Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dostoevsky and the Resurrection (Jurgen Spiess)

In September I had the pleasure of meeting Jurgen Spiess at Mittersill at the IFES European Evangelists conference. He gave one of four sample evangelistic talks (the others being by Richard Cunningham, Michael Green and Charlie Hadjiev) on evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, this was the most deductive of the talks and seems a helpful handling of evidence, further enhanced by his training as a historian. I'm challenged by the German approach to apologetics - many of the IFES staff are pursuing high level studies to engage with the academy. I don't think everyone needs to do this but it 's a good approach for some. 

Even better than that I was able to sit down with him over lunch and talking about Fyodor Dostoevsky and his writings as I plodded through The Brothers Karamazov. Spiess is something of an expert on Dostoevsky and inspired me to press on, though he did tell me I'd not picked the easiest book to start with! His helpful hint was that Dostoevsky hides the resurrection from view in the book knowing that that's where the answers to his questions are found. Some have read Karamazov without catching the answer and been inspired to atheism... but perhaps that's not the only conclusion we have to draw.
Further reading: Alex Abecina on De Lubac on Dostoevsky and Atheism and Avey on Rowan Williams and Dostoevsky.

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