...but I've got a few things to talk about before I get there. No peaking!
#1, I have been tangnetally involved in a discussion over at Pastor Jeff's Ramblings that wandered into a discussion with a "faithful" (you'll get the joke in a minute) follower of his who argued that even proof of Jesus' rising from the dead would not constitute proof of His Divinity. You see, he is an atheist (I hope the description fits, he's rather sensitive about these things) and will accept nothing other than first-hand proof that God exists. Unfortunately, as with most atheists, the evidence of faith is excluded to the point of derision. I don't want to get into the whole battle here, just two small parts of it.
One of those involves that in the interests of merely pointing out that his mindset is covered in the Bible without trying to start a whole thing, I posted the verse from Luke at the endof the Lazarus and the Rich Man parable- when Abraham tells the rich man that, if they don't believe Moses and the prophets, they would not believe even if one should rise from the dead. Somehow, this verse made him state that I was terming him a liar. After scratching my head, I asked him how that was. He said that if he saw a miracle, he'd believe. I responded that, out of respect for his already based opinions, I have know way of knowing that's true unless we watch a miracle together.
You see, this gentleman had got sensitive with Pastor Jeff over Jeff trying to extrapolate what he believes in order to carry on the conversation, and then the dude tells Jeff that the problem with most Christians is "They try to tell me what I think." Even when trying to be respectful of the guy, he was antagonistic.
For my part, I explained to him we had two different belief sets, accepting different kinds of evidence. The element of faith is accepted evidence in mine, while it is not in his. At which point, he said that he thought we were at a dead end, and I agreed. On the Pastors end, he mentioned that their were certain concepts that people like this fellow were afraid of, faith being one of them. He replied (naturally) we was not afraid of the concept of faith, but he refused to deal with it in a spiritual connotation because of the "religious baggage" it carried.
In other words, unless you cut the heart out of the word, he wouldn't recognize it. Because accepting spiritual faith as a concept meant that he wasn't looking at all options; by deleting it, his worldview still held sound. Which at last brings me to my two points.
I do not believe that a miracle would convince this man. For the simple fact that miracles happen all the time in this world. Call them coincidence, etc., they are out there. What he probably meant to say is that he would believe IF the miracle happened right before his eyes, and IF it was a miracl of the sort that would prove Christ's divinity. Two problems with that will probably keep it from ever occuring.
The first is that Jesus is the Bread of Life. Spiritual food. Even when He was on earth, miracles were performed solely for the HUNGRY- those that had FAITH enough to believe He could do as He said. Though I cannot speak for Jesus, I'd say the evidence is pretty clear that Jesus isn't going to grant a miracle to someone who simply isn't spiritually hungry.
The second comes up when one argues, "What about Thomas? He demanded the same kind of proof and received it!" Very true. However, Thomas was coming from a position of HOPE. Thomas wasn't trying to prove his world view, nor was he daring God to do something. He was HOPING that something he longed to believe was true. Again, evidence suggests that Thomas would have never had the opportunity to put His hands in the Nailprints if his attitude was, "Prove that You are God." Thus, I do not believe that a miracle would convince Pastor Jeff's follower of anything. But the one thing that could make it happen even though all this is the reason Jesus allowed it to Thomas- He had a job for Thomas. And that is between Jesus and this man.
And if you've scrolled down this far looking for the weird thing, hang on because I've got one more quick story to tell. Last night, the Detroit PD got a bomb threat at Comerica Field during the Tigers game. As it was the third such threat this week, all false alarms thus far, they didn't evac the stadium, but searchd quietly and found no bombs. They should have checked the bat rack in the Angels' dugout. Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, Alberto Callaspo, Kendrys Morales, and some guy named Pujols all hit home runs in a 13-0 rout of the Tigers. I think the Tigers would disagree with the "no bombs" diagnosis.
If you are still here, here's what you've been waiting for. Last night around 11 PM Scrappy and I took a walk. Across from the park, a car pulled up to us. Two men wearing gas masks were in it. The driver asked me if I knew where ground zero was. I laughed and said "Ground Zero?" He said, "Yeah, we're trying to find it," and drove away. They come out early in this neighborhood.