Recently over at Nine Moons, there was
The question was discussed a bit in
The dialogue in the movie makes the point that even if Christians were presented with fairly sound proof that the resurrection didn’t happen, they would find other ways of believing. For example, here’s a dialogue between two politicians:
MOSHE: A faint heart never won a battle, Avi, or a seat in the cabinet.
AVI: Even if it means destroying a religion?
MOSHE: Oh come on, don’t be an idiot Avi, this isn’t going to be the end of Christianity or the Catholic Church.
AVI: How can you know that?
MOSHE: Look, religion is not based on a rational system of proofs. It survives because of human need. We offer proof that Christ has not risen, those who believe are not gonna believe us. Some may fall away, but you know what? I think Christianity’s gonna survive.
The scene cuts to two Catholic officials who are discussing the situation:
MONSIGNOR: The body. Do you really believe it is He in that tomb?
CARDINAL PESCI: I don’t concern myself with that very much. My concerns are for the Church and her real problems.
As more and more evidence is amassed pointing to an identification of the body as the actual bones of Christ, the only Christians who seem truly concerned that the resurrection might not be real are Father Matt Gutierrez (Banderas) and an archaeologist who is also a priest named Father Lavelle (Derek Jacobi). [SPOILER] Gutierrez begins frantically looking for anything he can use to dismiss the body as Christ’s, including claiming that it can’t be so because the height of the body (5’5″) doesn’t match the height of the image of Christ on the Shroud of Turn (5’10″). He’s desperate by that point and it’s obvious. Lavelle eventually slips into catatonia, ranting that the body is that of the false Christ spoken of in Mark 13:21-22, then commits suicide.
Off-topic, but the best line in the entire movie by far comes after Gutierrez tells Sharon Goldban (Williams) that her insistence that her discovery has nothing to do with religion is “bullshit.” “‘Bullshit’ is the language of the new ecumenical church, is it?” she snarks back.
In any case, I don’t think I could ever buy an alternative explanation for the resurrection if reasonable evidence could be presented that it did not happen. The Gospels make it fairly clear that (1) the resurrection was a physical one, and (2) the tomb was empty. No body was there. Paul says in Corinthians that if the resurrection did not happen, then our faith is in vain (
I could really only see three possibilities for myself if belief in a resurrected, deific Jesus Christ was out of the picture:
Judaism ~ I don’t doubt that it would be hard for me to consider Judaism since the Jewish concept of God is quite drastically different from the Christian one. However, another part of me cries that it is logically inconsistent for me to believe in things like the parting of the Red Sea and the plagues on Egypt as a Christian and then abandon those beliefs if Christianity is proven false. If the God of the תַּנַ”ךְ (Tanakh) is real, is it really His fault that Christians came along and distorted His person and message? I think I would have to go with
Anyways, that’s where I think I would wind up if my faith system were proven untrue. What about you?