here’s my favorite paragraph from rob bell’s book, Velvet Elvis: repainting the christian faith.
it is important to remember that we rarely find these first christians trying to prove that the resurrection actually occurred. for one, a lot of the people who saw jesus after he rose from the dead were still alive, so if people had questions and doubts, they could talk to somebody who was actually there. but there’s another reason: everybody’s god in the first century had risen from the dead. to claim a resurrection had occurred was nothing new: julius caesar himself was reported to have ascended to the right hand of the gods after his death. to try to prove there was an empty tomb wouldn’t have gotten very far with the average citizen of the roman empire; they had heard it all before. this is why so many poassages about the early church deal with possessions and meals and generosity. they understood that people are rarely persuaded by arguments, but more often by experiences. living, breathing, flesh-and-blood experiences of the resurrection community. they saw it as their responsibility to put jesus’ message on display. to the outside world, it was less about proving and more about inviting people to experience this community of jesus followers for themselves.
hmm. sure has a resonance for today. not that people believe in all kinds of gods that have risen from the dead. but that people today could care less about the “proof” of our arguments, the “logic” of our evidence that demands a verdict, or our “cases” for faith, christ, easter, christmas or whatever else. the only evidence demanding a verdict people care about these days is how i live my life. the only case for christ people give a rip about is the case made by commitment to love and justice, or lack thereof.