Why reject Genesis on science but not the historical resurrection?

(Randy) #22

Oh no, I don’t think it’s a big deal for folks here–you’ll have to read the thread from earlier; I did read some of the end of it. Most folks here know that our molecules and body are continually being replaced. I know @beaglelady and I talked about it. Sometimes, Mr McKain, it’s not what we believe, but how we interact about it that matters.

Tim Keller strikes me as a grace-filled man with whom I don’t agree a great deal in terms of predestination–but he has his ear to God by first listening to others’ concerns, and that’s the best way to learn, isn’t it? Have you seen his dialogue with John Piper on Youtube? It was fascinating how he agreed with CS Lewis’ great compassion, though not with every belief, and recounted how Lewis wrote 4 letters to Keller’s wife when she was a teenager. Now in Heaven, when they find out which was right, they’ll laugh about it, because they were on the same page all along.

I like the idea that we’ll eventually be with God–I remember George Macdonald’s character Duncan who was afraid he would lie for decades in his grave before the rapture–where he “will be fery cold, howefer…”


Bodily means physical. Are we going to get into Humpty Dumpty word games?


The earliest writings in the NT are from Paul, not the Gospels.

(Bill Adams) #25

You are, of course, correct and I apologize for the lack of clarity. I specified Mark as the earliest Gospel since that’s where we generally look to for the history of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. I believe the earliest New Testament epistle was James which makes no mention of the resurrection. In Galatians Paul makes passing reference to it. I Thessalonians mentions the resurrection but II Thessalonians does not. These last two books are mostly concerned with the return of Christ which was expected any moment. In fact, some thought it had already happened. Mark was most likely written sometime after that.


Jesus resurrection body was not a resuscitated corpse. See 1 Cor 15. That makes a huge difference.

(Mitchell W McKain) #27

There is more than one definition of the word “physical.” As a physicist, the word tends to mean something quite different to me – i.e. connected with the laws of nature. In some translations, the word Paul uses in 1 Corinthians is “natural.” Then his teaching comes out as, bodily resurrection to a spiritual (or supernatural) body and not a natural body. Again Paul nails this down by describing all the attributes of the two. The natural (or physical) body is perishable, weak, and made of the stuff of the earth (molecules, atoms, particles, and such), while the spiritual (or supernatural) body is imperishable, strong and made of the stuff of heaven (whatever that may be).

If you are not willing to examine words carefully, then I suggest you leave such things to the experts or take yourself off to a religion that wasn’t written in a different language than your native one, because otherwise all the word troubles of translation and interpretation are unavoidable. AND let’s remind you that YOU are the one who started this with snarking on Evangelicals and YOUR words “physical resurrection” which are not in the statements of faith by Protestants, Catholics, or Eastern Orthodox despite your claim that they were.

(Mark D.) #28

I hear you, especially not now after 65 years of moderate use. If God can pull it off, how much harder could it be to give me an upgrade? :wink:

(Randy) #29

Yeah, or switch it with Brad Pitt? (but I don’t think Mr Pitt would like that switch). Sorry, I don’t want to be too silly.


No, it wasn’t simply a resuscitated corpse, as was the case with Lazarus, for Lazarus would die again. The resurrection body is enhanced and immortal.

Behold, I tell you a mystery


You accused me of confusing a bodily resurrection with a physical resurrection. And I pointed out that the word physical means bodily. Therefore, a bodily resurrection means a physical resurrection. Read N. T. Wright.

(Mitchell W McKain) #32

And I explained that “physical” has more than one definition, which is why the word in what Paul said is also translated as “natural” rather than “physical” in some translations. You continue to ignore this and what Paul says in 1 Cor 15, where he is quite insistent that it is a bodily resurrection to a spiritual body and not a physical body. This makes the use of the words “physical resurrection” incorrect and so all the statements of faith by Protestants and Catholics and Orthodox do not use those words. So the question is why do you keep insisting on doing this? I am not interested in replacing the words of Paul with those of N. T. Wright. You can read Paul as saying “bodily resurrection to a supernatural body and not a natural body” if you want to avoid the connection of “physical” with “bodily”, but I will likewise not go along with the words “physical resurrection” because of the connection of “physical” with “natural” for that would contradict the words of Paul in 1 Cor 15.

P.S. An internet search on N.T. Wright tells me that he too uses the words “bodily resurrection” and not “physical resurrection”. Why are you going out of your way to contradict Paul?

In Merriam Webster the one you use is third in their list, so can you not see why people avoid using this term as you do?

physical adjective
phys·i·cal | \ ˈfi-zi-kəl
1a : of or relating to natural science
b(1) : of or relating to physics
(2) : characterized or produced by the forces and operations of physics
2a : having material existence : perceptible especially through the senses and subject to the laws of nature
everything physical is measurable by weight, motion, and resistance
—Thomas De Quincey
b : of or relating to material things
3a : of or relating to the body
physical abuse
b(1) : concerned or preoccupied with the body and its needs : CARNAL
physical appetites
(2) : SEXUAL
a physical love affair
physical attraction
c : characterized by especially rugged and forceful physical activity : ROUGH
a physical hockey game
a physical player

(Richard Wright) #33

Hello Mentalmagicman!

Genesis 1 itself, at least to me, makes clear that the text is a theological narrative and not a description of historical events, with the sun created on day 4 and days 1 and 4 describing the same events, for instance. It seems also to be based on the science of day - for comprehension of its ancient audience - describing a 3-tiered universe with a solid sky and founded on the primordial waters (see 2 Peter 3:5). Lastly, it doesn’t need to concord with history or science to have spiritual import.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ, on the other hand, is essential to the Christian faith, as others here have stated, and was clearly believed in by the early church. So it’s not a matter of believing in science over scripture, but, as proper exegesis should do, making interpretations based on all of the available evidence.

(George Brooks) #34


How odd… this is the SECOND post by you that I agree with completely.

A trend is developing … and I have no idea why…

(George Brooks) #35

A Capella Science describes this video “The Surface of Light” as a parody of the lead-in song “Circle of Life” in the famous Lion King animated film and award winning Broadway production.

I say unto you, it is not a parody, but a “study” in the physics derived from the study of primordial radiation from God’s “greatest creation” - - the Cosmos. One Canadian performs all the parts, creating a virtual orchestra from one voice, honing true to the category “A Capella” (without accompaniment!).

[Before clicking “play”, adjust the volume to low …
until you know how loud it should be for your PC and setting.]

The “Surface of Light” is a puzzling title … but if one imagines the very first moments of God directly creating - - and engaging with - - the literal confines of Space-Time … from God’s viewpoint it is a bubble of His Reality, an expanding sphere of energy and light … telling the story of Creation in a way that still humbles Cosmologists and Theologians alike…

The Surface of Light (literally, Creation, not the music) is the purest Icon of God, a window to the Divine, a Reflection of his essence, a pure Portrait of the Un-Imaginable, a Miracle still unfolding.


[Note from @Gbrooks9: An Image is not Reality; do not abuse images. But are there portals to Divine thought, Divine will and Divine Presence? If so, how are such portals to be honored?]

“The tradition of Acheiro-poieta (ἀχειροποίητα, literally “not-made-by-hand”) accrued to icons that are alleged to have come into existence miraculously, not by a human painter.”

Please see my next post for a logical connection between All Creation (the “Surface of Light”) and the question that introduces this whole thread. Thanks!

(George Brooks) #36


As a follow-up to the “Surface of Light” posting above, I wanted to explicitly answer the questions you raise in the OP.

The Resurrection of Jesus is not something that science could ever disprove. And so it is almost easy to accept it as truth and reality.

The same cannot be said about the Creation of the Universe, the Creation of Earth and of the geological discoveries that virtually and inescapably point the sincere observer in the direction of how old Earth is, and how full of fossil evidence we find in the multiple “surfaces” embedded in Earth’s very substance.

Science cannot disprove resurrection. But science can disprove an instantaneous creation to the founding population of Homo sapiens. Creation of Adam and Eve can be construed within the Evolution of humanity … we can have BOTH. There is really no barrier to the idea that Adam and Eve were specially created, for a theological purpose, within the Evolution of humanity governed and guided by God Himself.


I can’t say it better than this.

(George Brooks) #38


So, if I understand your meaning here, your point would be:

Genesis engages in concepts that are beyond the mindsets of the ancient ones…

But the idea of a person brought back to life is something that many ancient cultures (and certainly including the Greco-Roman matrix that contained the Holy Land) would have been able to comprehend perfectly well.

Hence … the logical difference between not taking the Genesis literature as seriously as the New Testament literature on the resurrection of the Son of God… yes?

(David Heddle) #39

I can never make sense out of this criticism. There is, after all, a reason it is called a miracle.

Here, again, is what confuses me. If you are a believer then in some sense you must believe God is responsible–even if it is through secondary means–for the creation of the universe. So for a believer to accept the ability of God to manipulate spacetime to create an entire universe and then question the relatively minor miracle (by comparison) of resurrecting a dead body seems…odd.

Likewise if you are an unbeliever, why not go after the impossibility of the mother of all miraculous claims–that the universe was created via decree–why focus on the parlor trick (again, relatively speaking) of resurrecting a body?

It seems like some fallacy of scale to me.


Quite the opposite here. Precisely because a Near Eastern cosmogony would not have been expected to deliver the scientific goods as that would have been unintelligible and irrelevant to the Hebrew people, Genesis does not engage with science.

I don’t know that I would say it that way. They would certainly have understood when someone stopped breathing and started to develop rigor mortis. They knew when people died. As for resurrection, there were hundreds of eyewitnesses including the eleven of Christ’s closest friends that would be martyred for his sake.

I would like to think I take Genesis equally seriously, but on its own terms, in the manner in which it demands to be read. It stands alone among the origin stories of the ancients in several ways, most notably featuring a God that covenanted with human beings without having needs to be met by them.

I see our interpretive task as determining what the author is saying and how they want to be understood in context. The resurrection unequivocally demands a literal interpretation.


Thank you. That says it all.