Ecclesiastes 3:20—If all return to dust, how can there be a resurrection?
Problem: Some have argued against a physical resurrection on the grounds that the scattered fragments of decomposed corpses cannot be reassembled, since some become plants, or others are eaten by animals or even cannibals. Yet, the Bible declares that all bodies will “come forth” from the “graves” (John 5:28–29).
Solution: Several things must be noted in this connection. First, as many scholars have pointed out, if necessary, it would be no problem for an omnipotent God to bring all of the exact particles of one’s body together again at the resurrection. Certainly He who created every particle in the universe could reconstitute the relatively few particles (by comparison) in a human body. The God who created the world out of nothing is surely able to fashion a resurrection body out of something.
Second, it is not necessary to believe that the same particles will be restored in the resurrection body. Even common sense dictates that a body can be the same physical body without having the same physical particles. The observable fact that bodies eat food and give off waste products, as well as get fatter and skinnier, is sufficient evidence of this. Certainly, we do not say that one’s body is no longer material or no longer her body simply because she gains or loses weight.
Third, in the light of modern science it is unnecessary to believe that God will reconstitute the exact particles one had in his pre-resurrection body. The physical body remains physical even though, according to science, the exact physical molecules in it change every seven years or so. So, the resurrection body can be just as material as our present bodies and still have new molecules in it.
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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.