Nature Presupposes Christianity

The Resurrection has happened in the natural world. This means that it is a fact of nature, and of nature’s history in this world – i.e., an item of natural history, which is open to empirical investigation. It is a fact as concrete as any rock, or door. Like any concrete fact, it demands recognition from all other creatures: it demands that every other creature reckon it as a fact of its world, and ipso facto of its own constitution. Thus the facticity of the Resurrection infuses its effects upon everything else that happens (this pervasive infusion of effect in the causal order being implicit in the very notion of facticity). The Resurrection signifies that the natural world is perfused, and informed, by the supernatural;[1] and the Resurrection is the palmary exemplification of what it indicates, so that the signification is provided by the archetypal instance of the thing signified. This is one of the meanings of the rending of the veil of the Temple: the supernatural is revealed as wholly natural, and the Holy of Holies as located everywhere.

Having impressed itself upon history, the Resurrection is implicitly accessible to every creature therein as a datum of its actual world. The law and logic of atonement and redemption are departments of the Natural Law at work in this universe; if they were not, the Incarnation and Resurrection could not have happened. Being aspects of Natural Law, the law and logic of atonement and redemption condition, and therefore operate upon, every instant of existence. Once the revelation has been delivered, nature cannot but testify thereto, whether in whole or in part. The heavens are telling the glory of God; but this, we now see, means that they are telling the Lordship of Jesus of Nazareth, and have been since the world began. It was a star that told his birth, and a chorus of stars, forever singing as they shine, that sang of it to the shepherds. This was no novelty in their music. For, the revelation is of an eternal truth. That truth has always operated on nature, as indeed the very nature of nature; and in the historical fact of the Resurrection its pervasive operation in the world is revealed once and for ever.

The economy of redemption must then be, since and on account of the Resurrection, and therefore always, implicitly an aspect of the basic, natural economy of human life. It must be present implicitly – and explicably, intelligibly – in the laws of economics and in the Law of Nature. Only thus could pre-mortem salvation or sainthood be possible to us. Only thus could Christianity be even relevant to human life.  It is because Christianity is true that there is such a thing as charity in the first place; so that society as such, being fundamentally an operation of charity – i.e., of co-inherence – is possible only by virtue of the prior truth of the Christian revelation.

But notice now that human society, like the human body, is a procedure of reality at large. It may be dissected from its world by intellectual analysis, but not by concrete disintegration. Concretely disintegrate a fact from the causal order of which it is an expression, and which it expresses, and you nullify its concrete facticity – you unmake it.

Whatever else it may be, then, human society is first an expression of Nature’s Laws. The concrete actuality of any expression of a law presupposes the prior operation of that law. But this is true for every fact of nature. Among Nature’s Laws is the Logos of redemption, revealed in the Passion and Resurrection. The world as a whole, then, presupposes, and expresses, the prior truth of the Christian revelation. If Christianity were not true, there could be no world such as ours.


[1] We could by combining those two verbs equivalently say that supernature has “performed” nature, indicating thereby just how the world is created ex nihilo, and referring back to its fundamentally musical character, as math concretely implemented.

3 thoughts on “Nature Presupposes Christianity

  1. Good Day Kristor,

    You had an article on the “Worldwide Demographic Collapse” that appeared on the RSS feed and then it disappeared. I enjoyed the little bit of information and was looking forward to the mentioned graph. I was wondering if that article/graph would be appearing again?

    Thanks,
    Marc

    • Yes, it will be coming soon. I have been trying to get the graph to embed properly, and totally failed. Our tech wizard fared no better, so I plan to rewrite the item with just a link to the graph.

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