Letter from the Editor

Eric Landry
Monday, February 29th 2016
Mar/Apr 2016

In a 2014 interview with GQ magazine, actor Matthew McConaughey talked a little about his faith:

Does your family go to church every Sunday? "Yeah. In Texas. It's non-denominational. It's based in the faith that Jesus is the son of God, that he died for our sins."
Was that a return for you, or had you been going all along? "As soon as we had children, I was like, 'You know what? That was important to my childhood.' Even if it was just for the ritual of giving an hour and a half on Sunday to yourself, to pray and to think about others…. It's a time for me to take inventory of my last week, to look at what's in the future and say my thank-you's and think about what I can work on to do better."

Doesn't McConaughey have anything better to do on a Sunday than take inventory of his week and say his "thank-you's"? Sadly, many professing Christians probably think the same thing. Even more tragic is that if this is all Christianity has to offer, then it is the worst religion ever.

The central claim of Christianity is that Jesus of Nazareth’a man who claimed to be Israel's God in the flesh and who was crucified by the Roman authorities’rose again from the dead. Without the resurrection, Christianity devolves into a strange moral philosophy that gives guidelines for life but can never actually give life to those who are dead in their trespasses and sins.

Unfortunately, that's the kind of religion most of us want. We can't comprehend what life might look like after we die, so we settle for a faith that merely helps us get along here and now. As long as Christianity makes our marriages better, our kids moral, and our work successful, we're satisfied. But that kind of religion, as Paul argues in 1 Corinthians 15, is pitiful. Christianity is a waste of time, a waste of hope, and a waste of faith if Christ is not raised from the dead. Nothing about Christianity should be believed, treasured, or accepted if Jesus is still in the grave.

The Disney movie The Lion King lied to us: death is not part of the circle of life. Death is the intruder, the enemy. Christianity assures us, however, that there is an answer to this old problem of death: the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus has risen from the dead, and so will those who are united to him by faith. That hope is what allows parents to survive the unbearable sadness of burying their children. That confidence is what allows us the courage to face down evil in all its forms. The joy that comes from believing this good news is what enables us to live through the sorrows of this life.

As we continue on with our yearlong theme, "The Story of God's People," our hope with this issue of Modern Reformation on the resurrection of Jesus is that you will see how your story is shaped by his victory over death.

Photo of Eric Landry
Eric Landry
Eric Landry is the chief content officer of Sola Media and former executive editor of Modern Reformation. He also serves as the senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas.
Monday, February 29th 2016

“Modern Reformation has championed confessional Reformation theology in an anti-confessional and anti-theological age.”

Picture of J. Ligon Duncan, IIIJ. Ligon Duncan, IIISenior Minister, First Presbyterian Church
Magazine Covers; Embodiment & Technology