Dead set legend?

I mentioned the ABC radio’s unique take on the stats released by the Centre for Public Christianity yesterday. Dan has helpfully shared a link to the ABC Radio transcript of the story I was listening to on the world today.

The reaction to the statistics has been somewhat amusing. On the one hand 55% of the “non born again” community don’t believe in the resurrection. Which should be comforting to atheists, Muslims and the liberal church.

The Uniting Church in New South Wales was one of the first organisations to put its own spin on the findings – claiming most of the 45% of (non “born again”) people who believe in the resurrection only believe it in a metaphorical sense.

Many Australians, although certainly not a majority, would see Jesus as metaphorically real, or his resurrection as metaphorically real, but would expect that the bones of Jesus would be found in Palestine.

And that’s my own position.

But I think that the resurrection of Jesus is principally about the continuing reality of Jesus of Nazareth in this world. – Ian Pearson from the Pitt Street Uniting Church…

Hmm, interesting take on things. You’ve got to wonder why this guy is still a “Christian” minister if this is what he thinks. If they found the bones of Jesus in Palestine I’d throw in the Christian towel. Immediately. If it’s all just a metaphor you’ve got to ask “why bother at all?” – Exactly the point Sydney Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen raised…

If he just rose metaphorically, well, it’s Alice in Wonderland sort of stuff, and is not worth worrying about.

I wouldn’t be a Christian if I thought that. Just wouldn’t be worth the trouble.

But that’s not what the New Testament says; that’s not what the evidence says.

The evidence is really talking about a real resurrection from the dead.

The atheists on the other hand. Well. They still kind of miss the point of serving God if you believe in him – which many clearly still do… talk about imposing your value judgments on others…

The world needs to get away from this dependence on an imaginary super person in the sky, and start looking at the problems that we’re encountering in real terms – David Nichols, the president of the Atheist Foundation of Australia


Andrew says:

Is that the Uniting Church’s official position? Very scary if so. :|

Nathan says:

It’s certainly not an unorthodox position for a Uniting Church minister to take – but I don’t know that they really have official positions on anything anymore.

Leah says:

what the hell is “metaphorically real”??

People like this have a screw loose. Really. “You know, I don’t believe Jesus REALLY came back to life, but I’m still trusting him to defeat MY death, even though death still has a stranglehold on him.”

Sounds like Satan: 1, Jesus: 0

It’s interesting how when a liberal reads that report he assumes that everyone would think ‘metaphorical resurrection’ (whatever that means), whereas you and I read the report and assume that people could have been thinking of nothing other a real dead man becoming a real, live, resurrected man.

I can’t see how when someone is asked ‘do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead’, that they would be thinking of anything other than a ‘bodily resurrection’, but it might be interesting to see the whole survey to see if it leads to an understanding of ‘resurrection’, one way or another.

Hmm, the press release of the survey is here but I can’t find the questions or survey technique on their website. Do any of your loyal readers know where to find that information?

Goannatree says:

it would be helpful to have info on their methodology, though it you contacted CPX i'm sure they'd share.

Not suprising in some senses, though it does interest me (like Jensen) why you would call yourself a Christian if you don't actually believe Christ (the fundamental part of Christ-ian) died and rose again…
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