You can’t be Christian if you don’t believe in the resurrection, says former Queen’s chaplain

An article in the Telegraph by Olivia Rudgard,

A former chaplain to the Queen has said that the quarter of Christians who say they do not believe in the Resurrection “cannot be Christians”.

The Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden said in a letter to the Times that a survey which found that one in four self-proclaimed Christians do not believe in Jesus’s Resurrection “made the mistake of confusing British culture with Christianity”.

He said: “Those people who neither believe in the Resurrection nor go anywhere near a church cannot be ‘Christians’.

“As with so many things, the key is in the definition of terms. Discovering the evidence for the Resurrection having taken place to be wholly compelling is one of the things that makes you a Christian; ergo, if you haven’t, you are not.”

A survey for the BBC carried out to mark Palm Sunday found that 23 per cent of those calling themselves Christians “do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead” at all.

Conversely, almost one in 10 non-religious people say they do believe in the resurrection.

The survey of more than 2,000 people, which was carried out by ComRes, also found that 46 per cent of people believe in some form of life after death, including one in five non-religious people.

The Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend David Walker, said that the findings showed that non-churchgoers “hold core Christian beliefs.”

“Alongside them it finds surprisingly high levels of religious belief among those who follow no specific religion, often erroneously referred to as secularists or atheists,” he said.

Dr Ashenden resigned as chaplain in January after criticising a church which allowed a reading from the Koran as part of its service.

He said critics had complained about his “defending the Christian faith in public”. He left the Church of England in March.

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