The Ottawa Herald from Ottawa, Kansas on April 12, 1963 · Page 5
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The Ottawa Herald from Ottawa, Kansas · Page 5

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Ottawa, Kansas
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Friday, April 12, 1963
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Page 5
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.-> EDITOR'S NOTE — Theories to rationalize what happened to Chrirt between Good Friday and EaAter-are many. One is that he simply fainted. But the Rev. Dr. Thomas S. Kep- lefr, in this final article of a series on the resurrection's import for modern times, findi more to the Easter message than do the rationalists. Dr. Kepler's article is taken from his new book, "The Meaning and Mystery of the Resurrection," published by Association Press and copyright by the National Board of YMCA-The Editor, By DR. THOMAS S. KEPLER Emil Bnmner recognizes the difficulty one encounters who tries to understand what happened to Jesus at the time of his death and his subsequent resurrection. "The resurrection is an incomprehensible event, because it represents the inbreak of the eternal world of God into our temporal sphere. Thus it is something which no.man can understand or describe, because it is the cancellation of spacetime existence." Such a statement may satisfy the schooled New Testament theologian with his "eye of faith," but others have been more concerned to rationalize the death and the resurrection happenings. The swoon theory presupposes that Jesus had a suspended animation on the cross, and that after this swoon he was hastened by his friends to a cool cave where he was revived. Such a theory misses the point of the resurrection as an overpowering experience in the lives of Jesus' followers and does not explain what later occurred to Jesus' physical body. An even more imaginative hypothesis is called the telegram theory, which says that while Jesus was still in the sepulchre he sent spiritual messages which became for them spiritual manifestations of his appearance. Such a theory may give some Christian believers what they feel is the basic spiritual worth of the resurrection, but it still leaves the problem of the empty grave unsolved. The hallucination theory rationalizes Jesus' resurrection appearances as the result of the tired, excited condition of his friends. Such a Oieory might satisfy the conditions of some of the women who were the first visitors to the tomb, but it hardly A Reality That Changed Course Of Hisl6i*y J Cy J IPS'^A*^^j»k7;T^^^^ H fc^^f 'Iv<^ V 2- ''$^^<P^'" v \' "illS^fr?^ L^mjtw^ri:.: •^LT *'l v Ow". T «»< x,. , . ^vCv.? $? VWkV; '"XxXyft-j >v l?lfe>ip«v^ $>**> tt^V«i~^--^kr3 iJH'.' s-5S''«~»i* < 4«f5Stt»,a :< A.~~Y accounts for Jesus' later appearances to the diciples in Galilee, to the five hundred, to Paul on the Damascus road or to "all the apostles." The oldest hypothesis to explain what happened to Jesus' body is that of the theft theory. The theory holds that Jesus' disciples stole the body and made pretense that Jesus had been resurrected. Such viewpoints fail to explain the continuing power of the resurrection event in the early Church, by which the Christians conquered persecution, martyrdom, ridicule and heresy. The "history of religions" approach to the death and resurrection of Jesus views these events as similar to the myths from other religions of a dying and rising cult god. It points to the stories as related to Attis, Isis, Adonis and Persephone of the mystery cults which contain the dying and the resurrection of cult deities, and thus considers Christianity as following a similar myth; hence the myth theory concerning the resurrection of Jesus. Though there may be similarities between facts concerning Jesus' death and resurrection and those of other religions, it still is remembered that Christianity was an historical religion about an historical figure, while Attis, Isis, Adonis and Persephone belong to the realm of mythical figures within the realm of religious mythology In recent years, with renewed interest in psychical research, ". . . to a belief in direct or telepathic intercommunication . . the resurrection of Jesus is viewed by the rationalist as an illustration of spiritual communication between Jesus and those who believed in him. More than half a century ago, F. W. H. Myers delved into this possibility and was led. WELBORN'S ELECTRIC SERVICE CH 2-4332—1220 E. 7th Gel Hie BEST DEAL IN TOWN during our Mower > Tiller TRADE-IN SATURDAY-April 13 SPECIAL LOW PRICES Plus BIG TRADE-IN Bring Your Mower - Bring Your Tiller LET'S TRADE EASY CREDIT TERMS T1re$fone stores 127 S. Main--Ottawa «CH 2-2468 between minds or spirits still on earth and spirits departed, and that with assertion from knowledge of such psychical data all reasonable men, a century hence, will believe in the Resurrection of Christ." If spiritual communication is possible between those of us on earth and those who have left this earthly scene, such evidence of communication between Jesus and his followers is not out of the question. But there is more to be obtained from the "saving event" of Jesus than merely communication with his resurrected self: for it is the entire soteriological va- lue derived from Jesus' life, teachings, miracles and death, upon which the resurrection puts a seal. Perhaps the rationalist wishes too easy and too definite an answer to the resurrection event. The resurrection is a numinous experience, lying in the realm of mystery. The concept of the resurrection lying within the realm of the numinous will of course never satisfy the rationalist. But there are rather hard and terse facts which ought to convince the rationalist of the fact of the resurrection, though its mode must remain a mystery. Do You need a New SIDEWALK? or Does your walk need Repairing? If so See PENNY'S Ready-Mix Dial CHerry 2-1045 Four events within the days following Jesus' resurrection bear evidence to its import: (1) the Christian Church, (2. the New Testament, (3) the setting aside of Sunday as the Christian "sabbath" (4) the Lord's Supper as a sacrament of joy and thanksgiving. The rationalist must evaluate these four events in the life of the early Christian movement as w stemming from the of Jesus, not as p mode of Jesus, resinr as evidence of the fait of/ surrection. ',, ( .^* The resurrection or, Christ will ever remain though at the same time a reality which changed the course of* his* tory. , f lesin THE OTTAWA HERALD Friday, April 12, 1MI Tofce Me Family Ouf for... EASTER DINNER of Colbern's Restaurant --.. FEATURING. .... SMORGASBORD • 30 Salads and Relish Dishes 1 Roast Prime Rib of Beef • Baked Ham • Colbern's Famous Fried Chicken • Swiss Steak $ 1.50 Per Person For Reservations Call CH 2-4100 ENJOY A DELIGHTFUL LUNCHEON EVERYDAY AT... Colbern's Restaurant 115 E. 5th — Ottawa — CH 2-4190 NUZMAN LUMBER New Home" at the old address Let us show you how you can make your present home match your dreams! No need to move to new quarters to have a home that will be up-to-date in every detail! Let us explore with you the possibilities of converting your basement into an attractive family room, modernizing your kitchen or making other desired improvements to update your present home. The cost will be less than you probably think. Suggestions, estimates free, of course. Visit Our Better Homes and Gardens Planning Center 9 for suggestions on remodeling and home construction; then see us for all your building supplies. Nuzman Lumber 113 E. 1st CH2-I572

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