SWIMMING IN A SEA OF MIRACLES

"Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done… If I would declare and speak of them they would be too numerous to count." - Psalm 40:5

We live in an age and culture that is, at the same time, extremely skeptical and equally gullible. It is skeptical in regard to the truth claims of the Bible but gullible concerning the claims of virtually any other religion, philosophy or cracked pot scheme to lose weight, make money or escape the inevitable accompaniments of aging. Take, for instance, the story of Christ's birth. Complaint? There are too many miracles. What is too many? Any. The virgin birth will serve for starters. It's against the laws of nature! Science has proven that it is impossible! Christians copied the legends of the pagans concerning virgin-born heroes or demi-gods! And then, when you add to it the account of the appearance of angels, wise men following a star, etc., etc., you just can't expect us to believe all that!

Of course, many of these skeptics will then listen respectfully to proponents of "The Secret", Reincarnation, "Gaia", or the power of crystals. The rest, who are skeptical of any form of immaterial phenomenon, will cast all caution aside in favor of the theory of evolution whereby countless miracles of chance are invoked to bridge enormous deficits in the probabilistic resources of the natural world to account for the origin of biological life and the development of all of its mind-boggling variety, efficiency and complexity. This is what is known in the Bible as "straining at gnats and swallowing camels"!

I was asked recently why I don't believe in the theory of Evolution. It was hard to answer because there are so many reasons! I finally summed it up by saying, "I just don't believe in miracles of chance." Someone then asked me if chance isn't the opposite of a miracle. There is sense in that question in that chance events are events not guided or produced by a mind or intelligence. Such events are the result of perfectly determined, mindless, randomly acting, material forces. Such undirected physical events are easily accounted for on the basis of the laws and properties of the material universe whereas a miracle, in the classic sense, is an event whose origin transcends the physical world, an event that nature cannot produce on its own.

A miracle of chance is therefore really a non-event, which is why I don't believe in them. The difference between a miracle of chance and a supernatural miracle is that the former, by definition, lacks adequate resources for its occurrence. Nature cannot produce them because it lacks the probabilistic resources. It is becoming increasingly clear that even with 13.7 billions of years and all the matter of the universe, nature could not have produced the simplest possible form of life or developed any of the incredibly sophisticated machinery of living systems. Classic, Biblical miracles, on the other hand, do have adequate resources for their occurrence because they are the product of intelligence and are not limited to the meager material resources of the universe.

If there are no miracles of chance because they couldn't possibly happen then how many supernatural miracles are there? The answer: we are swimming in a sea of miracles every day. This world is one big miracle and our little corner of the Universe, at least, is brimming full of them! Once we realize this, the Biblical accounts of miracles seem tame by comparison. Consider that the universe just happens to be extremely fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life. There are many physical parameters and constants which, if they were ever so slightly changed one way or the other, we would not be here. For the Universe to be that way by sheer chance is really impossible to rationally believe. This has forced the atheists and materialists to come up with dozens of incredibly outlandish and bizarre theories to account for this. One very prominent physicist has just published a book that seriously proposes that we created ourselves! When David wrote, "It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves…" (Psalm 100:3) he was apparently quite mistaken!

Others posit an eternally oscillating universe or a "multiverse" of an infinite number of universes so that a universe with just the right fine-tuning could come about by chance. But all these completely unverifiable (and hence unscientific) theories bump into the problem of the infinite regress. If there is anything less than an infinite number of them then we must come up with an account of how they all began. On the other hand, if they really are infinite in number we would never arrive at the current universe because there are an infinite number of its precursors! You really cannot avoid something that is "The Uncaused Cause" and because you also need an adequate cause for life, consciousness, mind, irreducible complexity, specified information, language, the moral law, reason, love, beauty, purpose and many other denizens of this sea of miracles in which we live, move and have our being, you simply are forced to call this uncaused cause and adequate originator, "God"!

Every time you make a free choice, draw a rational conclusion, even draw a breath, you are participating in a miracle or the result of a miracle. Every cell of your body is packed solid with miracles - things that just wouldn't be there unless a supernatural intelligent agency produced their originals. So - this Christmas, don't apologize or stumble over the few paltry miracles that are part of the story of Christ's birth. The same Being who gives us the only reasonable answer as to how we are all here is quite reliable to tell us how He sent His Son to save us from our sins. So let us celebrate His coming with carefree joy and unapologetic abandon!