Without a bodily resurrection, Christ’s cross merely brings about another pointless death of a Galilean slave.
Without a bodily resurrection, Christ’s cross does not defeat death, does not trounce the Devil, and does not secure our salvation and unite us to the Triune God.
In a recent conversation someone attempted to convince me that the bodily resurrection didn’t matter; all that matters is the spiritual idea of resurrection as something that inspires us to morality. In response I argued, along with Paul in I Corinthians 15, if Christ’s resurrection didn’t happen in real, physical space and time, then it means nothing, we believe in vain.
But in the course of this conversation I realized something significant – the Evangelical world, for all it’s fighting against this sort of liberalism, is functionally no different. If one were to look at our worship services, it is the cross, not the resurrection, that is emphasized; our worship is abstract and spiritual in emphasis, not embodied and concrete.
But here’s the thing – if Christ really rose from the dead, then more than merely spirituality or morality get impacted, there are implications for the physical world, as well. The physical world is given value precisely because Christ rose, not in a spiritual sense, but in a physical sense.
This blog series will explore the multiple ways in which Christ’s physical resurrection impacts the physicality of our worship. We do not worship a distant deity abstracted from our everyday, physical lives. We worship a God who took on flesh and resurrected in the flesh, thus giving value to the material world as material.
The implications of this “material” theology are four-fold and will be explored throughout the rest of the semester. James K. Smith, in his book Desiring the Kingdom lays them out like this:
- Christian worship understands human persons as embodied rather than mere thinking things.
- Christian worship prioritizes practices rather than ideas as the site of challenge and resistance.
- Christian worship looks at cultural practices and institutions through the lens of worship or liturgy.
- Christian worship retains a robust sense of antithesis without being simply “anti-cultural.”
I hope you will not only join us through this blog series, but that you will see the significance of the physical world, the senses, the creation, and your body in worship.