A few years ago a friend pointed me to some original music he had done. I was intrigued by the title, Practice Resurrection. In the description of the song he pointed to a Wendell Berry poem as inspiration. Since then I have been tying that song title to Dallas Willard’s assertion that belief cannot be separated from practice. In other words, if we say we believe we should exercise and we do not exercise, then we really do not believe we should exercise. As you can imagine this line of reasoning would call into question many of our closely held beliefs. Especially as they expose the fact we really do not practice those same beliefs.
So what would this mean to the Christian conviction or belief in the resurrection of Jesus. How would we demonstrate such a belief? Is it merely mental assent? A vocal delcaration? Peter Rollins posted “My Confession: I deny the Resurrection.” Always the provocateur, Rollins shared a response to a question posed while at Calvin College,
I deny the resurrection of Christ every time I do not serve at the feet of the oppressed, each day that I turn my back on the poor; I deny the resurrection of Christ when I close my ears to the cries of the downtrodden and lend my support to an unjust and corrupt system.
Rusty and I were talking today about this piece and I could not help but think how rousingly we sing, “Amazing Grace.” He, Rusty, introduced us to the version that includes the verse, “My Chains Are Gone, I’ve Been Set Free.” But, if in our experience of liberty and freedom we do not practice resurrection, would it not be as inspiring to singÂ from the lastest Top 10 of your preferred musical genre?
To illustrate what it might look like to practice resurrection, that is belive rather than deny in our commitments, Rollins notes,
However there are moments when I affirm that resurrection, few and far between as they are. I affirm it when I stand up for those who are forced to live on their knees, when I speak for those who have had their tongues torn out, when I cry for those who have no more tears left to shed.
What are your denials and affirmations?