Preaching the Resurrection Then and Now -- By: Kenneth O. Gangel

Journal: Grace Journal
Volume: GJ 10:1 (Winter 1969)
Article: Preaching the Resurrection Then and Now
Author: Kenneth O. Gangel

Preaching the Resurrection Then and Now

Kenneth O. Gangel

Academic Dean
Calvary Bible College

We live in a world of continual ferment in politics, economics, morality and theology. The modern church seems to suffer from a self-induced schizophrenia resulting from her desire to be accepted in the suprarational world of pagan empiricism while yet paying some form of lip service to the historic creeds and dogmas of traditional Christianity. Bowing at the altar of organizational union, she has sacrificed much of New Testament truth to receive the pottage of status recognition from a kosmos which seriously doubts the necessity of her existence.

Reaction against the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ has echoed through the hollow halls of skepticism for centuries. From ancient Gnosticism to contemporary demythologizing the mind of man has refused to acknowledge the action of an omnipotent God in manipulating the events of history. Every conceivable attempt at naturalistic explanation has been offered in an effort to set aside the obvious regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But facts still are stubborn things and history has a way of abiding. Furthermore, man has yet to find a satisfactory solution for the problem of life and death which consistently confronts him, and it is precisely to this problem that the doctrine of the resurrection addresses itself.

There are those, of course, who have remained faithful to the Biblical account of resurrection and preach it even today. Unfortunately, their preaching of Christ’s conquest over death is often relegated to Easter and funerals when the glorious theme of resurrection should ring throughout the pulpit year. As Craig reminds us, “…the doctrine of the Resurrection is not just one among others, but the keystone of the sublime arch which rides from heaven to earth and earth to heaven, so that its subtraction would involve the collapse of the structure.”1

The word “resurrection” is a comprehensive term bearing reference not only to the miraculous exit of Christ from the tomb of Joseph, but also to the final resurrection of righteous and wicked in the future eschaton. The concern of this present study is to examine the relevance of the preaching of the resurrection of Christ to contemporary life and theology. It is assumed that the New Testament account of our Lord’s resurrection is accurate history and that His resurrection lays a pattern in form and hope for the resurrection of the believer. For such preaching the church has excellent precedent in its early history.

A truly Biblic...

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