The Magic of Reality

Here’s a great article by John Lenox on Richard Dawkins’ latest book “The Magic of Reality”.

he fails to understand what explanation is: he says that ”to claim a supernatural explanation of something is not to explain it at all and even worse to rule out any possibility of its ever being explained.” What strange confusion is this –  as if God and science were alternative explanations?  God no more competes with science as an explanation of the universe than Henry Ford competes with the science of engineering and the laws of physics as an explanation of the motor car.  Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Clerk Maxwell were not hindered but rather motivated in their science by believing that God created and upheld the universe.  They simply did not confuse explanation in terms of agency on the one hand with mechanism and law on the other and so were happy to think God’s thoughts after him…

 

we could agree that it is a law of nature that virgins do not become pregnant by some natural mechanism.  But Christians do not claim that Mary became pregnant by natural means but by supernatural power, so that her son was fully God and fully man.  By themselves, the laws of nature cannot rule out that possibility. When a miracle takes place, it is the laws of nature that alert us to the fact that it is a miracle.  It is important to grasp that Christians do not deny the laws of nature, as Hume implies they do.   It is an essential part of the Christian position to believe in the laws of nature as descriptions of those regularities and cause-effect relationships built into the universe by its creator and according to which it normally operates.  If we did not know them, we should never recognise a miracle if we saw one.

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