This question was posted by editors of Newsweek on the “On Faith” website on 22 Mar 08.

Do you have to believe the resurrection is literally true – that Jesus came back to life in his body – to be a Christian?

See responses from the panel comprising of people like Charles Colson, Albert Mohler, Cal Thomas, Nicolas Wright and even Deepak Chopra.

Mohler’s response:
The literal, historical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the vindication of Christ’s saving work on the cross. The issue is simple — no resurrection, no Christianity. For this reason, belief in the resurrection of Christ is essential in order to be a Christian.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the central miracle of the Christian faith. As the New Testament reveals, the resurrection represents the Father’s complete satisfaction in the obedience of the Son — even unto death. Sin and death do not have the final word. Indeed, they are defeated through the saving work of Christ. . . .

(read full article here)

*On Faith is an interactive conversation on religion moderated by Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham and Sally Quinn of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and, as is PostGlobal, a conversation on international affairs.