Simply concentrate on the evidence…

The ‘principle of analogy’ is basically a useful tool for historical research—but Troeltsch has turned it into a dogmatic view of reality. In other words, Troeltsch is saying that because we have no present-day analogues of something, it simply can’t have happened in the first place. A unique event is therefore excluded from the outset, because it doesn’t have any parallels today. What Troeltsch is saying is that the resurrection can’t have happened, because dead men don’t rise. In other words, resurrections don’t happen, so the resurrection of Jesus can’t have happened. But, as Pannenberg emphasizes, all that Troeltsch is doing is to exclude the resurrection as a possibility altogether, no matter what the evidence in favour of it may be. According to Pannenberg, we should abandon this unjustified dogmatic view of what can happen and what can’t, and simply concentrate on the evidence for the resurrection with open minds about its possibility. And, according to Pannenberg, the evidence in favour of the resurrection being a real historical event is decisive.

Alister McGrath, from Understanding Jesus, p. 75

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