Re: esther & MN and the resurrection???

George Murphy (
Thu, 19 Mar 1998 18:29:10 -0500

Gladwin Joseph wrote:
> Eureka!
> For the first time in my ministry I preached tonight on a text
> from Esther. There are 2 generally recognized features of this book
> 1) A major theme is providence - "Who knows whether you have
> not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
> 2) The Hebrew text is quite UNreligious - there is no mention
> of God, prayer, or any religious practices.
> Put them all together, they spell "Methodological Naturalism" -
> what happens in the world, including the preservation of Israel, can be
> understood in secular terms, though there is the implicit faith that it
> is the Lord who is at work in all of that.
> Maybe this is why Esther is in the Bible - "Who knows whether it
> has not come to the canon for such a time as this?"
> George
> I guess even the Resurrection of Jesus can be explained in
> naturalistic terms as is done by the demythologizers. But it
> is amazing that God in Christ chose to reveal Himself
> in the Resurrected Body to only a few. He could have
> appeared in the Sanhedrin and probably converted the nation
> of Isreal. However since GOD respects the freedom He gives
> us His creatures HE apparently does not give us a knock
> down proof for belief.

Demythologizers (Bultmann &c) do not try to provide explanations
for the resurrection in terms of natural processes. I assume you're
referring to rationalistic explanations which generally work by omitting
central features of the account (e.g., Jesus wasn't really dead). That
isn't what's happening in Esther. It's an exaplanation of what happened
in terms of natural human, political &c motives & actions with no
explicit reference to God. It is not a rationalistic trimming of a
miraculous story.
George L. Murphy