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The Resurrection

Take away the doctrine of the resurrection, and you have no Christianity.

R. J. Rushdoony
  • R. J. Rushdoony,
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CA Farmer 232:8 (April 18, 1970), p. 29.

All preaching is futile and pointless, St. Paul told the Corinthians, if Christ did not actually rise from the dead in the same body which was crucified (1 Cor. 15). The whole point of the good news the apostles proclaimed was that the power of sin and death was forever broken by the atoning death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. If this teaching be not true, St. Paul added, then “we are found false witnesses of God” (v. 15). However, because Christ is risen from the dead, death and sin are broken in their power, and victory becomes the life of the Christian (v. 54–57).

Take away this doctrine, and you have no Christianity. Those who deny the literal bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ, even though they occupy the pulpit, have denied Christianity and are substituting for it another religion, the religion of man, humanism. Instead of seeing sin as man’s basic problem, and death as its consequence, they see man’s basic problem in social terms. They seek to change the environment rather than man.

The whole point of the Bible is that man has sinned, has rebelled against God, and needs to be changed. The basic revolution of all history is the revolution against God. The principle of that revolution is that every man is his own god, the great satanic temptation (Gen. 3:5). Apart from Christ, men are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1); that is, they are spiritually dead and proclaim the death of God when in reality it is they who are dead, dead to God and to true life.

Apart from Christ, men are by nature members of the party of revolution, whether they admit it or not. They are in revolt against God, and their basic answer to all problems is revolution, destruction.

The Christian answer is regeneration. Men who are dead to God are born again in Him. The old proverb “You can’t make a good omelet out of bad eggs” is a Christian observation. It takes good men to make a good world, and only Christ can make a godly man out of a sinner.

The Resurrection testifies to Christ’s power over sin and death. Jesus Christ makes a new creation out of men dead in sins; He resurrects them from sin, and through them, makes a new creation in the world around them, and at the last, raises them from the dead.

Two worlds are at war today. On the one hand, we have the religion and politics of revolution, and, on the other hand, the religion and politics of regeneration. Of the outcome of this war there can be no doubt: “[W]e are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37).

R. J. Rushdoony
  • R. J. Rushdoony

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965. His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.” He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

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