pdf/31/31.3/31.3.6.pdf).  Years ago I read a nice little piece popularizing Aquinas' explanation of the importance of the Resurrection which I have found at http://www.thesacredpage.com/2012/04/aquinas-five-reasons-christ-rose-from.html.  Nevertheless, I do not recall any time in my life as a Evangelical/Protestant or as a Catholic (for five years) when the Resurrection of Christ was celebrated or elaborated upon with the extraordinary gusto and vigor that is typical not only of Pascha but of the Paschal season and even of Matins.  I will gladly admit to being subjective and anecdotal, but my subjective anecdotes are all that I have to steer by once I have left the library or the lecture hall.  I never even heard about Aquinas' five reasons in a lecture hall or a sermon; I am still an inveterate Thomist and so found them out on my own. 

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2013, 09:51:04 PM »
As a former Evangelical/United Methodist, I would have to agree that the Resurrection was not heavily emphasized in the over-all system of belief.  As for Catholicism, I came across an interesting article with these words:  "Why have we largely lost interest in what [such and such Catholic Thomists] had to say about the redemptive function of Christ's Resurrection?"  See "Thomas Aquinas and Christ's Resurrection" (http://www.ts.mu.edu/readers/content/pdf/31/31.3/31.3.6.pdf).  Years ago I read a nice little piece popularizing Aquinas' explanation of the importance of the Resurrection which I have found at http://www.thesacredpage.com/2012/04/aquinas-five-reasons-christ-rose-from.html.  Nevertheless, I do not recall any time in my life as a Evangelical/Protestant or as a Catholic (for five years) when the Resurrection of Christ was celebrated or elaborated upon with the extraordinary gusto and vigor that is typical not only of Pascha but of the Paschal season and even of Matins.  I will gladly admit to being subjective and anecdotal, but my subjective anecdotes are all that I have to steer by once I have left the library or the lecture hall.  I never even heard about Aquinas' five reasons in a lecture hall or a sermon; I am still an inveterate Thomist and so found them out on my own. 

I dunno about you, but the Resurrection has become absolutely essential to my spiritual life. Chris is Risen. Nothing else matters. If God can raise the dead, he can certainly save my soul! etc.
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Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2013, 11:12:33 PM »
   As one who current participates in the Novus Ordo Missae in an Old Catholic jurisdiction...  I do not see a lack of mention of the resurrection or renewal of creation in the liturgy and hymns.  Perhaps certain priests just aren't choosing to read certain Eucharistic prayers, but they are there.  It's not the fault of the rite if they are not read or emphasized.

    As someone who has read some of Gustavo Gutierrez, even more important than Jesus resurrection as simply an isolated miracle, is the "Day of the Lord" promised in Isaiah, and Jesus resurrection as the sign of the dawning of that day.  The eschatological hope of a world where God's justice reingns is very important in liberation theology.   And frankly I don't see this idea emphasized enough in most of Eastern Orthodoxy, where the eschatological hope is sometimes spiritualized away altogether.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 11:13:53 PM by Daedelus1138 »

Offline stanley123

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2013, 11:19:14 PM »
This thread is asenine. But in answer to your question, yes it matters. We believe that if we die with Christ we will be raised with Christ.
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Offline LBK

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #32 on: September 29, 2013, 11:22:48 PM »
    As someone who has read some of Gustavo Gutierrez, even more important than Jesus resurrection as simply an isolated miracle, is the "Day of the Lord" promised in Isaiah, and Jesus resurrection as the sign of the dawning of that day.  The eschatological hope of a world where God's justice reingns is very important in liberation theology.   And frankly I don't see this idea emphasized enough in most of Eastern Orthodoxy, where the eschatological hope is sometimes spiritualized away altogether.

You might wish to acquaint yourself with the Orthodox Paschal services, and the Resurrectional hymns of the Book of Eight Tones.
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Offline Nicene

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2013, 02:24:46 PM »
I think this question can only be seriously asked to those protestants that place the utmost emphasis on satisfying God's wrath.
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Offline IoanC

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #34 on: October 17, 2013, 04:54:41 AM »
Of course, they don't really realize the problem, it's falsehood that they inherited just like many of us did even through false approaches within Orthodoxy , so all we could hope to do is try to enlighten them. It's really an existential problem -- what do we need spiritually first and foremost? We need God to restore us to our initial state of union with Him, we literally need His love and grace/direct intervention. Yet, to view the matter in this way, it also depends on our freedom. You cannot force someone to view his existence in this way, but they have to reach such a point themselves. All one can do is be a light for them.

Offline Alpo

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2013, 07:14:55 AM »
That escalated quicly.
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Offline alanscott

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2013, 04:38:24 PM »
Hello JamesR (and all) It has been a while since I have been on here. I pray Grace has continued to be multiplied in your lives.

Of course I cannot answer for all Protestants. Many good points have been made already.

To my limited understanding substitutionary atonement is difficult to accept as that would indicate there is no need for personal repentance. IMHO that  is dangerous if not heretical. How does one accept God’s Grace of salvation then do nothing? To my understanding the Atonement is not to satisfy God’s wrath but God’s Justice. Certain things needed to happen for the road to be paved.  My understanding is that the atonement (above all else) happened to eliminate the barrier standing between us and God. That barrier of course was death.

Why as a ‘Protestant’ does the resurrection matter to me? Because God loved us so much He sent His only begotten Son to die for us. The barrier of death no longer exists. In death we may now have eternal life. He came to die and be resurrected to provide the way to regain everything Adam and Eve had lost. The resurrection matters because He came so that dead men may live. 
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2013, 04:44:08 PM »
Hello JamesR (and all) It has been a while since I have been on here. I pray Grace has continued to be multiplied in your lives.

Of course I cannot answer for all Protestants. Many good points have been made already.

To my limited understanding substitutionary atonement is difficult to accept as that would indicate there is no need for personal repentance. IMHO that  is dangerous if not heretical. How does one accept God’s Grace of salvation then do nothing? To my understanding the Atonement is not to satisfy God’s wrath but God’s Justice. Certain things needed to happen for the road to be paved.  My understanding is that the atonement (above all else) happened to eliminate the barrier standing between us and God. That barrier of course was death.

Why as a ‘Protestant’ does the resurrection matter to me? Because God loved us so much He sent His only begotten Son to die for us. The barrier of death no longer exists. In death we may now have eternal life. He came to die and be resurrected to provide the way to regain everything Adam and Eve had lost. The resurrection matters because He came so that dead men may live. 


You're using justice in the Western juridical sense. Not as it pertains to 'righteousness' as the word actually connotes in Greek. It's certainly not righteous to kill your own son.
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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2013, 04:57:25 PM »
But in western Christianity, [...............]

Whenever you find yourself about to say or type these words, the thing to do is to take a break and then come back and delete those words. There is no sentence out there which begins this way that isn't going to end in a gross misrepresentation.


+1


I also believe there's a gross misrepresentation of juridical theology sometimes.  But I've gotten into this discussion countless times in the past.  Not going to belabor the point.  I just think more things can be "theologomenoun" than downright "heresy", while at the same time careful in who we think believe in what we refute.
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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2013, 05:10:25 PM »
The Protestants are often the best posters here, even if they only visit occasionally.

If you believe someone was dead and buried for three days and came back to life, it is going to matter a lot to you regardless of what religion you follow.

Offline alanscott

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2013, 06:32:31 PM »
Hello JamesR (and all) It has been a while since I have been on here. I pray Grace has continued to be multiplied in your lives.

Of course I cannot answer for all Protestants. Many good points have been made already.

To my limited understanding substitutionary atonement is difficult to accept as that would indicate there is no need for personal repentance. IMHO that  is dangerous if not heretical. How does one accept God’s Grace of salvation then do nothing? To my understanding the Atonement is not to satisfy God’s wrath but God’s Justice. Certain things needed to happen for the road to be paved.  My understanding is that the atonement (above all else) happened to eliminate the barrier standing between us and God. That barrier of course was death.

Why as a ‘Protestant’ does the resurrection matter to me? Because God loved us so much He sent His only begotten Son to die for us. The barrier of death no longer exists. In death we may now have eternal life. He came to die and be resurrected to provide the way to regain everything Adam and Eve had lost. The resurrection matters because He came so that dead men may live. 


You're using justice in the Western juridical sense. Not as it pertains to 'righteousness' as the word actually connotes in Greek. It's certainly not righteous to kill your own son.



Thank You as I certainly can be guilty of doing just that.

My question would be did our Father 'kill' His Son or did God sacrifice that part of Himself that we may live?

You add a very important aspect to this though. Our righteousness alone is not enough. Only through the righteousness of our Lord God can we be justified. This of course is a major reason for the atonement and why the resurrection matters.



If you believe someone was dead and buried for three days and came back to life, it is going to matter a lot to you regardless of what religion you follow.


If you believe someone was dead and buried for three days and came back to life, it is going to matter a lot to you regardless of what religion you follow.

Perhaps this is the best answer yet. Why does it matter?

He Is Risen!
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Offline Auryn

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2014, 02:04:03 PM »
I don't know.  I would say the cross was the most important part.  The resurrection was just to prove that He was God.  That's how I always thought of it.  From what I studied of Catholicism, it was really seen as wrong to focus on the resurrection because that was the positive, 'easy' part of spirituality.  Spirituality had to focus on the passion and death of Jesus, not the resurrection.  Offering up suffering to Jesus, mortification, penance, sacraments, all that comes from the passion and death of Jesus.  The resurrection just sort of sealed the deal I guess. 

"the resurrection of Jesus Christ is for us a sure pledge of our own resurrection, and of the glory that we hope one day to have in heaven, both in soul and in body. This hope gave courage to the holy martyrs to suffer with gladness all the evils of this life, and the most cruel torments of tyrants. We must rest assured, however, that none will rejoice with Jesus Christ but they who are willing to suffer in this world with him. . .'

~St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

Kind of a typical view from a Doctor of the Church.  I know I never focused on it though, personally.  I focused on the passion.
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Offline Gayle

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2014, 09:59:19 PM »
It's all important.His life,teachings,death,resurrection,and ascension.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 10:03:42 PM by Gayle »

Offline LBK

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2014, 01:28:44 AM »
It is no accident that the Pascha is the Feast of Feasts of the Orthodox Church, the Queen and Mistress, as the hymns say. Holy Week is observed with great dignity and solemnity, culminating in the explosion of spiritual joy of the Resurrection. The tone and language used in the Paschal hymnography is in stark contrast to that of Holy Week. The content of the Paschal hymns do not ignore the Passion, but show its purpose. Even the hymns of Holy Thursday, Great Friday, and Holy Saturday are not completely devoid of the anticipation and hope of the Resurrection. This is just one hymn which captures this duality:

O my Son and my God, though I am wounded to the core and torn to the heart as I see You dead, yet confident in Your resurrection, I magnify You.

The Mother of God is enduring the worst period of her life, yet has not lost all hope. Her hope is joyously fulfilled three days later, as proclaimed in this hymn:

Shine, shine, O new Jerusalem, for the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Dance now and be glad, O Zion, and you too rejoice, pure Mother of God, at the arising of your Son.


Diminishing the Resurrection to emphasize the Crucifixion has it backwards. It is emphasizing gloom over joy, darkness over light, death over life. Christ had to suffer and die, of course, so that He could again rise, destroying dead by His death, and allowing mankind to again partake of God.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 01:30:21 AM by LBK »
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Offline Gayle

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Re: Why Does the Resurrection Matter to Western Christians?
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2014, 04:43:24 PM »
Amen