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Unbelievable! Archbishop of Wales chooses EASTER to cast doubt on the Resurrection

Unbelievable! Archbishop of Wales chooses EASTER to cast doubt on the Resurrection
'I don't think any of us actually knows' when quizzed over Christ's biblical return
The Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, has been accused of 'sowing confusion'
He said it was 'terribly hard' for people to grasp the idea of a bodily resurrection
The Archbishop, 65 was elected in September to head the Church in Wales

By Jonathan Petre Religious Correspondent For The Mail On Sunday
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
April 1, 2018

One of Britain's leading Anglican clerics has sparked controversy by casting doubts over the Resurrection of Jesus -- just days before Easter.

The Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, has been accused of 'sowing confusion' over the biblical story that will be celebrated by millions around the world today.

Asked in an interview about the New Testament account of Jesus rising from the tomb, the Archbishop said: 'I don't think any of us actually knows, quite frankly.'

He told online magazine Christian Today that it was 'terribly hard' for people to grasp the idea of a bodily resurrection.

The 65-year-old Archbishop, who was elected in September to head the Church in Wales -- the Welsh equivalent of the Church of England -- said something 'radical' had happened that had changed people's lives.

But he then referred to one of the Church's most contentious theologians, the late Bishop of Durham, David Jenkins, who was accused of blasphemy for questioning the physical nature of the Resurrection when he described it as 'a conjuring trick with bones'.

Three days after Dr Jenkins was consecrated as a bishop in York Minister in 1984, the cathedral was hit by lightning and gutted by fire -- an event some blamed on divine displeasure.

Echoing Bishop Jenkins' remarks, Archbishop Davies, a former solicitor, said the Resurrection was 'about something far more than a dead body coming back to life -- it is the complete renewal of the being of Christ'.

Although surveys have found that a significant number of Anglican clergy doubt or disbelieve the physical resurrection of Christ, it is rare for senior leaders to openly express such reservations, particularly at this time of year.

Former Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali said there was plenty of evidence in the Bible to support the 'simplest explanation' of the empty tomb -- that Christ rose from the dead.

In a stinging attack, he added: 'There are many things the Archbishop may not know, but there is enough for him to preach the Easter faith confidently and to strengthen the faith of others rather than sow doubt and confusion at this central time in our calendar.'

In his interview, Archbishop Davies said there were almost contradictory accounts in the Gospels about how the risen Christ had appeared to his disciples, saying: 'I don't think anyone can tell you what happened when it comes to empty tombs.'

The Archbishop told The Mail on Sunday: 'There is no doubting that the disciples experienced the presence of the risen Christ and the faith of today's church is rooted in their experience. The difficulty with the biblical accounts is they all differ in detail but, as I said in the interview, and very clearly, they all add up to the same truth -- that Christ is risen.'

The row follows reports that Pope Francis had denied the existence of Hell, although Vatican officials said his words had been misrepresented.

Sainsbury's has been criticised for refusing to join other major supermarkets in selling an Easter egg that comes with a booklet telling the story of the death and Resurrection of Jesus.

Tesco, Morrisons and Asda stocked the overtly Christian Real Easter Eggs, and critics say Sainsbury's should have given customers the chance to choose an egg with a religious message alongside treats promoting the likes of Darth Vadar and Postman Pat.

The Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, said it was 'important that retailers acknowledge and cater for the culture and celebrations of all their customers'. It follows fears that organisations are marginalising Christianity to avoid upsetting other faiths.

Sainsbury's insiders said the decision not to stock the £3.99 chocolate eggs was based on trials that suggested there was little demand from customers.

A company spokesman said: 'We're an inclusive retailer and regularly review all our ranges based on customer demand.'

END

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