Skip to comments.Can Christians Believe in Science and the Resurrection?
Posted on 04/03/2015 8:05:39 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
WASHINGTON — Was the resurrection of Jesus Christ an anti-scientific event? This question was discussed at a March 13 conference on science and religion hosted by The American Association for the Advancement of Science's Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion.
At the end of a panel on "Science Engagement in Congregations," an audience member who identified himself as a rabbi said "the elephant in the room has not been discussed," which he identified as, "that the fundamental basis of Christianity is a violation of nature."
He began his remarks by recalling another event he attended at a Presbyterian church. An audience member at that event asked one of the panelists, a Presbyterian, about the resurrection. "Do you really believe that?" he asked. The panelist replied, "no, we understand [the resurrection] metaphorically," the rabbi recalled him saying.
Another panelist then turned to the pastor of the congregation and said, "did you hear that? Your congregant just said he doesn't believe literally in the resurrection of Jesus." To which the minister replied, "where do you think he learned it from?"
The resurrection, the rabbi continued, is "an anti-scientific event [in which] the laws of nature get suspended. So, it shouldn't surprise that, historically, there's a tension between science and religion in the Christian community."
Of the panelists, which included four Christians and one Jewish rabbi, the question was directed to Walter Kim, associate minister at Park Street Church in Boston.
"You are hitting the crux of the matter about the relationship between domains of knowledge," Kim said.
The resurrection does not deny the laws of nature, he continued, it assumes the laws of nature, because a belief that the laws of nature have been broken must be built upon a belief that there are laws of nature to be broken.
"To say that the laws of nature were suspended at a particular moment is not to deny the laws of nature," Kim said. "The actual predication of a miracle is dependent upon a worldview that presumes regularity, scientific exactitude. So, Jesus' resurrection from the dead wouldn't actually be noticeable if people were popping from the dead."
The Christian worldview necessarily assumes principles that are necessary for science, he continued.
"The very fact of a miracle is predicated on the notion that the Christian worldview affirms principles that are essential to scientific endeavor, [such as the] regularity of the laws of nature [and the] predictability of the laws of nature. And the fact that Jesus' resurrection contravened those things is in fact predicated on a wider worldview," he said.
Kim also noted that the resurrection points to the fact that the natural world is not all that exists.
"But it does introduce the fact that the laws of nature are not the only aspect of reality," he said.
Therefore, while the resurrection does not presume that the Christian faith is opposed to science, it does raise the question of whether science is the only domain of knowledge, Kim explained.
"And the Christian response would be, no," Kim answered. "Jesus' resurrection actually indicates that, while the regularity of the universe is something to be studied, it is not the only thing to be studied."
Another panelist, Greg Cootsona, director of science for students and emerging young adults, recommended a 2007 lecture by Tom Wright, bishop of Durham, on the Faraday Institute website called, "Can a Scientist Believe the Resurrection?"
Cootsona also made clear that the Presbyterians the rabbi in the audience mentioned did not represent his or Kim's view. They believe, he said, "that the resurrection is an actual event, not just a metaphorical one."
The conference was part of DoSER's "The Perceptions Project," which aims to promote better understanding between scientific and religious communities, especially Evangelicals. The National Association of Evangelicals was one of the partner organizations at the conference.
Other topics discussed at the conference were the origins of humankind, environmental stewardship, global health and how the media covers science and religion. Videos of the panels will be posted later to the AAAS website.
What actually happens should drive science. Not the other way around.
Yes. Next question, please.
Much of what is presented as “science” is in reality academics. The science of changing reality to suit one’s desires.
Wrong. The real violation of nature is 'death'. Some day, God will destroy death.
You can believe anything you want
These are Scientific Facts!
Everything has, is, and will be recorded.
You better bet you will be resurrected! There will be a judgement day! Live your life accordingly!
Sure. According to the Bible, God is the Creator of the laws of science. They are what they are because that's what He set. As such, there's no reason he couldn't temporarily suspend them on a particular occasion to do something that normally would be impossible. OR, as the Creator of physical law, his knowledge of them is FAR more comprehensive than ours so he might use some provision of physical law we're not aware of but which is always in effect. But all that is a general statement on the compatibility of science and miracles. The way I see it, resurrection is even easier to reconcile in that way than miracles such as fire from the sky, earthquakes, sun standing still etc.
But that evidence is historical. The scientific method attempts to explain phenomena that are observable and repeatable, none of which apply to Jesus' resurrection from our contemporary perspective.
Why would’t I? Science is simply a bunch of people trying to figure out why and how things work.
How is that not a silly question?
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
Dumb question - yes! All things ultimately come from God.
Put another way, when something occurs which is beyond current scientific understanding it’s the science that’s lagging behind. There is no “supernatural”. There’s just natural which is so far beyond our knowledge and perhaps beyond our capacity to understand. If someone wants to see genuine faith in a fraud they should examine the believers in AGW and the halfwit huckster and erstwhile vice president head priest.
But is the big bang repeatable?
Don’t people get tired of this brain-dead 19th century style rationalism?
Yep. Even Einstein warned science not to ignore the world of the spirits. To do so would make science a useless endeavor. His favorite author was H.P. Blavatsky, the founder of theosophy.
And Einstein was no dummy.
An era of disenchantment and rebuilding will soon begin - has already begun. The cycle has almost run it's course: a new one is about to begin, and the future pages of history may contain full evidence, and convey full proof that If ancestry can be believed, descending spirits have conversed with man, and told him the secrets of the world unknown.
If we have learned anything from science - it’s that we know so little.
The scientific method was created by men in an attempt to define the universe created by God.
The scientific method is limited, God is not.