Monday, February 25, 2019

Is the Resurrection special?

Christian apologists often treat the Resurrect as if that's a uniquely important miracle. In one sense that's true, in another sense that's not the case. 

Many apologists focus on the Resurrection for two reasons;

i) They think that's the best-attested miracle. That's the easiest to defend. They can make a cases for the Resurrection. 

ii) That's a lynchpin miracle. If you can prove the Resurrection, then you can prove more than the Resurrection because the Resurrection has larger implications. The Resurrection becomes a proof for other things.

There's an element of truth to that, although it's overstated. For instance, the multiplication of food is recorded in all four Gospels. 

In addition, the Exodus is multiple-attested in the OT. Not just in the Pentateuch, but the Psalter. And given how many people participated in the Exodus, we'd expect there to be independent chains of testimony. Family lore that passed down from descendants of that event, including the Psalmists. 

In another respect, all miracle share a common principle. Events beyond the scope of nature to produce. In that regard, the Resurrection is not in a class apart from other nature miracles. 

There's another sense in which the Incarnation and Resurrection are fairly unique types of miracles. Most biblical miracles are about life in this world. Things that happen within our world. Things that happen in the course of life. 

By contrast, the Incarnation and Resurrection are like two sides of the same door. A door between two worlds. The Incarnation bears witness to an entry point from a larger reality outside our world into our world. A point of contact. 

Conversely, the Resurrection bears witness to an exit from our world to the next world, and back again. Passing out of this life, this world, into the next world, then returning–but with a difference. From mortal life through death to immortality. 

So these are mirrored miracles. Entry and exit–pointing to a world beyond our world. To a hope beyond our world. A world outside our world which is the source of life and goodness in our world. 

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