“Creation and Resurrection”

Categories: Bulletin Articles, M. W. Bassford

The primary objection to the resurrection accounts of the Bible is philosophical. It is based on the theory of naturalism. This theory holds that all events have causes rooted in the natural laws of the universe. In the universe, dead people don't naturally come back to life, so Jesus, if dead, could not have risen from the dead. People who think this way are unwilling to consider the evidence for the resurrection because it leads to a conclusion that they think is impossible.

Naturalism is really an assumption. Rather than being based on evidence, it is used to evaluate evidence. As a rule, it leads to dismissing the very accounts that could be used to overturn it.

However, there is one conspicuous exception to the rule. It is the origin of the universe itself. Over the past century, scientists have come to recognize that the universe had a beginning. Before (although that's not really the right word) the Big Bang, neither space nor time existed. After it, the space-time reality did.

In other words, there was something antecedent to the universe through which the universe came into being. Whatever this cause was, it was, by definition, outside of the universe. The universe didn't create itself, after all! That pre-universe event didn't follow the natural laws of space-time reality. It made the natural laws of space-time reality.

Scientists have come up with a variety of speculative, science-like explanations for this. Some say it has to do with string theory and the interaction of strange physical objects called branes. Others posit the existence of a “mother universe” that goes around spawning “daughter universes”. Still others claim that every universe that is mathematically possible does exist, and we are in the good one with the physical constants that allow for life.

All of these explanations have several things in common. There is no evidence for any of them. They are untestable. They are unprovable. None of them correspond with a naturalistic view of the universe because all of them are, strictly speaking, supernatural.

The supernatural does exist. The existence of everything from stars to toenails proves it. If the supernatural made our physical universe, there is no reason to dismiss the possibility that it might intervene in our physical universe too.

If creation, why not resurrection?