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Sunday, 28 September 2008

Discipleship and Resurrection

Craig Hovey has produced a remarkable challenging reading of Mark's Gospel in To Share in the Body: A Theology of Martyrdom for Today's Church, Brazos Press, 2008

One quote from his discussion of the resurrection and discipleship in the Gospel will have to suffice.

Like the Emmaus disciples, the church is constantly tempted to make Jesus "stay with us", to possess him and control his movements. He vanishes because he had intended to go further: as for the women at the empty tomb in Mark. He was going ahead into Galilee, and "thee you will see him." He will not be seen by a sight that grasps, but only by a vision that crosses the space between the disciple and Jesus with the movement of following. The church faces this temptation when it attempts to prove to the world that the resurrection has happened, when it builds a case for it on apologetic grounds, when it construes a logical case for its belief. The problem is not only that such efforts may fail to convince anybody. Indeed, the attempt tow win the argument on logical or juridical grounds is meant to fail, a point exemplified by the fact that women are entrusted to ber witness. The reliabiity of their testimony is disabled by their gender in that patriarchical milieu. And yet it is the women who are promised to see Jesus in Galilee, who had not abandoned Jesus at the cross, and who, Mark explains, had followed and served Jesus in Galilee (15:40-41). These unlikely witnesses are undermined in their authority for the same reason that Peter will amaze the crowds at Pentecost: the proclamation of the gospel does not rely on the gender or education of the witnesses. After all, a gospel proclaimed by women and uneducated fishermen is a social sign of a cosmic reversal that the gospel heralds. (p.127)

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