Gospel of John #27 : John 3:3-8 (passage is reproduced below)
Side Question: Why is it that scientific knowledge makes progress while religious knowledge often stays in the dark ages – as if antiquated ideas are holy, never outmoded, and spiritual truths are incapable of being surpassed ? Or: are spiritual ideas actually eternal in a way that scientific ideas can never be? A puzzle.
Today’s puzzle bears on the concept of spiritual rebirth. Is rebirth by the Spirit an ancient and eternal truth or instead something new, which abrogates our customary religious ideas?
Main point: The single-birth hypothesis, I suggest, rivals the flat-earth hypothesis. The single -birth hypothesis posits that we have one lifetime to live, which is counted in years and measured according to space in three-dimensions. Thus, if one is elderly or middle aged, one has lived a long time temporally, having experienced lots of life (as if life were a finite substance), while one’s life is draining away, too, since one is closer to death than before.
Life is measured by time and by corporeal metaphors.
This single-life hypothesis, because it depends on sensory experience, resembles the flat-earth hypothesis.
Evidently, the flat-earth hypothesis – which has no theoretical basis – is making a come-back even while climate change is regarded by some as a hoax. Not everything true can be confirmed by our senses. The earth looks flat. But, the hypothesis of a flat earth is not coherent according to science.
For instance, the round-earth and heliocentric hypotheses, stipulating that the round earth revolves around the sun, allows scientists to explain biological life, and the role of our planet earth in the larger cosmos, while the flat-earth and earth-centric model of the universe lacks such explanatory power.
Take a look at this article. Flat Earth Hypothesis
Jesus confronts the single-life hypothesis in John 3. In order to see the Kingdom of God, Jesus says, you must be born again (also translated as: born from above). Yet, the concept of being born again contradicts our common sense.
In fact, as Nicodemus (Jesus’s dialogue partner) objects, “How can someone enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be reborn?” Nicodemus measures life according to time and space. Jesus replies that many things that are real are in fact invisible in origins and destination. Like the wind, so the Spirit (which gives rebirth) leaves a sensory trace (one can hear the wind blow) yet its causality and direction cannot be perceived by the senses.
If you suppose that life is invisible in its essence, spiritual by its nature, and a continually renewable resource (rather than a limited and finite quantity), then one may be born again (or: born from above). Just as a round-earth and heliocentric model explains the relationship of the earth to the larger cosmos, so the hypothesis of spiritual rebirth explains facts about life in the spirit, including: forgiveness, miracle, and love.
Such spiritual realities are not well accounted for by a single-birth hypothesis. If we love according to the amount of life that a person exhibits, then it would follow from the single-birth hypothesis that there would be less to love as a person’s biological life moved towards its expiration date.
Spiritual life follows principles and laws that confound sensory experience and logic.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”