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Why do we think the Resurrection was a process? What if it was not?

imageStephen E. Jones was very clear yesterday when he wrote in his blog (bold and italic emphasis is his):

Although I may be in the minority among my fellow Christians who believe the Shroud is authentic, I don’t agree with them saying words to the effect, "there are no answers to the question `How was the image formed?’" What more "answers" could therebe? The only explanation that fits all the facts (since the AD 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud has to be wrong ) is that the image on the Shroud was caused by some form of radiation from Jesus’ resurrected body, considering that: 1) the image is a scorch; 2) the blood clots which were adhering to both the body and the cloth are unbroken; 3) the image is of both organic (the body and plant parts) and inorganic (coins over the eyes-regardless of whether they can be identified as Pontius Pilate leptons); 4. the ENEA report showed the image was only 0.0002 mm deep.

Down the page, he writes:

One of the scientists, Dr Paolo Di Lazzaro, the head of the team, said: "When one talks about a flash of light being able to colour a piece of linen in the same way as the shroud, discussion inevitably touches on things like miracles and resurrection. But as scientists, we were concerned only with verifiable scientific processes. We hope our results can open up a philosophical and theological debate but we will leave the conclusions to the experts, and ultimately to the conscience of individuals." I am thankful for the work of scientists like Dr. Lazzaro, but I don’t agree with them `passing the buck’ to the "experts" (what "experts"?) rather than coming right out and saying that the scientific inference to the best explanation , which has defeated all alternative naturalistic exlanations proposed, is that the Shroud image was caused by a "miracle," namely the "resurrection’ of Jesus Christ, of which the image on the Shroud is a "literal `snapshot’":

I’m more inclined to think the image is miraculous in ways that we have never even imagined, uncaused by any byproduct of a resurrection event. Radiation, flashes of light, electromagnetic energy, cosmic rays, sub-atomic particles loosed from dematerialization: something by any name that becomes, “the physical and chemical processes capable of generating a colour similar to that of the image on the Shroud,” is naturalistic every bit as much as is a Maillard reaction.

Why do we think the Resurrection was a process? Is it because we need it to be in order to explain the image so we can in turn explain the Resurrection? Indeed, we need the theologians and the philosophers.

The picture above is a “Beam me up, Scotty” event portrayed in Star Trek as a process. But what if it was more like a quantum leap: one state of being and then another state of being without so much as the disturbance of a butterfly’s wing or a stray electron. Think of an infinitely fast movie camera in the tomb (humor me, they left a light on). In one frame there is Jesus beneath his shroud. In the next frame he isn’t there. We don’t see any movement of the shroud, even.

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