"Christopher. You’re sitting here with at least three or four of us that have given our lives to this faith and have studied for many years and you’re willing to tell us that we’re not Christian?" -Dr. Marilyn Sewell
Hitchens: I would say, that a Christian is someone who believes in the Resurrection.
Krattenmaker: Literally, factually?
Hitchens: Someone who does not believe in the Resurrection is not a Christian. Now, how can you disagree with that?
Borg: But it depends what you mean by the Resurrection. Does it mean that the tomb was empty and that the flesh of Jesus was transformed.
Hitchens: Yes. Without that, it’s just another cult.
Borg: Another cult? I mean it’s one of the religions, I have no issue with that but just another cult.
Hitchens: But if you don’t believe that it is just another facility. You have to believe that not only was there a resurrection, but the crucifixion, this is very important. People have been willing not just to kill, but to die. So we shouldn’t be flippant about it. That your sins are forgiven if you believe this if you have vicarious redemption.
Borg: But that belief is a thousand years old, but not more.
Hitchens: Well if it wasn’t at least that old then who would possibly believe it?
GhaneaBassiri: If you believe something doesn’t make you a Christian because it has to be a sort of community that affirms that or accepts it because I could go and say I believe in the Resurrection and that doesn’t make me a Christian.
Hitchens: But the Koran doesn’t forbid you to believe in the Resurrection, it just makes, it says it didn’t take place, but it says that Jesus was a great prophet. And admires his mother and it says the only reason it didn’t take place was because someone else was crucified…how can you tell me that they haven’t got that right?
GhaneaBassiri : The tradition says those things. But, I mean, my point is if you define religion in terms of beliefs alone and don’t take into consideration the communities that have developed around it, the opposite…I mean there was actually sort of the Resurrection became a Christian belief because there was a church that developed that confirmed is as such. What’s to stop that from liberal Christians today coming up with a different definition, developing community around that belief and saying they’re Christians?
Hitchens: Nothing at all to stop it, but please stop telling me when you’ve really admitted that all these things are just an adaptation. Then stop telling me that without religion we wouldn’t have morality. So, obviously, you’ve just said it’s all man made and it’s adapted to convenience by different groups.
Borg: Oh, it is all humanly constructed.
Hitchens: If I was a believer, I wouldn’t say that. I really wouldn’t. I was once asked, can you make a statement that you think is true at all times, survives all texts? I said, yes I can. What is it? “I know that my redeemer liveth.” This is the life of the Messiah. Now that I can understand. If you say, I’ve read this Crucifixion story, it may be useful to tell children it’s quite a pretty tale like this Bethlehem…
Sewell:: Christopher. You’re sitting here with at least three or four of us that have given our lives to this faith and have studied for many years and you’re willing to tell us that we’re not Christian?
Hitchens: No, I’m not telling you. I’m saying that if you don’t believe in the Resurrection.
Sewell: I’m saying that I don’t and I’m saying that I am a Christian.