The Resurrection: Christianity’s Most Dangerous Idea
by Kenneth Samples
“Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”1
This line—from my favorite book in C. S. Lewis’s remarkable children’s series—makes it clear that Aslan, the Christ figure of Narnia, is no tame lion. But his being dangerous does not rule out his profound benevolence.
Like Lewis’ ferocious feline, ideas, including those of belief systems, can also be dangerous. And if Christianity encompasses ideas that are “not safe,” then is it not therefore a risky and hazardous religion?
One of my longtime friends, an atheist, agrees that historic Christianity includes dangerous ideas. However, from his point of view, the Christian faith affirms irrational and superstitious ideas that are not just unsafe, but harmful. He believes these ideas are injurious both for those who believe them as well as for those who are affected by them.
Alternatively, I believe Christianity’s distinctive and essential ideas (or doctrinal truths) are rational and in fact do correspond to reality. Though these Christian truth-claims are “dangerous” in the sense that they often challenge accepted consensus (especially in modern and postmodern eras), I would argue that they’re still good.
“Dangerous ideas” in such disciplines as philosophy, theology, and science often challenge the standard paradigm (accepted model) of the day. These so-called unsafe ideas have radical implications for how people view reality, truth, rationality, goodness, value, and beauty, and can sometimes contravene what many people believe. Not only do such revolutionary ideas threaten accepted beliefs, but they also contain explosive world-and-life view implications for all humanity.
Historic Christianity contains numerous beliefs that are theologically and philosophically volatile (in the best sense of the term). The Christian faith contains powerful truth-claims that have transformed the church and even turned the world upside down.
I’ve written a book titled 7 Truths That Changed the World that explores seven of historic Christianity’s dangerous ideas, and this article briefly examines what I consider to be the Christian faith’s most dangerous idea…
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