Sunday, March 08, 2015

On Matter and Nature

One of the things Dr. R Scott Clark is adamant about is the real existence of the category called "nature." To be against nature is to go against the God of nature. The LGBTQ+++ experiment is rebellion against nature. To the extent that nature exists, I can concur. But sometimes I wonder how much thought we actually put into understanding nature.

In one of his more recent tweets, Dr. Clark posted his rejection of the understanding that Christ, in His post-resurrection body, either teleported or dematerialized through the door of the locked Upper Room. According to him, such betrays a Gnostic conception of Christ. To the extant that teleporting and dematerializing is understood to dissolve matter into spirit, it is understandable. But the counter to his assertion is to point out our limited understanding of what constitutes "nature" and "natural." After all, we still have no idea what matter exactly is.

E = mc2

In modern times, we have come to understand the many operations of the world. Matter as we have come to understand it seemed to be made up of energy ("quantized materialized energy"). So on the issue of ontology, while we certainly should affirm the goodness of matter, yet how are we to understand what "matter" actually is?

More pertinent to our discussion is our limited understanding of what constitutes "natural." Now, to a limited extant, some things are self-evidently natural, like the sexual dimorphism of the human race. But besides that, how do we know human nature definitely excludes things like teleportation (not in the "spiritual sense" but the "physics" sense). What about having super-strength (e.g. Hulk), super-healing power (e.g. Wolverine), telekinesis ( the MCU Scarlet Witch), and so on? What exactly "IS" natural anymore? Sure, we can say that it is not part of human nature in general (in our current state). But since we will acknowledge that a person with any of these abilities can be still human, it seems that these are not "against human nature" but are rather accidental to human nature.

So back to the issue, why can't we say that Jesus teleported into, or phased through into, the locked Upper Room where his disciples are meeting? Since having such abilities do not make one non-human, it is not inconceivable if Jesus actually could so such things, even as a man, a man in his new eschatological body.

So, while we do need to affirm the goodness of matter, and the legitimacy of the category of nature, it does not seem to me that we should therefore deny what the text seem to imply, and exclude a priori that teleporation and/or phasing are not the means by which Jesus entered the locked Upper Room.

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