by Ken Hamrick
1 Kings 18:21 NKJV, “And Elijah came to all the people, and said, ‘How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.’ But the people answered him not a word.
If the Lord is a God of supernatural actions, then believe Him; but if not, then in whom do you believe? For all of us who claim to believe in Christ, this issue should have been settled beyond all question at the empty tomb. If Christ did not physically rise from the dead, then you and I are still in our sins. But praise God! We know that He did physically rise from the dead, and that God is a God of supernatural actions. But even so, if you do not believe that He did, then you are still in your sins and on your way to hell. Those who would be saved by Jesus Christ, the only name by which a man may be saved, must believe that He physically rose from the dead (as well as believing that He was the eternal Son of God who became a man, lived a perfect life, and died to pay for our sins). We as believers are so familiar with all this as to lose our astonishment with it. A real man named Jesus walked around for three years healing people of all kinds of diseases and disabilities. He even literally raised some men from the dead—one of them was dead long enough to stink of decomposition. To top it off, He Himself literally and physically was resurrected to immortality and walked out of the tomb after being dead three days! Do you really believe this? “Of course,” you say?
The human race can be justifiably proud of our achievements in scientific understanding and technological advances. We certainly have come a long way. But how do we square the world’s scientific authority with the God of supernatural actions? The unbelieving world stands on the ever-changing but tangible ground of “evidence,” and has only scorn and disgust for anyone who stands anywhere else. But the Christian stands solidly on faith, having the written word of God and the sure witness of the Spirit—and we will not budge! There can be no reconciliation between a faith-based perspective and an evidence-based perspective. Someone once said, “For those who believe, no evidence is needed; but for those who do not, no evidence would be enough.” It is the very fabric of the Christian faith to accept as incontrovertible the sole evidence of the written word of God and the witness of the Holy Spirit—even if no other supporting evidences are discovered and in spite of whatever supposed evidences to the contrary may be presented. Is this really the kind of faith you have? Any faith that stands on the evidences of men stands on mere probability.
Science is knowledge gained from observation; and scientists have observed millions upon millions of people and animals dying. Death is well known and understood. It is a scientific fact beyond dispute—a proven law of nature—that all living biological things die and then decompose. The claim that Jesus raised people from the dead and was even raised from the dead Himself is worthy of only scorn and perhaps pity from the scientific community. If you value their opinion of you, then you should be ashamed for believing such a ridiculous and outlandish thing. Do you value their opinion? Are you ashamed or embarrassed? I’m not; and neither should you be… and here’s why: We grant them no credibility on this question because the Spirit of God has revealed to us, with utter certainty, that the Bible is the true and inspired word of God and that Christ was literally raised from the dead; and the Bible reveals that the unbelieving world hates God and hates the truth, seeking to hide from both in a fog of rationalistic demands for tangible evidence. So which are you? Are you a believer in the supernatural acts of God in spite of the world’s scorn, or does the world’s insistence on evidence have you in a fog?
The scientifically sophisticated Christian—one who is enlightened by an open-minded acknowledgement of the authority and wisdom of science—can find an intelligent way out of this dilemma. He can find in his “hermeneutical toolbox” various ways to read the accounts of Christ’s resurrection in a less literal, less physical sense. After all, Christ did seem to walk right through walls, and we know scientifically that it is impossible for a real physical body to move through a wall in that way. As well, we are told in 1 Cor 15 that the kind of body we will have after the resurrection will be a “spiritual” body. But such a path of scientific hermeneutics leads to hell, not heaven. If you agree with me thus far, and if you find the idea of reinterpreting Christ’s resurrection to remove the supernatural miraculous quality of it to be unthinkable, then why would you think it’s OK to use that same scientific hermeneutic to reinterpret the account of a miraculous, supernatural six-day creation? And don’t blather about “evidence”—instead, tell me why you’re willing to believe with certainty that Christ miraculously and physically rose from the dead after three days (not three “epochs,” etc.), in spite of the fact that there is no evidence strong enough to scientifically prove that fact, but yet, you falter when it comes to a miracle no greater but only larger in scale? Why do you waver between a faith-based perspective that has no problems with any evidence for or against, and an evidence-based perspective that insists that evidence must be weighed and Biblical accounts of immediate supernatural events cannot be taken at face-value?
Ken Hamrick, 2013