Has science proved the resurrection was impossible?
Hasn't science proven that an actual resurrection of the body of Jesus was impossible? The second law of thermodynamics says that matter is moving toward a state of disorder. This means that once someone dies it begins the process of disintegration. Thus, according to real science the bodily resurrection of Jesus is impossible. Right? Wrong. The problem with this reasoning is that it assumes that the laws of nature, in this case the second law of thermodynamics, can never be overruled by a supernatural agency. That is, by assuming that everything must be obedient to natural causes excludes, by definition, any belief in a supernatural explanation. This idea that the laws of nature explain all phenomena is called naturalism.
Naturalism provides the framework of evolution. The unchallenged, fervent teaching of evolution is the primary tool with which naturalism is promoted in the minds of our generation. Naturalism is redefining science so as to prohibit any non-naturalistic explanation. Douglas Kelly writes, "Any sort of reference to God, supernatural causation and faith, they argue, takes one outside the boundaries of genuine science into the land of imagination and mythology. Only naturalistic evolution can honestly claim to be science. All else is faith, ignorance or superstition." However, Walter Remine wrote, “Yet this redefinition of science is wrongheaded. Naturalism is not the criterion for science. Science does not begin by assuming all phenomena are naturalistic. Instead, the basis for science is the search for truth.”
Kelly also wrote, "some of our greatest scientists, such as Albert Einstein and Michael Polanyi, have stated that faith (or belief) is essential to any kind of advance in physical science." Michael Polanyi points out that, "No human intelligence…can operate outside such a context of faith, for it is within that context that there arises within us, under compulsion from the reality of the world we experience, a regulative set of convictions or a framework of beliefs which prompts and guides our assessment of the evidence." Einstein referred to faith "as having 'extra-logical' status, but being nonetheless rational."
Naturalism, therefore, fueled by evolution is itself an act of faith. Lynn Margulis, Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts stated that neo-Darwinism is, "a minor twentieth-century religious sect within the sprawling religious persuasion of Anglo-Saxon biology."
Thus, those who deny the resurrection based on the laws of nature should at least be commended as being true to their faith in naturalism. Such a faith, however, is eternally doomed. Jesus said, "because I live, ye shall live also." (John 14:19) Jesus warned us that people would not be persuaded to believe this because they would not listen to Moses and the Prophets. "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead." Luke 16:31. How then can we compromise the words of Moses in Genesis especially with science based purely on natural causes (naturalism)?
Belief in the supernatural event of the repealing of the second law of thermodynamics by the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not only the only logical decision of faith, but it also essential. In Romans 4:18 Abraham, "in hope, against hope," believed in the supernatural; he believed his barren wife would have a child. Likewise in verses 23 to 25 our faith is based on the belief in the supernatural event of Jesus rising from the dead. "Now not for his sake only was it written, that it was reckoned to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be reckoned, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification."
Rather than being intimidated by science and giving in to evolution and naturalism, Christians can view the laws of science, like the second law of thermodynamics, within the framework of the supernatural creation of the universe. This law that all things move from a state of order to disorder is what we would expect if the creation model of origin were true. God's perfect creation "groans and suffers"(Romans 8:22) and is dying as the result of sin. The only answer to reversing this death is to deal with the problem of sin. Jesus dealt with this problem of sin by dying for them, physically and then overcoming death with His physical resurrection. Thus, the only answer to the sureness of death promised by the second law of thermodynamics is the reversal of this law by the bodily resurrection of Christ. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" 1 Corinthians 15:22.
In summary, the only appropriate mode of rational knowledge is faith in the supernatural event of the resurrection. Devotion to naturalism and its daughter evolution leaves us without hope. The question of origins is one of the most significant a person ever faces. Unless Christians wake up to the significance of the origins issue and how it affects the heart of the gospel message, the hope and power that the resurrection Easter represents will be lost; finding significance in Easter will simply be regulated to finding Easter eggs.
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Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen