Q & R: What about page 233?
Here's the Q:
I've been enjoying your latest book, and I was curious about one sentence on page 233:
"After Jesus' death, his disciples continued this same pattern. They extended…"
Why didn't you included "and resurrection" after the words Jesus' death?
I'm totally on board with focusing on Jesus' life, miracles and teachings ( instead of just his death and resurrection ). But it seems odd ( at least different than what I'm used to seeing ) to leave it at "After Jesus' death".
Almost as if he never did rise from the grave…
I realize I could be over analyzing a missing phrase, but is this your way of saying that Jesus' resurrection falls at the bottom of the list of what we should be focusing on?
I would love some clarification on why you left those words out and how much importance you place on Jesus rising from the dead and ascending etc…
Here's the R:
Thanks for your question. No - I'm not in any way saying Jesus' resurrection falls at the bottom of the list! The only reason I said, "After Jesus' death" is that I was emphasizing how Jesus' death didn't disrupt the continuity of the movement launched by Jesus. (We wouldn't expect resurrection to disrupt that continuity.) Back in Chapter 19, I talked about Jesus' resurrection a great deal (see pp. 174-175). You may also want to look at page 143 and page 243, note 13.
As you'll recall, my discussion of Christian doctrines in the book focuses on the way Christian doctrines have been used in hostile ways in the past, and how we can employ those doctrines in benevolent ways in the future. Thankfully, the doctrine of the resurrection has not frequently been put to as hostile a use in our history as have other doctrines, which explains why I didn't need to emphasize it as I did some other doctrines. But I do emphasize its positive importance in this regard in Chapter 19.
So in this case, I think you were over-analyzing a missing phrase, but it's valid question and I'm glad you asked it. (Many people tend to assume the worst.) I think you'll enjoy my next book, which tries to give a fresh and coherent overview of Christian faith, and which celebrates the resurrection and its profound beauty, power, and meaning.