Re: Science: working in the flesh?

Rodney Dunning (
Sun, 23 Feb 1997 23:21:55 -0500 (EST)

On Sun, 23 Feb 1997, Michael K. Thompson wrote:

> Rodney Dunning wrote:
> >
> > One drawback, for those seeking objective historical proof, is that we
> > don't know what we may yet discover. For example, one day someone may
> > propose an alternative hypothesis that is imminently more reasonable than
> > the resurrection. There is no way on purely rationalistic grounds to say
> > this won't happen, as far I know. It seems this is where faith enters into
> > the issue. My faith in Christ leads me to believe that such a hypothesis
> > CANNOT be discovered, or at least it cannot be successfully defended.
> Something in this statement does not sit well with me. Is reason pure
> enough (indeed sinless enough) that a "better" hypothesis cannot be
> found?

I'm not sure I understand the objection. Clearly, atheists and skeptics
can devise arguments to convince themselves that the resurrection did not
occur. They will probably devise many more in the future. However, if
Christianity has any truth to it, then it must follow that no
indestructible refutation of the resurrection is possible, if only
because reason, however it has been affected been by sin, must lead to the
truth. Ultimately, (IMO) atheists and skeptics do not believe in the
resurrection simply because they don't believe in it, and not because
there is something wrong with the way they reason.

> Can an atheist find a "better" hypothesis and "successfully"
> defend it in front of sceptics and still be wrong?

I certainly hope so. If he isn't wrong, then we are! :) But the truth is not
always the only hypothesis available. What does successful defense mean?
If it means to perpetuate the atheist's belief that Jesus is still dead, or
never lived, then atheists can be and almost always are successful. But
if successful means to uncover the truth itself, then I believe the atheist
will only know success when he or she becomes a Christian.

I think that by "better hypothesis" you mean one that will sway people.
There will probably always be "better" hypotheses of this type from the
skeptics. But if by "better" we mean a theory that uncovers the actual
truth of the matter, then there is NO better theory then the one that
argues for the truth itself. And thus, my faith says that there will
never be a "better" hypothesis that refutes the resurrection.

> I realize that similar challenges to our thinking fuel the YEC
> movement. But still I believe that Satan can come up with a better
> apologetic than I can.

Perhaps, but only through deception. If Satan wishes to appeal only to the
truth through reason, then he will have to concede the debate.

> NO APOLOGETIC is worth the paper it is written
> on unless it is has an evangelistic core viz. a witness of Christ
> himself. Ultimately I know that Jesus rose from the dead, not because
> my argument is better (though I think it is), but because I have a
> personal relationship with him.

Same here.

Rodney Dunning
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