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Newsweek has an article on the resurrection written by Lisa Miller, author of Heaven:  Our Enduring Fascination With the Afterlife. She cites some interesting statistics:

80% of Americans believe in heaven.

70% believe that Jesus rose from the dead. (Down 10% from 2003)

26% believe that they will have bodies in heaven.

30% of respondents to a 2003 poll believed in reincarnation; 21% of them were Christian.

As N. T. Wright says in Suprised By Hope, there seems to be a lot of present confusion about what Christianity teaches on life after death. He sums up:  the New Testament and early Christians pretty unanimously attested that after death our souls are with the Lord in peace, awaiting his final return when they will be reunited with their (now glorified) bodies, which will live in the new universe.

For some reason, bodily resurrection (and according to Wright, there is no other type of resurrection) is a hard pill to swallow, as Miller’s article attests. She draws attention to how people try to get around it, by embracing a Platonic view of the soul and the body or by making the resurrection symbolic of new life. As Miller (who doesn’t believe in the resurrection herself) points out, without bodily resurrection you do not have the physical delights of heaven.

Bodily resurrection is laughed at by many, who see it for what it is–a natural impossibility. But as Jesus said to the Sadducees, “You do not know…the power of God.”

 

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