By Paul Badham
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4 8 It would seem far more likely that the reason for the absence of the empty tomb tradition during the first three decades of the Church's life was that it lacked an historical foundation, and played no part in the original resurrection faith. 49 It would however be wholly natural for such an interpretation of the resurrection to develop later. We know that the first disciples were totally convinced of the reality and 'objectivity' of the visions they had seen. Without such conviction, the birth of the Christian Church is unintelligible.
Other thinkers in this tradition have spelt out how literally this claim must be taken. l 02 At this point I feel the argument collapses under the weight of its own rhetoric. It is so all-embracing as to be without any real meaning. But even if we confine the argument to human existence, is it really possible to affirm that every actual human life has been lived in such a way as to 'enrich' the being of God? 103 But can this be validly said of all the countless millions whose lives have been blighted by slavery, war, famine, ignorance and sin?
97 Moreover since God is outside time, this knowledge of me will remain permanently in God's present awareness. When I am dead it will not strictly be a question of God remembering me, as if he had to recall to mind past knowledge, for to God no knowledge is past. And hence my life will exist for ever in the eternal consciousness of God. But there are serious problems with this position. For although God may indeed understand all my thoughts and know why I think 34 Immortality or Extinction? and feel as I do he cannot think my thoughts for me, not simply because an all-good and all-wise deity cannot think thoughts which may sometimes be evil and are often mistaken, but also because thoughts can only be 'owned' by a single subject of consciousness.