What has the resurrection to do with how we think about ethics?  Alastair, Derek and I discuss that question as well as the limits and possibilities of natural law reasoning. We consider (tangentially) this essay by James K.A. Smith, this fascinating story from Conor Friedersdorf, and this tome by Oliver O’Donovan.

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Finally, as always, follow DerekAlastair, andAndrew for more tweet-sized brilliance.  And thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work.

Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

  • C. Quinn-Jones

    Thank you – this is very thought-provoking.
    While I understand ( I think!) eternal life in the Spirit, I find the idea of the resurrection of the body difficult and bordering on impossible, because the human body is never in a constant state, but throughout our lives is in a process of growth and then decline, and also in rhythms of wakefulness and sleep, hunger and nourishment and so on. I know Christians who believe that being raised up means being resurrected in the body and I wonder what form a resurrected body might take? I wonder if we would be resurrected as male and female? I say the creed with everyone else at church and when we come to ‘We believe in the resurrection of the body’ I say it, but I often think ‘Do I really believe in it?’
    Derek said, ‘The body matters.’ I keep thinking about the metaphors of body and blood in the giving and receiving of bread and wine at the Eucharist. I believe that the resurrection of Christ was bodily resurrection and not a metaphor(!), but I wonder if it might have been for the benefit of his followers and disciples, who did not yet know about eternal life in the Spirit, and if was a way of convincing them that Jesus Christ was not defeated by bodily death?
    We did not have life in the body before we were conceived, and I wonder how we can have life in the body after death. Having mentioned life before conception, I think of the ova and sperm which are passed through the generations, and of the Spirit of God hovering over the waters in Genesis before the creation of Adam and Eve.
    When we pray ‘Your will be done on earth as in heaven’ I also think that the kingdom of heaven is in the midst of us. I don’t think the will of our Father changes, whether we are alive in the body in this life, asleep in the Lord after we die , or raised up in the body on the last day – that’s as far as I’ve got with thinking about ethics and the resurrection!
    Sometimes I wonder if I’d best settle for thinking of it all as a mystery :-)
    Thank you all again.

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  • Joseph Rhea

    Matt (and Mere-Fi company), thanks for these broadcasts! I don’t get to listen to them right as they come out, but I catch them as I can and really enjoy them.

    I’d love to hear you guys discuss some of the ideas in Joseph Bottum’s An Anxious Age soon – specifically, his thesis that post-Protestantism hasn’t brought a sweeping reign of atheism in (Dawkins and company’s efforts notwithstanding), but rather a moral and spiritual atmosphere characterized by something like the thought, “Maybe it’s more Christian not to be Christian.” I haven’t read the book itself, but I read a transcript of an interview between Bottum and Al Mohler and thought it was worth discussing – what kind of spiritual landscape does this describe, and how does this shape how we proclaim the gospel? Here’s the link: http://www.albertmohler.com/2015/03/19/transcript-post-protestantisms-anxious-age-a-conversation-with-joseph-bottum/