When it comes to Christianity, one puzzling issue for naturalistic skeptics is the Biblical insistence that God does miracles. It’s startling to read about the plagues in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the giant fish that swallowed Jonah, and Daniel surviving a night in a den of lions.
Then we get to the gospels. There are matter-of-fact stories about Jesus walking on water, multiplying bread and fish to feed a crowd of thousands, Lazarus rising from the dead, and a blind man receiving his sight.
Most impressively, God raises Jesus from the dead to new life. His resurrected body can pass through walls and ultimately ascends into heaven.
Here are some of the primary objections that I hear to these miracle accounts:
- There is no good evidence that God exists in the first place
- The miracle stories are legendary accounts disconnected from history
- Other miracle accounts are a case of genuine misunderstanding by naive or credulous observers
- It is more reasonable to believe potential miracles are explained in light of unknown natural processes than an imaginary God
- Supposing that miracles occurred is a ‘science-stopper’ because it ends the process of investigating how an event might have happened
- Hoping for miracles can discourage Christians from accessing reliable medical care or otherwise taking responsibility for their lives
What do you hear as the main challenges to believing that God did miracles in the past - or does miracles today?