“Moses stretched out his hand over the waters and the Red Sea divided! Joshua spoke to the sun and it stopped in the middle of the sky for a whole day. Elisha made an iron axe float on water! Jesus gave sight to the blind, caused the lame to walk, and raised His friend Lazarus from the dead. He also multiplied a few loaves and some fish into food for five thousand! This is the world of the Bible. The modern world, by contrast, is a natural one. It is a world in which solid metal objects heavier than water always sink, as do people who step into water. The modern world is one where water flows to its own level but does not form vertical walls. It is a world where dead remain in the grave and where winemakers cannot fill their wine barrels from the water faucet” (Miracles and Modern Thought, Norman L. Geisler, pp. 11-12). This has moved some people to deny the possibility or reality of miracles; to them the biblical world seems mythical and superstitious while our world seems real and scientific. Sigmund Freud’s view was that the belief in the miraculous is escapism or an illusion, a childhood neurosis that men vainly desire to protect themselves from the horrible realities of life.
Is Everything We See “Natural”?
Some do not believe in the supernatural, for they argue that all our perception and experience deals with the natural world, and there is no evidence that the supernatural world, including God or miracles exist.
First, do we see and experience more than just matter. I would argue that the existence of the conscience, the heart, emotions, and rational thought point to the fact that reality includes more than just “physical stuff”. In addition, even those who do not believe in the supernatural still use terms such as “good”, “evil”, “right”, and “wrong”. These are concepts, they are not composed of “matter” and yet they do exist (Ephesians 6:1 “for this is right”). Added to that, what about such concepts as “love”, “kindness”, “mercy”, “patience”, “faithfulness” and so on? (Galatians 5:22-23) Even people who do not believe in God, still “believe” in such qualities and yet such qualities are not made out of any physical material.
The Bible argues that everyday we are confronted with objective proof and evidence that God does exist. The creation that surrounds us and that confronts us everyday is the product of a miracle! (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20; Psalm 33:6) To the person that says, “I do not believe in miracles because there is not any evidence to support such a belief”, needs to be reminded that every day they are looking at the effect of a miracle! David Hume did not believe in miracles and argued that a “wise man always bases his belief on the greater evidence”. Actually, the “greater evidence” when we observe the creation points to God being its author and not chance or an accident.
Cause and Effect
Henry Morris notes that the law of cause and effect, which is universally accepted and followed in every field of science, “relates every phenomenon as an effect to a cause. No effect is ever quantitatively ‘greater’ or qualitatively ‘superior’ to its cause. An effect can be lower than its cause but never higher” (Scientific Creationism, pp. 19-20). Using such reasoning we note the following. God is an adequate First Cause for all observable effects in the Universe.
The First Cause of limitless Space must be infinite
The First Cause of endless Time must be eternal
The First Cause of boundless Energy must be all-powerful
The First Cause of universal Interrelationships must be omnipresent
The First Cause of Infinite Complexity must be all knowing
The First Cause of Moral Values must be moral
The First Cause of Spiritual Values must be spiritual
The First Cause of Human Responsibility must be volitional
The First Cause of Human Integrity must be truthful
The First Cause of Human Love must be loving
The First Cause of Life must be living
Miracles are Not Repeatable?
Some reject the Bible’s claims of miracles because such miracles cannot be repeated and observed today. Yet, using the same test, the atheist or evolutionist would be forced to abandon their own faith in the “Big Bang Theory”, for that supposed event has never been repeated! In addition, such an argument forgets the purpose and place of miracles. The miracle of Creation does not need to be repeated; neither does the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea or the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus being resurrected once was quite sufficient to prove that He is the Messiah (Romans 1:4). The Bible also reveals that the miracles would cease after God’s inspired word has been recorded (1 Corinthians 13:8-13). Thereafter, all the miracles that one would need to believe in God, would be the miracles recorded in the Bible, “but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31).
Where is the Greater Faith Needed?
If people complain that it takes a lot of faith to believe in God, that the Bible is His accurate, inspired, and preserved Word, and that Jesus did rise from the dead, then they forget that it takes absolute blind faith to believe the opposite. Roger Penrose, who helped to develop Black Hole theories, estimated as one in one hundred billion to the 123rd power the odds of a Big Bang producing by accident an orderly universe as opposed to chaos. John Blanchard, in the book Does God Believe in Atheists?quotes useful analogies about the likelihood of the universe allowing for the existence of life: hitting a target an inch wide on the other side of the observable universe, or expecting a pole vaulter’s pole to remain standing, poised on its tip, for centuries following his vault. A chance of one out of 1,000,000,000,000,000 is considered a virtual impossibility, but when DNA co-discoverer Francis Crick calculated the possibility of a simple protein sequence of 200 amino acids (much simpler than a DNA molecule) originating spontaneously, his figure was 10 with 260 zeroes after it. “Those who remember one past fad will appreciate British scientist Fred Hoyle’s view of the odds against evolved life. ‘Anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with the Rubik cube’, he wrote, ‘will concede the near impossibility of a solution being obtained by a blind person moving the cube faces at random. Now imagine 10 to the fiftieth blind persons (standing shoulder to shoulder, these would more than fill our entire planetary system) each with a scrambled Rubik cub simultaneously arriving at the solved form’” (World Magazine, April 14th, 2001, p. 50). It is amazing that people who believe in evolution or that the universe comes from nothing and everything evolved by chance are often the same people who state that one should only believe in what is “most probable”!
Believing in Advance
Often people do not believe in God, the Bible, or the miracles mentioned in it, because they have concluded in advance that miracles never occurred. Others, all too well understand the “moral commitment” that goes with accepting the fact that God is and that God has spoken to us. Aldous Huxley wrote of the philosopher trying “to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do….We don’t know because we don’t want to know” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Romans 1:28).
Everything has remained the same?
Many evolutionists believe that all present processes have always remained the same, and seeing that miracles do not happen today, they conclude that they never did happen. Yet this argument backfires. Dinosaurs do not exist today, and neither does the “Ice Age”, therefore did such things never happen? The earth clearly shows signs of tremendous geological upheaval that is not happening now. To argue that since it is not happening now, it never happened, makes about as much sense as arguing that seeing that something is not happening now it will never happen. Peter speaks of mockers who will deny that Jesus is coming in Judgment, because “For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:4). The Holy Spirit notes that such an argument is based on an ignorance of history (2 Peter 3:5-6).
The Reasonableness of Miracles
Establish the point that God is, and miracles make perfect sense. Yes, if God were God, then He would be able to stop the movement of the earth around the Sun, part the Red Sea, create the universe in six days, multiply loaves and fishes, heal every kind of disease and sickness, and raise the dead. Everything that the Bible says about God makes perfect sense. God would be all-powerful, all knowing, eternal and omnipresent. “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
Added to this, if God became a man (Hebrews 2:14,17), then we should expect Him to demonstrate miraculous powers to back up His claims, “Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know” (Acts 2:22); “For no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2); “When the Christ shall come, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?” (John 7:31). If fact, we would have a very difficult time believing in Jesus if He had not performed any miracles, for anyone can merely claim to be God. Jesus Himself said, “The very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me” (John
5:36). Josh McDowell noted:
If God became man, then we would expect Him to:
Have an unusual entrance into life
Be without sin
Manifest the supernatural in the form of miracles
Have an acute sense of difference from other men
Speak the greatest words ever spoken
Have a lasting and universal influence
Satisfy the spiritual hunger in man
Exercise power over the creation, the spiritual world, and death
Mark Dunagan/Beaverton Church of Christ/503-644-9017