“How can miracles be possible? In this scientific age, how can any intelligent person who considers the orderliness of the universe believe in them?” The real issue here is whether or not God exists. If God exists, then miracles are logical and pose no intellectual contradictions. By definition, God is all-powerful. He can and does intervene in the universe that He has created.
Ultimately, we are being asked, “How do I know God exists?” History records many arguments for the existence of God. However, these have counterarguments, and some evidence seems to negate them. So they are regarded as hints rather than as conclusive proof that God exists. The greatest indication of the existence of God is His coming into human history. I know God exists, not because of all the philosophical arguments, but because He came into human history in Jesus Christ and I have met Him personally. Our answer begins with Him. His credentials substantiate His claim. The supreme credential, of course, is the fact that He rose from the dead. In helping a non-Christian think through the intellectual basis of Christianity, our best defense is a good offense. One way to stimulate the person’s thinking is to ask, “Which of the other three possibilities about Jesus Christ do you believe, since you do not believe that He was the truth?” There are only four possible conclusions about Jesus Christ and His claims. He was either a liar, a lunatic, a legend, or the Truth.
A. Liar. Most people believe that Jesus was a great moral philosopher and teacher. To call Him a liar would be a contradiction of terms.
B. Lunatic. He thought He was doing right, but He suffered from delusions of grandeur. The hitch in this conclusion is that the clinical symptoms of paranoia do not fit with the personality characteristics of Jesus Christ. The poise and composure which He demonstrated are not characteristic of those who suffer from paranoid disturbances.
C. Legend. He never made the statements attributed to Him. They were put in His mouth by overenthusiastic followers in the third and fourth century. Modern archaeology, however, makes it difficult to maintain this theory. Recent findings confirm that the New Testament documents were written during the lifetime of the contemporaries of Jesus Christ. Development of an elaborate legend would have required a more significant time lag. We also need to consider with the person what it means to prove or not prove God. We can never prove God by the scientific method. But that does not mean that our case is lost. The scientific method as a means of verification is limited to measurable aspects of reality. No one can measure love, hatred, or justice. However, there is a science of history. As we examine the data for Christianity and particularly the evidence for the Resurrection, we find a solid case on which to base our conviction. These are the ideas we need to suggest to a person who takes the essentially materialistic position, based on rationalistic presuppositions, and claims that because there is no supernatural, miracles are impossible. When someone begins with this presupposition, no amount of evidence will convince him or her of the truth. If you started out by denying that miracles are possible, what evidence would convince you that a miracle had taken place? None. Christ dealt with this problem in Luke 16:27–31. The principle still holds today. The data we have concerning God’s visitation to this planet are sufficient grounds for us to believe. When someone refuses to accept this evidence, no additional evidence will convince that person.