A "Rigorous" Theology: Jesus is tangibly physically resurrected and strangely altered
Andrew Sullivan has written a brilliant piece. But you should read David Brooks in the New York Times first. Sullivan is disagreeing with him. Read all of Sullivan’s A "Rigorous" Theology – The Dish (now at The Daily Beast and no longer The Atlantic).
Here is a tidbit:
To my mind, the truth is both at a deeper spiritual level; even if both is literally an impossible position to take on empirical grounds. Ditto the Resurrection. Was it a literal, take my shroud off and walk out experience? Or was it something more mysterious? Again the Bible tells us all sorts of contradictory things: Jesus is tangibly physically resurrected; he is strangely altered; those close to him can see him after his death and yet not recognize him at all on the road to Emmaus. These cannot all be literally true and yet they all point to a mystery at the core of our faith: He is risen.
My difference with David [Brooks], I think, is that I still believe; and I refuse to believe in something that has been disproven, however socially useful or salutary or admirable its social or personal effects may be. Fundamentalism, in this sense, is not a rigorous theology. It is rigid resistance to a rigorous theology. It’s a form of denial and despair. It is rigorous only within a theological structure that does not account for the growth and expansion of human knowledge. It is therefore, to my mind, an expression of a lack of faith rather than an excess of it. And the use of fundamentalism by those who do not even believe in it – for whatever purposes, good, bad or indifferent – is the real blasphemy.