Wise Men HeaderThe Theories.

By Rev. Phil Greetham. © Copyright 1996. This Version, 2012.

A literalists View
The Bible says that a star rose in the east and Wise Men went to Jerusalem and finally went to Bethlehem were the star went in front of them and stopped over where the child was. That is a miracle and requires no more explanation.
This is the antidote to this web site. We are questioning and trying to find a 'natural' explanation to something which is miraculous. Explaining Christ's star is 'explaining away' the miraculous and is taking away the mystery and magic from a miracle which was supposed to bring about a sense of awe and majesty in the hearts of the Magi. It links in with attempts in recent years to undermine and remove fundamental doctrines such as the virgin conception or the incarnation. Explaining away the star as a natural phenomenon is to rob God of his power to be God. God becomes subservient to nature and chance. It is saying that 'God' is a divine way of explaining the world but there isn't actually anything out there. Explaining miracles is to put ourselves on an equal footing with God, or even to pretend to surpass him.
This point of view can profess that a miracle is something that works against nature, or it is beyond nature, (supernatural?). Is this true? The universe works by a series of physical laws, some of which we understand, many we do not. God could overturn his laws but that seems very chaotic and clumsy. Is it better to say that miracles are not an overturning of God's law but rather an application of a law we have not yet discovered? This makes a miracle 'natural', but not 'explainable'. Another concern which can appear with the literalist point of view is the idea that finding an explanation for something is to somehow 'explain it away.'
'To explain' something is to give a mechanism by which God reveals some aspect of himself. Many scientists find in this an element of awe and wonder which strengthens their faith. It need not belittle God but it can allow human beings to discover how great God is. It allows them to see God's work in more minute detail, and can lead to a greater appreciation of God.
'Explaining away', on the other hand is a preconceived attitude. One which says, 'If we tell you how it's done then you don't need a God.' This is using science to back up a conclusion that you have already come to,(i.e. there is no God), and is most unscientific.

Christians should not be afraid of science and investigation as tools of the truth; but have every reason to be angry when science is selectively used to support trendy dogma.

Having said all this, is Christ's Star a scientific phenomenon for which we have no explanation? Is it a unique, or almost unique event that we yet have no explanation for? If so then the explanations in this web site are very wide of the mark and I have wasted a lot time. I accept this possibility but it has been fun trying to see how God might have been working. To me that is what science is.
Timing - Whenever you want it
Repeatability - As many times as you like.
Direction - Whatever fits.
Theology - Too narrow
Historic/Scientific credibility - Not required
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