Throughout modern times, many people have made a similar argument. The argument goes like this:
There is nothing supernatural about the ongoing development of the world. Either:
1. Natural causes and random chance are the explanation for everything. (Atheistic Naturalism)
2. There is a God who once did a number of supernatural things in the creation of the world, but now is no longer involved in intervening in life today, allowing things to progress after the point of creation on the basis of purely natural means. (Classical Deism)
These two perspectives (making a similar argument) have been propagated by prominent intellects and historical figures for centuries.
For the sake of time, let me cut right to the chase of these arguments … both of these views are incompatible with biblical, historical Christianity. It simply is impossible to have a version of Christianity that does not allow for God’s supernatural work throughout history, including today. Of course MOST of what is going on today is happening according to natural law. But throughout history, God has intervened supernaturally to move the meta-narrative along.
What do I mean?
Well, take the Old Testament era of miracles and prophecy … those events cannot be explained by natural phenomena. Something HAPPENED that cannot be explained by purely natural means.
Take the identity of Jesus Christ … fully God and fully man; born of a virgin, etc. His very identity cannot be explained away by his connection to his natural parents.
How about the miracles that fill the pages of the Gospels and the history of the early church? What about the empty tomb of Jesus of Nazareth? These things are not RANDOM ACTS of natural things, or the deception of a group of Galileean fishermen. SOMETHING SUPERNATURAL HAPPENED!
Even today … the forgiveness found through faith in the death of Jesus Christ, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit are not merely a naturalistic life philosophy … it is evidence of supernatural revolution.
Because of this, we cannot reduce Christianity to a naturalistic moral code for decent people to follow. We must instead see Christianity as a supernaturally transformative relationship with God Almighty, made possible by the life saving gift of the supernatural Son of God (Jesus), and the ongoing supernatural empowerment of the Holy Spirit of God living inside of us.
If your view of life involves only “the natural” you may agree with Thomas Jefferson or Stephen Hawking but you would be at odds with Jesus Christ. When it comes to these things … I’m with Jesus. I hope and pray you are as well.
This Sunday, December 6, in part 2 of our Christmas series, “The Gift” at Wildwood Community Church, I will be preaching on Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 1:26-38 as we see that Jesus came to give more than just moral direction to DECENT people … but to supernaturally do for us what would otherwise be impossible. I hope you make it this weekend as we explore this together in our 9:00, 10:15, or 11:30 worship service (in person) or at 10:15 in the online stream (wildwoodchurch.org/live) . See you Sunday and bring your friends!