The French philosopher Voltaire once said: “Even if a miracle were wrought in the open marketplace before a thousand sober witnesses, I would rather mistrust my senses than admit a miracle.”
The late British agnostic Bertrand Russell, was asked what he would say if, after he died, he found out there really was a God. He replied: “I would say, ‘Why did you not give me better evidence?’ ”
There’s no getting around it. Puny people presume to put God on trial.
The high priests of the movie and TV industries routinely take pot shots at Christ and the Bible. Countless university professors pander to the intellectual pride of their ill-informed students, injecting them with an arrogance that mocks the creation account of Scripture, the moral absolutes of the commandments, the virgin birth, the miracles, the resurrection and the Godhead of Christ as well as His exclusive claim to be the Way, the Truth and the Life.
This sort of thing has been going on for a long time – whether Christ Himself placed on trial before Caiphas and Pilate, or Christ’s servants on trial (Paul before the philosophers of Athens or before the throne of Caesar – Luther before Emperor Charles V).
Who to believe? Whose testimony holds weight?
Well-meaning believers in Christ often strive to overwhelm unbelief with some pretty good arguments of their own from science, history and logic – “to justify the ways of God to man” as the Puritan poet John Milton put it. To be sure, God didn’t give all the brains to unbelievers.
But a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. Don’t expect to “argue” your friend at work into the faith. Why is that? St. Paul says: “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
The law has its place to lance the festering boil of unbelief, to drag sin out of the shadows into the light and call it by its right name.
But only the gospel, the good news of the Savior who lived, died and rose again for us, is the real power of God for salvation. Not the heat of our logical arguments, but the Spirit’s kindly light of the gospel can break the darkness of a stubborn heart. Not the thunder of the law, but the gentle whisper of God’s love in Christ has the power to raise our dead souls to life, to make us “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”