Response to Professor Wotton by Simon Vibert

Professor Wotton’s explanation of the 10 Plagues of Egypt, which led to the eventual departure of the Jews from Captivity in Egypt, is fascinating, but of course, not new http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article3053571.ece Various rational explanations for the Egyptian plagues have been given over the years.  Similar things have been observed about other miraculous events described in the Gospels.  For example, it is well known that powerful winds can whip up the Sea of Galilee causing frightening storms and waves.  Although, any seafarer will point out that whilst a storm may quickly die, the absence of swell and the calm brought about by Jesus’ command over the storm, would be considered more miraculous (see Mark 4:39). The point here is not that there are no natural explanations for things which are recorded as supernatural events in the Bible.  What seems to me to be missing from Professor Wotton’s explanation is something that lies at the heart of Monotheistic religion, namely, that God engineered and orchestrated the events which are described as miraculous, for the specific purpose of revealing himself and making relationship with his people.   The refrain in the book of Exodus is “the Lord said to Moses…”  The spoken authority Jesus appeared to exercise over the wind and the waves led hardened fisherman to utter “who is this, that even the wind and sea obey him?” (Mark 4:41).  What for some might be seen as chance, for those who have eyes to see, they recognise God’s timing and intervention. Men and women of faith welcome scientific observations about these events – they give colour to the story.  However, they need not lead us to conclude that we live in a “closed universe” in which we will eventually find a rational explanation for every hitherto assumed supernatural event.  This faith is not blind to human insight and explanation, but it does sit up and listen when it appears that God is reminding us that “he is there and he is not silent”.

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2 thoughts on “Response to Professor Wotton by Simon Vibert

  1. metamorphe January 28, 2008 / 8:38 pm

    You’re right in suggesting that there has been much written on those events and I tried to come to the King James’ Bible account with fresh eyes, so didn’t do any research on earlier views. As you know, the article in Opticon1826 allows for theistic interpretations of events and the misleading headline appearing in The Times was Ruth Gledhill’s not mine. The real point of the article is a plea for pluralism and an attack on fundamentalism – our beliefs are such a personal matter don’t you think?
    Roger Wotton

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