A silhouette of a hilltop cross at sunset.

The Potential Benefits Of Not Believing In A Resurrection Of Jesus

Unsurprisingly, some Christians think it is important to believe that Jesus was resurrected. That seems intuitively plausible — for a Christian, at least. But in this post, I want to reflect on that intuition a bit. I will consider the possibility that everyone believed that Jesus never resurrected. Would that prevent the Christian religious, political, or social movement(s)? Would it undermine Christian faith? I don’t think that it’s obvious that it would. I explain why below.

1.  A Resurrection of Jesus: How Important?

2.  Clarification(s)

Obviously, I’m not making claims about whether someone named Jesus was or was not resurrected. Rather, I’m making claims about the consequences of what people believe about such a resurrection. E.g., How might the Christian movement be different? How might the world be different more generally? Could it be better off? Worse? For whom? So this is (intended as) an exploration of the implications of a counterfactual — as opposed to an argument for or against some view/belief.

I’ve probably not convinced many people that the resurrection is less important than convention suggests. But that’s a gargantuan task — not the kind of thing that a blog post can achieve. So my goal is more modest. I’m only interested in explaining why I think it’s not obvious why a resurrection of Jesus is essential to the Christian movement.

In a response, Kurt Jaros of Veracity Hill seems to concede this last point: “True, it’s not obvious. And that’s a fault against the Christian church.” Read more of Kurt’s post and you will see that Kurt probably disagrees with the rest of my thoughts on this. His response is titled, “Is the Resurrection of Jesus Necessary for the Jesus Movement?

Also, my #fatThumbs are #notSorry for their typographical Twitter errors.

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Nick Byrd

Nick is a cognitive scientist at Florida State University studying reasoning, wellbeing, and willpower. Check out his blog at byrdnick.com/blog