Jim Martin SJ has a thoughtful reflection on Why a watered-down Resurrection doesn’t work. The Resurrection may be the hardest thing for people to accept about Christianity. Some agnostics embrace Jesus as a compassionate sage. Seekers, if they’re closer to belief, might even accept Jesus as a miracle worker–healing the sick, stilling storms, feeding crowds and the like.
But rising from the dead? Well, that can be, to use a Gospel term, a stumbling block.
Though it is the center of the Christian faith, the Resurrection is also tough for some modern-day Christians to accept. Not just understand—because it really defies understanding—but accept.
Recent years have seen a tendency to water down the Resurrection. A popular tack in preaching and in contemporary books on Jesus is the “shared memory” thesis. That is, the experience of the disciples after Jesus’s death was not about actual “appearances” as about “shared memory.”
… But particularly when we look at the disciples, the watered-down resurrection doesn’t seem credible at all.
Full reflection from Wall Street Journal.