Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Bible and the Supernatural: In the Beginning

Scripture: Genesis 1:1

In the beginning was God.

Before there were people or animals, plants or stars, before there was land or water or sky or light—before anything natural existed, God was. As a result, the supernatural not only predates the natural, but it also has always existed because God has always existed.

Observations: We often treat the supernatural as an abnormality, a fluke, a disruption of the norm. In reality, the supernatural should be considered the norm, because it existed before the “norm” of the natural. Moreover, it can be seen as the standard by which the natural should be measured. For not only does the supernatural predates the natural, thereby setting the perfect precedent (since God Himself is perfect), but also it is from the supernatural that the natural is derived (see the rest of Genesis 1). Indeed, the natural order of things exists only due to the supernatural, an idea which Colossians 1:16-17 supports.

Significance: Rather than seeing the supernatural as unexpected or as an anomaly, we should anticipate that it will flow in and out of our daily lives as much or even more than the natural. We should expect God to be active, believe miracles will happen, and see the fingerprints of the supernatural behind the natural world we inhabit. We must leave room in our world and our perceptions thereof for that which exceeds the natural.  

Therefore, this passage shows that the laws of nature and reality are not bound foremost by logic, but bound by the character of God. Do we want to understand the world we live in? Then we cannot dismiss the supernatural from our understanding of reality or science, because human logic, wisdom and knowledge are finite. Trying to confine and define something created by the Infinite within the bounds of the purely finite will eventually crumble the foundation on which the natural realm (and therefore science) was founded. Destroy the foundation, and ultimately the building will collapse.

Rather, to fully understand the natural realm and reality we must also understand the supernatural and specifically the supernatural Creator who made the natural; the better that we know Him, the better we will under the world He created. 

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