Few topics are greeted with greater skepticism than miracles, and no wonder, considering how often we hear of street-corner magicians, faith-healing hucksters and pyramid peddling get-rich-quick scammers.
But miracles of many kinds have happened during the course of human experience and have been subsequently documented to a greater or lesser degree. Even so, skepticism is an ever-present obstacle to acceptance of the possibility of genuine miracles.
That said, if you have an open mind, go read this post by Professor Sean McDowell of Biola University about a recent experience in the class he teaches there on miracles.
It concerns a young man who suffered a horrendous medical condition for the first 16 years of his life. But then a peer-reviewed medical miracle of prayer changed everything, according to the abstract published at ScienceDirect:
“In November 2011, he experienced proximal-intercessory-prayer (PIP) at a church and felt an electric shock starting from his shoulder and going through his stomach.
“After the prayer experience, he was unexpectedly able to tolerate oral feedings. The g- and j-tube were removed four months later and he did not require any further special treatments for his condition as all symptoms had resolved. Over seven years later, he has been free from symptoms.”
Imagine that your life depends upon your finding one particular molecule among all the molecules that make up our galaxy, the Milky Way? Oh, and you are blindfolded. What are the odds?
Well, according to molecular biologist Douglas Axe, who did the calculations, your odds of choosing the right molecule out of all the molecules that make up the Milky Way are actually better than the odds of random genetic changes to produce something new, even something as modest as a new protein function?
Axe, who received his PhD from CalTech in chemical engineering, puts it this way: “We ask how rare or how common functional proteins are within the space of possibilities. Doing experiments and calculations, we found that they are exceedingly rare, like one in 10 to the 74th power rare.”
Ever hear of the “Puddle Argument”? That’s the idea that if there is a puddle in the sidewalk, that just indicates that circumstances developed in the concrete in such a manner that it allowed rain water to accumulate.
Hong Kong’s population includes an estimated 7.5 million people, approximately two million of whom participated at the height of the protests that have grabbed world-wide attention.
At one point earlier this week, something quite amazing happened: The sea of protesters parted to allow an ambulance to get to somebody in distress. As the ambulance passed by, the protesters reformed their ranks.
In a 7-2 decision with Justice Samuel Alito writing the opinion for the majority, the Supreme Court said Thursday that a Maryland memorial dedicated to the memories of 49 local residents who died in World War I does not violate the Constitution simply because a cross is its most prominent feature.
“For nearly a century, the Bladensburg Cross has expressed the community’s grief at the loss of the young men who perished, its thanks for their sacrifice, and its dedication to the ideals for which they fought,” said Alito, one of the High Court’s most conservative members.
“It has become a prominent community landmark, and its removal or radical alteration at this date would be seen by many, not as a neutral act but as the manifestation of ‘a hostility toward religion that has no place in our Establishment Clause traditions,’” Alito said.
The latter statement quoted from a concurring decision written by liberal Justice Stephen Breyer.
Alito also wrote that “the Religion Clauses of the Constitution aim to foster a society in which people of all beliefs can live together harmoniously, and the presence of the Bladensburg Cross on the land where it has stood for so many years is fully consistent with that aim.”
If you work as a policy adviser for a senator or representative, consider this passage from Baylor University Professor Byron Johnson’s foreword to Glenn Stanton’s important new book, “The Myth of the Dying Church,” available now on Amazon or a bookstore near you.
“Over the last several decades, thousands of studies published in peer-reviewed journals document that the practice of attending church is associated with making people happier, healthier, better spouses, more generous, more ethical, more tolerant and more civically engaged and responsible citizens.
Would it undermine the Bible’s account of creation in Genesis if we Earthlings woke up tomorrow to a close encounter of the totally unexpected kind?
Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) are getting a lot of media attention these days. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, for example, spends significant air time talking about UFOs and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid agrees that “the truth is out there.”
Even as respected a media outlet as the Intelligencer column of New York magazine last year offered “13 Reasons To Believe Aliens Are Real,” with the first reason being “the government literally just admitted it’s taking UFOs seriously.”
So what if UFOs are real and there are other life-forms — aka “aliens” in popular culture —in the universe? What does that do to Christianity, the Bible and the belief that God’s creation of man in His own image is His greatest work?