There’s a passage in N. T. Wright’s masterpiece, “The Resurrection of the Son of God,” in which he describes two kinds of people who refuse to even consider that Jesus actually rose from the dead: “hard-headed historians and soft-headed theologians.”
The hard-headed historians proclaim that, when it comes to any supernatural event, “We can go no further.” People don’t rise from the dead, they say, and so Jesus didn’t either. Full stop. As methodological naturalists they refuse to consider anything supernatural.
Those Wright called “soft-headed theologians” come in two types. The first type is captive to a kind of faux spiritual superiority, and believes that to even consider evidence outside of Scripture amounts to “a lack of faith.”
The second type of soft-headed theologians are basically hard-headed historians with a twist. Also convinced that miracles aren’t “reasonable,” they proclaim it doesn’t actually matter whether Jesus rose from the dead. The real message of Easter is that “love conquers death,” or that “Jesus lived on in the hearts of His disciples,” or some other sort of rhetorical abstraction.
Wright’s description came to mind the day before Easter when I came across the latest installment of Nick Kristof’s “occasional conversations with a Christian” series. Published in the New York Times, Kristof asked the president of Union Theological Seminary, Serene Jones, as he has several other religious leaders, to explain Christianity.
Jones missed the mark throughout the interview, mocking the idea of substitutionary atonement, scoffing at the idea of “an all-powerful, all controlling omnipotent, omniscient being,” and calling the virgin birth “a bizarre claim.”
But it was her answer to Kristof’s very first question that called to mind Wright’s book.
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Source: Christian Headlines