What if Christianity didn't depend on magic?

Christianity has a lot of good things about it, a lot of Christians are wonderful, etc. As a highschoolman, I talked to some teachers (some of whom were priests) and tried to figure out if I should do this Christianity thing. Ultimately, they insisted that to be Christian you kinda have to believe in some of the base theology, mostly that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.

Believing that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven appears to me to be totally nuts. For comparison (and forgive me if I’m (ahem) preaching to the choir): imagine I told you “There’s this guy Zorgo, who was a really great guy, and he could levitate in midair. Therefore, he is a supernatural being and you should worship him. We know this because Zorgo’s followers wrote down in a book, 2000 years ago, that Zorgo could levitate in midair. Plus, Zorgo has lots of followers now and they all believe it. Some of them even had visions of Zorgo levitating.”

(If there’s an epistemological subtlety that I’m missing, honestly, let me know! I see no way you could be someone who wants to see the world clearly, and also believes that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. But I do pride myself on being openminded, so if you have a case that suggests that I wouldn’t be a fool to believe in Jesus, while I would still be a fool to believe in Zorgo, I would honestly love to hear it.)

Naturally, this kind of turns off a lot of people. (Especially nerdy people, who tend to move to big cities and work in thinky office jobs and get rich and etc, and here’s your urban/rural divide, etc.)

Could Christianity exist without it? Like, why not just have a religion that’s something like:
- love thy neighbor as thyself
- here are some stories about the Israelites and stuff, they are mostly some good lessons about how to be good
- here are some stories about this guy Jesus, he was a very good guy, you should be like him
- here are some mystics throughout the ages, they have some more reasons that it’s good to be like Jesus
- being in a community of equal people all seeking meaning and virtue is good, you should probably do that

(… does this exist? is it Unitarian Universalism or something?)

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