Many thanks for the enthusiastic responses to my column on how to in shape miracles into a religion that does not have to have you to be ignorant of science.
Q: I surely sympathize with people making an attempt to explain evident biblical miracles with normally developing cosmic situations this sort of as you proposed for the “crossing of the Red Sea.” However, this will only get you so far until finally it collapses of its possess body weight, e.g., the description in Exodus 17 of Moses keeping his arms up with guidance that prevented the sunshine from location, so allowing for Joshua’s army to prevail about the Amalekites (I imagine). Can you visualize the cosmic disruption of the planets that would have transpired? Even more problematic (for us Christians) are the NT miracles that defy logic, e.g., the raising of Lazarus from the lifeless soon after numerous times in the tomb, even noting that he had started to be odoriferous (John’s Gospel and only in this Gospel).
If there had been so lots of witnesses of this relatively spectacular occasion, where was the Hebrew chronicler of gatherings of the time, Josephus, and how did he not locate it sufficiently critical to point out? I choose to consider of all these religion tales, myths (?), as just that — stories of religion that attest to the depth of conviction of the truth of God. Absolutely this concept is a lot more conveniently utilized to the Hebrew Bible since countless numbers of many years handed amongst the functions and their recording in in all probability 500-600 BCE, relying on phrase-of-mouth communication of these situations.
I choose to feel some imaginative descriptions ended up applied in the misguided attempt to persuade many others of the existence of God in these functions, potentially a little bit much easier for the Hebrew Bible than the Gospels of the NT, but, nonetheless, a satisfactory rationalization for me.
Lots of contemporaries today explain occasions that defy logic and have been cautiously explained in any number of books that I am not willing to discount out of hand only mainly because they did not materialize to me, even while I am schooled in the medical sciences and most of them worry stunning therapeutic activities. Just my thoughts, and I search forward to reading through your column weekly. — (From O)
A: I agree, expensive O, that the trouble of miracles is much more difficult for Christianity, which is based mostly upon the historic truth of the matter of the gospel accounts of the miracles surrounding Jesus’ ministry and loss of life and resurrection. Judaism and Islam, the other two Abrahamic faiths, do not involve followers of the faith to affirm the real truth of miracles in the Bible. The affirmation at the root of religion is that God is real and is working in the world to help save us from sin and ignorance. How God works need to continue to be a thriller.
MG: Errata (or oops!)
Q: I am an outdated male and a fairly new Christian. I normally like your “GOD SQUAD” column since of it truly is prevalent perception and superb inclusiveness as demonstrated by the several years of your marriage with Father Tom Hartman. I imagine you got it mistaken, on the other hand, in your “How Do Miracles Healthy Into our Lives” dialogue. I concur with your information, but you acquired the gravity explanation backward. The earth spinning does not create gravity. It is developed by the dense iron core at the centre of the earth. Earth’s spinning reduces the consequences of gravity. If it spun fast more than enough, we would “fly off” its surface area. Just believe of a pail of h2o that you hold at arm’s duration and spin above your head. Centrifugal pressure (the spinning) retains the water from falling out when it can be in excess of your head. If not for the spin, gravity would lead to the water to fall out on your head. Keep up the superior do the job but be very careful on merry-go-rounds. — (From Dr. K in Ocala, FL)
MG: Effectively, this just proves that most men and women go through my column for theology classes not physics classes. My issue was that all sorts of genuinely spooky and fundamentally impossible matters would come about if gravity was basically suspended at the shore of the Red Sea. People spooky and difficult points just simply cannot in good shape neatly into a entire world of frequent and purchased purely natural guidelines. That was my main issue and that place is genuine.
There was, having said that, a person nameless reader who slammed me pretty tough: Did you under no circumstances take physics in college? Your crafting that the Earth “spinning on its axis … leads to gravity” and the much more outrageous “If it stopped spinning it would explode” manufactured a dunce of you — and has a tendency to undercut the benefit of anything else you compose. Check out a short Google check out to “gravity,” where by you will discover that gravity is brought on by mass, and not the kind Father Tom celebrated. The moon neither spins nor explodes.
Hey, now you know. I am a pretty good rabbi, but a very negative physicist.
Deliver ALL Issues AND Remarks to The God Squad through e mail at [email protected]. Rabbi Gellman is the creator of quite a few guides, which include “Religion for Dummies,” co-composed with Fr. Tom Hartman. Also, the new God Squad podcast is now obtainable.