Re: sciDocument.rtf

From: george murphy (
Date: Sat Jul 06 2002 - 15:24:08 EDT

  • Next message: george murphy: "Erratum Re: sciDocument.rtf"

    Glenn Morton wrote:

    > Shuan wrote Friday, July 05, 2002 3:44 PM
    > >
    > >Glen wrote:
    > >ay I point you to an earlier instance, where Jesus offered to Thomas the
    > >chance to OBSERVE (i.e. use scientific observation) to verify that
    > >Jesus had
    > >been dead, that the events had been real. That DOES have a basis in the
    > >scientific method. If one can't use science/observation to verify claims,
    > >why was it considered worthwhile to stick fingers into the wound???? What
    > >difference would that have made had science/observation been irrelevant to
    > >theological claims?
    > >
    > >Shuan observed:
    > >The next verse puts rather a different spin on things:
    > >
    > >Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen
    > >me? Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed.
    > YOu had better read more of your Bible than just that. What Jesus said,
    > doesn't change the fact that Jesus himself offered Thomas the evidence.
    > Jesus offered observational support for his resurrection(unless of course
    > this story is myth). And I would submit that none of the apostles believed
    > without some evidence. Peter and John ran to the tomb to see if the body
    > was there? If that wasn't looking for evidence, what was it? Mary Magdalene
    > didn't believe when she saw the stone rolled away--she told the disciples
    > NOT that Jesus had arisen, but that they had taken him away. (John 20:2) And
    > it wasn't until John SAW the empty grave clothes that he believed (John
    > 20:8) Mary Magdalene still didn't beleive at that point. She didn't beleive
    > until two angels told her and she SAW him. In Luke 24:11 the disciples are
    > reported to have rejected the first reports that Jesus had arisen. Indeed
    > it says they thought their words were nonsense. They, it is clear, wanted
    > EVIDENCE--OBSERVATION--which is what science is based upon.
    > Our religion is not one of mere belief without any evidence. If it is, we
    > are in trouble. So don't give me this stuff about believing without
    > evidence. Even the early Christians are not reported to have believed
    > without any evidence! If Thomas wasn't 'blessed,' then neither were the
    > entire crowd of them. They all wanted evidence.

             Sticking for now to John:
             1) Mary Magdalene, Peter, & those on the first Easter evening were not
    initially looking for evidence: All the indications are that they
    thought Jesus
    was dead for good. They were given evidence convinced them in spite of this.
             2) There is no case in the NT in which a person demands evidence, in
    the sense of an actual sighting, for the resurrection & gets it.
             3) Thomas was indeed offered evidence of the resurrection - along with
    an implied criticism for not believing the witnesses to the evidence which had
    been given earlier.
             4) Jn.20:29 is directed to those like us who have the
    apostolic witness
    to the resurrection but who are not going to see Jesus as the disciples in the
    upper room did. We can study & to a considerable extent assure
    ourselves of the
    basic trustworthiness of this witness, but we are not going to get
    behind it and
    obtain significant first hand evidence.
             5) I put in the qualification "significant" there because
    there is some
    minimal evidence that we can get. A good case can be made for the authenticity
    of the tomb of Christ in the Church of the Resurrection, & we can confirm that
    the corpse of Jesus isn't there now. But that doesn't take us very far!
             6) This is not to say that we can't get any scientific evidence about
    the past, as the YECs imagine. All the fossils that we discover are signals
    from the past. But we have little choice about what evidence we're given. If
    you want fossil evidence for a specific 10^th-great grandfather of a
    animal, your chances of success are slim.
             7) Hume's argument against the resurrection, & miracles in general, is
    correct to the extent that we don't believe every report of a strange happening
    that we hear. The witness to the resurrection has to be evaluated, not as a
    report of an isolated incident but as part of a total claim about who
    Jesus was,
    what he did & taught, & his death, all within the context of the
    history & faith
    of Israel.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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