It's that time of year again when the broadcasters wheel out atheist professors, atheist historians and, in a new and exciting twist, atheist theologians (an oxymoron surely) in order to debunk the 'myth' of Christianity and its impossible resurrected God.
The 'new atheists' politely scorn ideas of 'an eye-in-the-sky' and unburden their learned minds in the direction of the rest of us. Easter is just a pagan festival, they advise us, nothing more. And Jesus, if indeed he ever existed, nothing more than a misunderstood wandering Jewish teacher of no real significance at the time. His followers the real culprits in deceiving the rest of the gullible population (read: the rest of us).
And for the most part, we listen to their arguments, occasionally throw something at the starkly atheistic argument on the television screen, generally accepting that this is the world we live in, this is the reality of 21st century Britain.
And Christians don't really help the situation with regular high-profile arguments - rarely about point of salvific theology, more often about issues not directly relating to the salvation they proclaim. Church government. Baptism. The sacraments. All important things to be sure, and worthy of discussion. Why then does the church so often look like local competing clubs, hurling 'loving' grenades at each other every now and then for sport?
Every now and then though, something comes along that all Christians can stand together on, something that we can all agree is central to the faith. St Paul said that if the resurrection of Jesus did not happen, our preaching is pointless - or words to that effect. And so once a year, Christians from all denominations can stand up as a reminder that we're still here. And your 'new' atheism doesn't change that - it never has. Not even when it was old atheism. The combined efforts of the broadcast media, the humanists, atheists and celebrity culture to show us a more meaningful way of life make no difference to us. For Christ is risen from the dead. The eyewitnesses saw it, the historians wrote it, and today we experience it, nearly 2,000 years after the fact.
Join a couple of thousand Christians in central Scotland on Easter Sunday, 24 April 2011 at the Usher Hall to celebrate the risen Christ. 7.30pm, admission free. Free tickets from www.resurrection2011.com or call 0131 208 0095. Concert presented by the Exile Band, Exile Chamber Orchestra and Origin Praise Choir.
For more information visit www.resurrection2011.com or call 0131 208 0095. Origin Scotland is a charity registered in Scotland, No: SC032754