Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter Sunday

Today is the reason I am a Christian.
Something happened on the first Easter Sunday (AD 30 or so) that demands an explanation. Every explanation I come up with keeps coming back to the same point--something BIG happened that so changed the life of eleven demoralized disciples that they went out and changed the world.
The liberal Protestants of the late 19th and early 20th centuries did their best to reconcile the science of their day with the fact of the Church. The liberal theologians had no objection to discounting any specific text of Scripture. They would have been perfectly comfortable with a humanistic explanation for anything. I have read a lot of their writings and find them ultimately unsatisfying. Their naturalistic paradigm just doesn't cover all the facts.
Perhaps they did the best they could with the science at hand. Twenty-first century science includes so many options our "modern" forbears never knew. They were hobbled by a physics in which miracles were impossible. We now are taught that nothing is impossible--its just a matter of quantum statistics. A man could walk on water if every water molecule rose to the surface at just the right moment. A man could rise from the dead if the quantum wave-function collapsed in that direction.
Given a physics which no longer rules out the story in the Gospels, what should a serious scientist make of Easter? It may be asking too much to expect him or her to dig through historical records to decide whether the eleven eyewitnesses were telling the truth about an empty tomb and a resurrected Christ.
If Christ did rise from the dead, reality should reflect it in a hundred ways that are incompatible with the merely naturalistic worldview that now characterizes science. I will be looking for those anomalies here, and invite believers and skeptics alike to help me think rigorously about the evidence for and against the resurrection.
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