Are Science and the Supernatural At Odds?
(This blog is part of a series. You can start the series by going back to the September 1, 2014 Introduction called A Case for Christianity: Why do we need one?)
The supernatural is not remote and abstruse: it is a matter of daily and hourly experience, as intimate as breathing. Denial of it depends on a certain absent-mindedness. But this absent-mindedness is in no way surprising. You do not need — indeed you do not wish — to be always thinking about windows when you are looking at gardens or always thinking about eyes when you are reading. –C.S. Lewis, Miracles
Over the past few months we have looked at evidence for the existence of God and scientific evidence that favors Intelligent Design via a Creator vs. evolution via random chance. You may not agree with that assessment, but if there is even a possibility that what I have presented so far is true would you put your eternal destiny on the line and walk away from further investigation? Don’t we all live our lives on possibilities? If there is a chance we can get that certain guy or gal; if there is a chance we can get that job; if there is a chance that the treatment the doctor is offering will work, don’t we go for it? I once heard someone say that in this life there are very few things we ask absolute certainty of, except the existence of God and the truth of the Christian Bible. Here Christians are asked to give proof at the highest degree of absolute certainty, but we don’t even require that level of certainty in a court of law to convict a person of a crime, no, we ask for proof beyond a reasonable doubt and that’s what I think we have here in Christianity. So let’s assume we all agree that it is reasonably possible that God exists and He created our universe. If God exists as the Creator then it follows that He would have control over the natural and the supernatural, thus making miracles possible. If then miracles are possible can they be used to confirm a message from God?
How might God communicate?
The King’s Seal:
- In ancient times a King’s Seal (or sign) authenticated their messages
- A Seal (or sign) must be unique, recognizable, and something only the King possesses
- God’s Seal (or sign) of authentication could be found in His ability to control creation outside the established rules of nature, i.e. miracles
- Miracles can be considered as a Seal (or sign) to confirm an authenticated message from God
What is and isn’t a miracle?
How many people can say that they have experienced a miracle in their lives, or have seen one in the life of someone they know? I have asked this question many times in my classes and every time over half the students raise their hand, and then the story sharing begins. It appears that many people have experienced miracles, or at least think that they have.
A miracle is something which would never have happened had nature, as it were, been left to its own devices. -Antony Flew (former atheist)
- A miracle is a special act of God that interrupts the normal course of events
- Natural laws are descriptive not prescriptive (of what ‘must’ happen)
- Natural laws describe what happens regularly, by means of natural causes; miracles describe what happens rarely, by means of supernatural causes
In their book, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist, Norm Geisler and Frank Turek share much of this information on miracles and give an excellent breakdown of what I think differentiates miracles from other types of events:
|Type of event||Description||Power||Traits||Example|
|Anomalies||freaks of nature||physical||natural event with pattern||bumblebees|
|Magic||slight of hand||human||unnatural and man controlled||rabbit in the hat|
|Psychosomatic||mind over matter||mental||requiring only faith; fails often||psychosomatic cures|
|Satanic signs||evil power||psychic||evil, falsehood, occult, limited||demonic activity|
|Providence||prearranged events||Divine||naturally explained; spiritual context||fog at Normandy|
|Miracles||Divine Act||supernatural||never fails, immediate, lasts, glory to God||raising the dead|
Miracles are not only possible; miracles are actual, because the greatest miracle of all—the creation of the universe out of nothing—has already occurred. So with regard to the Bible, if Genesis 1:1 is true—”In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”—then every other miracles in the Bible is easy to believe. If we admit God, must we admit Miracle? Indeed, indeed, you have no security against it. That is the bargain. -C.S. Lewis
It is important as Christians to be sure that the book we refer to as The Holy Bible is the miraculous, inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God.
- Does the Bible contain evidence of the miraculous?
- Is the Bible God’s way of communicating with us, and if so how do we confirm that?
- Is there literary, historical, archeological and scientific evidence for this?
The unmistakable answer is… YES YES YES!!!
In the next several posts we will look at the evidence for this as we move into A Case for the Bible: Is the Bible more than just a book written by men?
Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” -Matthew 11:4-6 (This passage shows Jesus’ fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 35:5-6)
Let me know what you think: Are miracles possible? Why or why not. Have you experienced a miracle that you would like to share? Post it in the comment section.
Over the next several blogs I am going to continue to present logical reasoning and sound scientific evidence not found in the public school textbooks.
Always be ready to give an answer for the hope that you have in Christ Jesus as Lord.
1 Peter 3:15