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.”
Among the most common objections to Christianity is that because there are multiple religions around the Earth claiming to point the way to Heaven, the politically correct conclusion is that “all roads lead to God.”
It’s a reassuring, comfortable idea because it means we each can make a choice from among a menu of spiritual options. This idea especially appeals to individualistic Americans who want to control all aspects of their lives and those who believe their intelligence and education gives them unique insights on such issues.
Roman and Judean officials are having a hard time Sunday explaining how or why the body of Jesus, the 33-year-old itinerant Galilean preacher crucified Friday for claiming to be God, has disappeared from a sealed tomb guarded by an elite unit of Legion soldiers.
Reports of an empty tomb began circulating throughout Jerusalem shortly after dawn today when two women who said they were hoping to complete the man’s burial preparations told friends the heavy rock that had been rolled in front of the entrance late Friday was removed a distance away and that his body was nowhere to be found.
One of the most common objections to the New Testament account of crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is that He didn’t actually die, but rather somehow survived.
There are variations in the argument but they essentially go on to claim Jesus was mistakenly assumed by his Roman executioners to be dead, He was buried and then revived in the coolness of the tomb and somehow escaped.
From there, according to the skeptics, Jesus lived an anonymous life in India or Japan or somewhere, anywhere but Heaven at the right hand of God the Father, as claimed by the New Testament (see, for example, the Gospel of John).
Those who have worked on the Hill for at least five minutes — especially legislative directors and press secretaries — know the infinite value of “Talking Points” and “Executive Summary” for getting to the essence of an issue because there’s never enough time.
Tim Stratton of Free-Thinking Ministries knows the value of such tools and applies them to the biggest issues, including grasping quickly, accurately and logically the multiple profound implications of the Big Bang.
Imagine that you are veteran congressional investigator with years of experience digging into documents, probing witnesses, weighing evidence and sifting claims and counter-claims.
Would that be a good background for evaluating the credibility of the claims of Jesus Christ to be the only way to Heaven and the reliability of the Bible as the word of God? You would certainly have many of the most critical skills required for such an investigation, no?
Meet J. Warner Wallace. No, Wallace is not a former congressional investigator, but he is one of the world’s most respected experts at solving the toughest crime cases, the ones that have gone unsolved for years.
It’s a truism heard often these days that “all roads lead to God, whether you believe in Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Confucius, the Hindu pantheon, Bahai or …” on and on it goes.
As it happens, Jesus is the only one of this all-star lineup of claimants to deity who claimed absolute exclusivity, as He did at John 14:6, saying “I am the way and the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but through me.”
What if Jesus is right? Professor Sean McDowell has the answer to that question. (Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash)