In response to Christianity’s claims regarding Jesus’ resurrection many critics argue first century people were just naive and prone to believe fantasy and myth. Not hardly. Consider the following.
This from Peter: “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16).
From the blind man whom Jesus healed, responding to a disbelieving crowd: “Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.” (John 9:32).
Thomas, after hearing initial reports of the resurrection: “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25).
Jesus’ miracles validated his authority and His resurrection validated His identity, and He hid neither in clever theological arguments but instead planted them firmly in history, in space and time, where they could be observed by all who would attempt to answer Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” GS
The Apostle Paul said the kingdom of God was not a matter of talk but power. (I Cor. 4:20). In other words, the Kingdom is not merely a theological proposition but a realm in which the power of God is manifested.
I firmly believe in miracles, and I’m not talking about the I-lost-my-keys-prayed-and-found-them type. I’m talking about healings from incurable diseases, people being instanteously set free from drug addictions and the like. I believe in such things because of what I’ve witnessed, the testimony of others who have witnessed miracles and the testimony of the Bible.
As a trial attorney, I don’t think it arrogant of me to suggest I know something about evidence. I also like to believe I’m a rational person. It’s surprising to me then that Christians are so often accused of believing in miracles because of their dogma, while materialists’ disbelief is asserted as being based on reason. Nothing could be further from the truth. As G.K. Chesterton has noted, Christians believe in miracles because of the testimony of persons who have witnessed them throughout history. Materialists disbelieve in miracles because their materialist dogma prohibits it.
Ask a materialist why he disbelieves the testimony of persons who have witnessed miracles and he will say those persons are not credible. Ask why he believes those persons are not credible and he will answer, “Because miracles are not possible.” His objection to miracles does not spring from evidence, or the lack of it, but from his a priori belief against them. Chesterton said it like this, “It is we Christians who accept all actual evidence–it is you rationalists who refuse actual evidence being constrained to do so by your creed.”
I’m glad I’ve thrown my lot in with those who are open-minded. GS