AFTER LIFE 3 Review and Open Letter to Ricky Gervais Part 31 Kath: What? Penny: Strong, confident, determined on the outside. But on the inside, you’re vulnerable and sensitive. You’re lonely. It’s tough, isn’t it? Being a strong woman in a man’s world. You feel you’ve lost a little of yourself, and you see needing comfort as a weakness they’ll pounce on. So you deny you need it. But you do need it, dear. Everyone does. TONY NEEDS EVIDENCE TO BELIEVE BUT KATH DOESN’T

After Life Season 3 is EMOTIONAL- Netflix Review

Bertrand Russell 1957.jpg

Russell in 1957

After Life

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After Life TV Show on Netflix: canceled or renewed?

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After Life TV Show on Netflix: canceled or renewed?

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After Life TV Show on Netflix: canceled or renewed?

World Exclusive: After Life Season 3: The First few Minutes

After Life | Season 3 Official Trailer | Netflix

episodes will be released on January 14th.

Just Three Things. Written for #Afterlife by Ricky Gervais and Andy Burrows

After Life TV Show on Netflix: canceled or renewed?
After Life TV Show on Netflix: canceled or renewed?
After Life TV Show on Netflix: canceled or renewed?
After Life TV Show on Netflix: canceled or renewed?

March 7, 2022

Ricky Gervais

London, W1F 0LE
UK

Dear Ricky,


Penny: Hmm. Let’s see. Interesting. 

Kath: What? 

Penny: Strong, confident, determined on the outside. But on the inside, you’re vulnerable and sensitive. You’re lonely. It’s tough, isn’t it? Being a strong woman in a man’s world. You feel you’ve lost a little of yourself, and you see needing comfort as a weakness they’ll pounce on. So you deny you need it. But you do need it, dear. Everyone does. ( sentimental music playing )

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TONY NEEDS EVIDENCE TO BELIEVE BUT KATH DOESN’T

Tony totally dismissed the palm reading abilities of Penny and I totally agree with his assessment, but I do think there is reason to believe the Bible is true!! Let me give you evidence and talk about a hero of yours!!!

Ricky you are a great admirer of Bertrand Russell.

Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true._Image result for francis schaefferFrancis Schaeffer noted concerning the IMPLICIT FAITH of Bertrand Russell:I was lecturing at the University of St. Andrews one night and someone put forth the question, “If Christianity is so clear and reasonable then why doesn’t Bertrand Russell then become a Christian? Is it because he hasn’t discovered theology?”It wasn’t a matter of studying theology that was involved but rather that he had too much faith. I was surrounded by humanists and you could hear the gasps. Bertrand Russell and faith; Isn’t this the man of reason? I pointed out that this is a man of high orthodoxy who will hold his IMPLICIT FAITH on the basis of his presuppositions no matter how many times he has to zig and zag because it doesn’t conform to the facts.You must understand what the term IMPLICIT FAITH  means. In the old Roman Catholic Church when someone who became a Roman Catholic they had to promise implicit faith. That meant that you not only had to believe everything that Roman Catholic Church taught then but also everything it would teach in the future. It seems to me this is the kind of faith that these people have in the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system and they have accepted it no matter what it leads them into. I think that these men are men of a high level of IMPLICIT FAITH in their own set of presuppositions. Paul said (in Romans Chapter One) they won’t carry it to it’s logical conclusion even though they hold a great deal of the truth and they have revolted and they have set up a series of universals in themselves which they won’t transgress no matter if they conform to the facts or not.Here below is the Romans passage that Schaeffer is referring to and verse 19 refers to what Schaeffer calls “the mannishness of man” and verse 20 refers to Schaeffer’s other point which is “the universe and it’s form.”Romans 1:18-20 Amplified Bible :18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. 19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. 20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification].We can actually see the two points makes playing themselves out in Bertrand Russell’s own life.Image result for bertrand russell[From a letter dated August 11, 1918 to Miss Rinder when Russell was 46]It is quite true what you say, that you have never expressed yourself—but who has, that has anything to express? The things one says are all unsuccessful attempts to say something else—something that perhaps by its very nature cannot be said. I know that I have struggled all my life to say something that I never shall learn how to say. And it is the same with you. It is so with all who spend their lives in the quest of something elusive, and yet omnipresent, and at once subtle and infiniteOne seeks it in music, and the sea, and sunsets; at times I have seemed very near it in crowds when I have been feeling strongly what they were feeling; one seeks it in love above all. But if one lets oneself imagine one has found it, some cruel irony is sure to come and show one that it is not really found.
The outcome is that one is a ghost, floating through the world without any real contact. Even when one feels nearest to other people, something in one seems obstinately to belong to God and to refuse to enter into any earthly communion—at least that is how I should express it if I thought there was a God. It is odd isn’t it? I care passionately for this world, and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted—some ghost, from some extra-mundane region, seems always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand the message. But it is from listening to the ghost that one comes to feel oneself a ghost. I feel I shall find the truth on my deathbed and be surrounded by people too stupid to understand—fussing about medicines instead of searching for wisdom. Love and imagination mingled; that seems the main thing so far.During Bertrand Russell’s lifetime (1872-1970) there lived another scholar who also doubted that the Bible was true and his name was Sir William Mitchell Ramsay (1851-1939. Ramsay taught from 1885 to until his retirement in 1911 but he continued writing books.Wikipedia notes:In 1880 Ramsay received an Oxford studentship for travel and research in Greece. At Smyrna, he met Sir C. W. Wilson, then British consul-general in Anatolia, who advised him on inland areas suitable for exploration. Ramsay and Wilson made two long journeys during 1881-1882.He traveled widely in Asia Minor and rapidly became the recognized authority on all matters relating to the districts associated with St Paul’s missionary journeys and on Christianity in the early Roman Empire. Greece and Turkey remained the focus of Ramsay’s research for the remainder of his academic career. In 1883, he discovered the world’s oldest complete piece of music, the Seikilos epitaph. He was known for his expertise in the historic geographyand topography of Asia Minor and of its political, social, cultural, and religious history. He was Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, in 1882.From 1885 to 1886 Ramsay held the newly created Lincoln and Merton professorship of classical archaeology and art at Oxford and became a fellow of Lincoln College (honorary fellow 1898). In 1886 Ramsay was appointed Regius Professor of Humanity at the University of Aberdeen. He remained affiliated with Aberdeen until his retirement in 1911. What information did William Ramsay find out about the accuracy of the Bible? Francis Schaeffer discusses Ramsay’s life below:

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnotes #97 and #98)

A common assumption among liberal scholars is that because the Gospels are theologically motivated writings–which they are–they cannot also be historically accurate. In other words, because Luke, say (when he wrote the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts), was convinced of the deity of Christ, this influenced his work to the point where it ceased to be reliable as a historical account. The assumption that a writing cannot be both historical and theological is false.The experience of the famous classical archaeologist Sir William Ramsay illustrates this well. When he began his pioneer work of exploration in Asia Minor, he accepted the view then current among the Tubingen scholars of his day that the Book of Acts was written long after the events in Paul’s life and was therefore historically inaccurate. However, his travels and discoveries increasingly forced upon his mind a totally different picture, and he became convinced that Acts was minutely accurate in many details which could be checked.What is even more interesting is the way “liberal” modern scholars today deal with Ramsay’s discoveries and others like them. In the NEW TESTAMENT : THE HISTORY OF THE INVESTIGATION OF ITS PROBLEMS, the German scholar Werner G. Kummel made no reference at all to Ramsay. This provoked a protest from British and American scholars, whereupon in a subsequent edition Kummel responded. His response was revealing. He made it clear that it was his deliberate intention to leave Ramsay out of his work, since “Ramsay’s apologetic analysis of archaeology [in other words, relating it to the New Testament in a positive way] signified no methodologically essential advance for New Testament research.” This is a quite amazing assertion. Statements like these reveal the philosophic assumptions involved in much liberal scholarship.A modern classical scholar, A.N.Sherwin-White, says about the Book of Acts: “For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming…Any attempt to reject its basic historicity, even in matters of detail, must not appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken this for granted.”When we consider the pages of the New Testament, therefore, we must remember what it is we are looking at. The New Testament writers themselves make abundantly clear that they are giving an account of objectively true events.(Under footnote #98)Acts is a fairly full account of Paul’s journeys, starting in Pisidian Antioch and ending in Rome itself. The record is quite evidently that of an eyewitness of the events, in part at least. Throughout, however, it is the report of a meticulous historian. The narrative in the Book of Acts takes us back behind the missionary journeys to Paul’s famous conversion on the Damascus Road, and back further through the Day of Pentecost to the time when Jesus finally left His disciples and ascended to be with the Father.But we must understand that the story begins earlier still, for Acts is quite explicitly the second part of a continuous narrative by the same author, Luke, which reaches back to the birth of Jesus.Luke 2:1-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)2 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all [a]the inhabited earth. [b]This was the first census taken while[c]Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a [d]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.In the opening sentences of his Gospel, Luke states his reason for writing:Luke 1:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things[a]accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those whofrom the beginning [b]were eyewitnesses and [c]servants of the [d]word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having [e]investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellentTheophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been [f]taught.In Luke and Acts, therefore, we have something which purports to be an adequate history, something which Theophilus (or anyone) can rely on as its pages are read. This is not the language of “myths and fables,” and archaeological discoveries serve only to confirm this.For example, it is now known that Luke’s references to the titles of officials encountered along the way are uniformly accurate. This was no mean achievement in those days, for they varied from place to place and from time to time in the same place. They were proconsuls in Corinth and Cyprus, asiarchs at Ephesus, politarches at Thessalonica, and protos or “first man” in Malta. Back in Palestine, Luke was careful to give Herod Antipas the correct title of tetrarch of Galilee. And so one. The details are precise.The mention of Pontius Pilate as Roman governor of Judea has been confirmed recently by an inscription discovered at Caesarea, which was the Roman capital of that part of the Roman Empire. Although Pilate’s existence has been well known for the past 2000 years by those who have read the Bible, now his governorship has been clearly attested outside the Bible.

Kenneth S. Wuest

Luke, The Greek Historian“LUKE WAS a Greek, educated in the Greek schools, prepared for the medical practice which was held in high regard as a profession, and among the Greeks had attained to a place of eminence among the nations of the world. Greek doctors of medicine were in attendance upon many of the royal families of other nations. The Greeks were by nature and training, a race of creative thinkers who pursued their studies in a scientific manner. Their sense of what really constituted scientific accuracy and method in the recording of history was well developed.The writings of Luke, both his Gospel and The Acts, demonstrates Luke’s training as an historian. He writes his Gospel to a Gentile friend, Theophilus. The name means “a god-lover,” or “god-beloved,” and may have been given him when he became a Christian. The words “most excellent” according to Ramsay, were a title like “Your Excellency,” and show that he held office…Luke wrote the Gospel for Theophilus to use as a standard whereby to judge the accuracy of the many inspired accounts of our Lord’s life which were written in the first century.The facts he records were most surely believed by the first century church. Luke arranges the facts of our Lord’s life in historical order as they occurred. The other Gospels do not claim to do that. The arrangement of events was dictated by the purpose which each author had in writing his account. The sources of Luke’s information were oral and written, from eye-witnesses of the events recorded.He as a trained historian would carefully check over these accounts, investigating and verifying every fact. And this is what he has reference to when he uses the words “having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first.” The words “having had perfect understanding” are literally, “having closely traced.” The verb means “to follow along a thing in the mind.” The word was used for the investigation of symptoms. Thus it speaks of a careful investigation of all sources, oral and written, which purport to be accounts of our Lord’s life.Luke had the historian’s mind, a thing native to the educated Greek. Herodotus, the father of Greek history, exhibited the Greek determination to get at the truth no matter how much work it required, when he travelled to central Africa to verify the account of the annual rise and fall of the Nile River. In those days this was a long and difficult journey. Sir William Ramsey said, “I regard Luke as the greatest historian who has ever lived, save only Thucydides.” Thus we have no doubt but that Luke made a personal investigation of all the facts he had recorded. He interviewed every witness, visited every locality. If Mary was still alive, he, a doctor of medicine investigated the story of the virgin birth by hearing it from Mary’s own lips. And as Professor John A. Scott, a great Greek scholar has said, “You could not fool Doctor Luke.”But Luke was not dependent alone upon his personal investigations for the accuracy of his record. He says that he closely traced all things from above. The words “from above” are from a Greek word translated “from the very first,” in the Authorized Version. The word occurs in John 3:31; 19:11; James 1:17; 3:15, 17, and is in every instance translated “from above.” It is used often in contrast to a word which means “from beneath.” Paul had doubtless heard the account of the institution of the Lord’s Supper from the eleven, but he also had it by revelation from the Lord (I Cor. 11:23). He had received his gospel by direct revelation in Arabia, and this was his check upon the gospel he heard at Jerusalem from the apostles.SoLuke claims to have closely investigated the facts he had received, and to have done so through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which fact guarantees the absolute accuracy of the record (Luke 1:1-4).”

Kenneth S. Wuest, “Word Studies In The Greek New Testament” (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans 1979) pp. 52-54

XXX

Now let us look again at this issue of miracles!!!

Penny tells Tony she can contact Lisa. I agree with Tony that this is stupid!!!


Below is the link to former atheist Lee Strobel’s book:

Click to access Case_for_+Faith.pdf


OBJECTION #2:
SINCE MIRACLES CONTRADICT SCIENCE, THEY CANNOT BE TRUE
The virgin birth, the Resurrection, the raising of Lazarus, even the Old Testament miracles, all are freely used for religious propaganda, and they are very effective with an audience of unsophisticates and children.
Richard Dawkins, atheist 1
It is not just a provocative rumor that God has acted in history, but a fact worthy of our intellectual conviction. The miracles of Christianity are not an embarrassment to the Christian worldview. Rather, they are testimony to the compassion of God for human beings benighted by sin and circumstance.
Gary Habermas, Christian 2
I’ve seen guilty defendants squirm and sweat on the witness stand as they feel the noose of justice slowly tightening around their neck. They try to lie their way out of their predicament. They concoct improbable stories in a futile effort to explain away incriminating evidence. They manufacture transparently false alibis; they cast blame on innocent people; they attempt to

discredit police and prosecutors; they rewrite history; they deny and obfuscate and try to hoodwink the judge and jurors.
But there’s one tactic I’ve never seen: a defendant claiming that the reason his fingerprints ended up on the murder weapon is-somehow, for some inexplicable reason, an act of God occurred, a mysterious, unrepeatable, supernatural event that made his fingerprints suddenly appear somewhere he had never touched.
Once a defendant tried a “Twinkie defense” by making the dubious assertion that his elevated sugar levels were somehow responsible for his criminal behavior, but not even the most audacious defendant would try a “miracle defense.”
Why? Because nobody would believe him! After all, we’re modern and scientific people living in the Third Millennium. We don’t subscribe to superstition, sorcery, or direct intervention from some unseen divine source. Claiming a miracle would be so blatantly silly that even the most desperate defendant wouldn’t resort to that strategy.
One time I saw Penn and Teller, the comedian-magicians, select a ten-year-old boy named Isaiah from the audience and show him a long strip of polyester, which they proceeded to knot and cut in the middle. Then, with a big flourish, they shook out the cloth and-voila!-it was in one piece again.
“What do you think?” Penn asked little Isaiah. “Was that a miracle or a magic trick?” Isaiah didn’t hesitate. “A magic trick,” he replied with confidence.
A mere child, it seems, is smart enough to know that when we can’t quite understand what
might have caused a mysterious event, there’s still undoubtedly a reasonable explanation apart from the miraculous.
I knew from my conversation with agnostic Charles Templeton that he had shed his belief in miracles many years ago. “Our early forefathers sought within the limits of their experience to interpret life’s imponderables, usually attributing the inexplicable to the intervention of one or more of their gods, demi-deities, and evil spirits,” he wrote. “But surely … it is time to have done with primitive speculation and superstition and look at life in rational terms.” 3
There are scientists who agree, predicting that the march of knowledge will ultimately trample belief in supernatural events. In 1937, German physicist Max Planck said: “Faith in miracles must yield ground, step by step, before the steady and firm advance of the forces of science, and its total defeat is indubitably a mere matter of time.”4
Atheist Richard Dawkins, professor of public understanding of science at Oxford University and author of The Selfish Gene, believes that time is rapidly coming. “We’re working on … a complete understanding of the universe and everything that is in it,” he said in a television interview.5
That means, viola! as with Penn and Teller’s magically restored sash, there would be no need to appeal to the miraculous in order to explain away what previously had been shrouded in mystery.
But can a person be scientifically sophisticated and still believe in the possibility of miracles? “My faith can be summed up in this one paradox: I believe in science, and I believe in God,” said nuclear physicist Hugh Siefken. “I plan to continue testifying to both.”6
He and many other scientists see no inherent conflict between their profession and their conclusion that a miracle-working God is responsible for creating and sustaining the universe.
Is that a form of professional denial? Can a person write off elves and fairies as being fanciful and yet at the same time embrace manna from heaven, the virgin birth, and the Resurrection as

being credible events of history? If miracles are direct violations of natural laws, then how can a reasonable person believe they could ever occur?
I knew that William Lane Craig was a rational man. And I was aware that he has used his considerable intellectual skills to defend the idea that God has-and does-intervene in the world through miraculous acts. I called him and asked whether he’d be willing to let me question him on the topic.
“Sure,” he said. “Come on down.”
I jotted down a long list of challenges and booked a flight to Atlanta. On the plane, I mused that primitive people probably would have considered jet travel to be a miracle. How else could fifty tons of metal be kept aloft in apparent defiance of the law of gravity? Surely God’s invisible hand must be beneath it.
People today know better. They understand aerodynamics and jet propulsion. But has our knowledge of science and technology really rendered all belief in miracles obsolete? Or would Craig be able to provide convincing evidence that a person can be sober-minded and discerning while at the same time maintaining the validity of the miraculous?
THE SECOND INTERVIEW: WILLIAM LANE CRAIG, PH.D.
My initial reaction to seeing Bill Craig was disbelief. His beard, which for twenty-three years had given him a serious and scholarly demeanor, was gone. My face must have registered my shock.
“I turned fifty,” he explained, “so I celebrated by shaving it off.”
Craig ushered me down a flight of stairs to his office, a well-organized room dominated by a dark wood desk and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves with neatly arranged rows of books and scholarly journals. I settled into a comfortable chair while Craig sat behind the desk, leaning back in a leather-clad office chair that protested with a loud squeak.
Craig has written extensively about miracles, especially the resurrection of Jesus. His books include Reasonable Faith, Knowing the Truth about the Resurrection, The Historical Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus, and Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus, and he contributed to In Defense of Miracles, Does God Exist? Jesus Under Fire, and The Intellectuals Speak Out about God.
He holds doctorates in philosophy from the University of Birmingham, England, and in theology from the University of Munich, and is currently a Research Professor of Philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology. He is the member of nine professional societies, including the American Academy of Religion, Society of Biblical Literature, and the American Philosophical Association, and he has written for New Testament Studies, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, Gospel Perspectives, Philosophy, and other scholarly publications.
Sans beard and wearing blue jeans, Craig looked a decade younger than his age, with piercing blue eyes, brown hair combed casually to the side, and a quick and enthusiastic laugh. He stroked his chin-subconsciously missing his beard, perhaps-as he listened intently to my first question, which admittedly came with an edge of challenge.
“Okay, Dr. Craig, you’re an intelligent and educated individual,” I began. “Tell me: how can a modern and rational person still believe in babies being born from virgins, people walking on water, and cadavers emerging alive from tombs?”

Craig smiled. “It’s funny you should ask specifically about the virgin birth,” he replied, “because that was a major stumbling block to my becoming a Christian. I thought it was totally absurd.”
“Really?” I said. “What happened?”
“When the Christian message was first shared with me as a teenager, I had already studied biology. I knew that for the virgin birth to be true, a Y chromosome had to be created out of nothing in Mary’s ovum, because Mary didn’t possess the genetic material to produce a male child. To me, this was utterly fantastic. It just didn’t make sense.”
“You’re not alone,” I observed. “Other skeptics have problems with it too. How did you proceed?”
Craig thought back for a moment. “Well, I sort of put that issue aside and became a Christian anyway, even though I didn’t really believe in the virgin birth. But then, after becoming a Christian, it occurred to me that if I really do believe in a God who created the universe, then for him to create a Y chromosome would be child’s play!”
I told Craig that I found it interesting he could have become a Christian despite misgivings about a doctrine as significant as the virgin birth.
“I guess the authenticity of the person of Jesus and the truth of his message were so powerful that they simply overwhelmed any residual doubts that I had,” he replied.
I pressed him by asking, “Weren’t you rushing headlong into something you didn’t totally accept?”
“No, I think this can be a good procedure,” he said. “You don’t need to have all your questions answered to come to faith. You just have to say, The weight of the evidence seems to show this is true, so even though I don't have answers to all my questions, I'm going to believe and hope for answers in the long run.' That's what happened with me." "Does a person have to suspend their critical judgment in order to believe in something as improbable as miracles?" Craig sat upright in his chair and raised his index finger as if to punctuate his point. "Only if you believe that God does not exist!" he stressed. "Then I would agree-the miraculous would be absurd. But if there is a Creator who designed and brought the universe into being, who sustains its existence moment by moment, who is responsible for the very natural laws that govern the physical world, then certainly it's rational to believe that the miraculous is possible." MIRACLES VERSUS SCIENCE We were already getting into the interview but we had not yet paused to define our terms. Before going any further, I knew it was important that we settled on what 'miracle' means. "We throw around the word pretty haphazardly," I said. Harking back to my day thus far, I added, "For example, I might say,It was a miracle I made my flight to Atlanta,’ or, `It’s a miracle I found your house.’ Is that being too loose with the word?”
“Yes, I think it’s a misuse to talk about these things as miracles,” he said. “They’re clearly natural events with natural consequences.”
“Then how do you define the term?”
Craig spelled out his definition with precision. “In the proper sense,” he said, “a miracle is an event which is not producible by the natural causes that are operative at the time and place that the event occurs.”

As he said it, I silently repeated the definition in order to cement it in my mind. I mulled it for a few moments before continuing with what I considered to be the next logical question.
“But then isn’t there a contradiction between science and miracles?” I asked. “Atheistic philosopher Michael Ruse said, Creationists believe the world started miraculously. But miracles lie outside of science, which by definition deals with the natural, the repeatable, that which is governed by law."7 "Notice that Ruse does not say miracles are contradictory to science," Craig pointed out. "He says miracles lie outside of science, and that's quite different. I think a Christian who believes in miracles could agree with him on that. He could say that miracles, properly speaking, lie outside the province of natural science-but that's not to say they contradict science." I tried to digest the distinction. "Can you think of another example of something like that?" I asked. Craig thought for a moment before answering. "Well, ethics, for instance, lie outside the province of science," he replied. "Science doesn't make ethical judgments. So I wouldn't necessarily object to Ruse's statement. He's saying that the goal of science is to seek natural explanations, and therefore miracles lie outside of the scientific realm." Before I could ask another question, Craig spoke up again. "I should add, though, that you can do a theistic form of science. For example, there's a whole movement of people like mathematician William Dembski and biochemist Michael Belie who infer by principled means that there is an Intelligent Designer of the universe and the biological world." They aren't being arbitrary-from a rational and scientific perspective, they're concluding from the evidence that there must be an intelligent Creator." "So," I said, "you're disagreeing with the great skeptic David Hume, who defined miracles as being violations of the laws of nature." "Yes, absolutely. That's an improper understanding of miracles," he said. "You see, natural laws have implicit ceteris paribus conditions-that's Latin meaning,all other things being equal.’ In other words, natural laws assume that no other natural or supernatural factors are interfering with the operation that the law describes.”
“Can you give me an example of that?”
Craig’s eyes swept the room in search of an illustration. He finally landed on one as near as his own body.
“Well, it’s a law of nature that oxygen and potassium combust when they’re combined,” he explained. “But I have oxygen and potassium in my body, and yet I’m not bursting into flames. Does that mean it’s a miracle and I’m violating the laws of nature? No, because the law merely states what happens under idealized conditions, assuming no other factors are interfering. In this case, however, there are other factors interfering with the combustion, and so it doesn’t take place. That’s not a violation of the law.
“Similarly, if there’s a supernatural agent that is working in the natural world, then the idealized conditions described by the law are no longer in effect. The law isn’t violated because the law has this implicit provision that nothing is messing around with the conditions.”
I told Craig that his explanation reminded me of a conversation I had several years earlier with J. P Moreland, the noted philosopher who wrote Christianity and the Nature of Science. He used an illustration of the law of gravity, which says that if you drop an object, it will fall to the earth. But, he said, if an apple falls from a tree and you reach out to catch it before it hits the ground, you’re not violating or negating the law of gravity; you’re merely intervening.

“Yes, that’s my point with the ceteris paribus conditions,” Craig said. “The law of gravity states what will happen under idealized conditions with no natural or supernatural factors intervening. Catching the apple doesn’t overturn the law of gravity or require the formulation of a new law. It’s merely the intervention of a person with free will who overrides the natural causes operative in that particular circumstance. And that, essentially, is what God does when he causes a miracle to occur.”
That made sense to me. I knew, however, that some scientists would nevertheless dismiss the miraculous as mere superstition. I decided to pursue this line of questioning further.
REAL ACTS OF GOD
I asked Craig what he thought about physicist Max Plank’s prediction that faith in miracles would inevitably yield ground to the advance of science and biologist Richard Dawkin’s remark that scientists would someday understand the workings of the universe and thus vanquish the need for miraculous explanations. Craig’s reaction surprised me.
“I think they’re right,” he declared.
I looked up from my notes, thinking perhaps he had misunderstood my question. “Excuse me?” I said.
“Really,” he insisted, “I think they’re correct-insofar as some superstitious people use miracles as an excuse for ignorance and sort of punt to God every time they can’t explain something. I think it’s a good thing that science will squeeze out that kind of simplistic thinking.
“But those aren’t the miracles I’ve been talking about. I’m referring to events by which, in a principled way, you could legitimately infer that there was a supernatural agent intervening in the process. Those miracles-real acts of God-won’t be squeezed out by the advance of science, because they’re not based on an appeal to ignorance. They’re substantiated by the weight of the scientific and historical evidence.
“Michael Belie does this in his book Darwin’s Black Box. Belie explores `irreducible complexity’ in nature-organisms that could not have evolved step-by-step by a gradual Darwinian process of natural selection and genetic mutation. Now, he’s not saying that this is merely scientifically inexplicable. He’s giving a principled inference to an Intelligent Designer based on what the evidence shows. This is rational. His conclusions are based on solid scientific analysis.”
Craig’s discussion of evidence for miracles prompted me to ask about another point that was made by Hume, the eighteenth-century Scottish skeptic and history’s most famous doubter of the miraculous. “Hume said the evidence for the uniformity of nature is so conclusive that any evidence for miracles would never be able to overcome it,” I pointed out. “For instance, look at the Resurrection. We have thousands of years of uniform evidence that dead people simply do not return from the dead. So Hume says no amount of evidence would be able to overcome that tremendous presumption.”
Craig shook his head. “There’s no contradiction between believing that men generally stay in their graves and that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead. In fact, Christians believe both of these. The opposite of the statement that Jesus rose from the dead is not that all other men remained in their graves; it’s that Jesus of Nazareth remained in his grave.
“In order to argue against the evidence for the Resurrection, you have to present evidence against the Resurrection itself, not evidence that everybody else has always remained in their grave. So I think his argument is simply fallacious.

“Now, I would agree with Hume that a natural resurrection of Jesus from the dead, without any sort of divine intervention, is enormously improbable. But that’s not the hypothesis. The hypothesis is God raised Jesus from the dead. That doesn’t say anything against the laws of nature, which say dead men don’t come back to life naturally.”
EXTRAORDINARY EVIDENCE
While I could see Craig’s point, I wanted to pursue this avenue further. “Some critics say that the Resurrection is an extraordinary event and therefore it requires extraordinary evidence,” I said. “Doesn’t that assertion have a certain amount of appeal?”
“Yes, that sounds like common sense,” he replied. “But it’s demonstrably false.”
“How so?”
“Because this standard would prevent you from believing in all sorts of events that we do rationally embrace. For example, you would not believe the report on the evening news that the numbers chosen in last night’s lottery were 4, 2, 9, 7, 8, and 3, because that would be an event of extraordinary improbability. The odds against that are millions and millions to one, and therefore you should not believe it when the news reports it. Yet we obviously believe we’re rational in concluding it’s true. How is that possible?
“Well, probability theorists say that you must weigh the improbability of the event’s occurring against the probability that the evidence would be just as it is if the event had not taken place.”
Craig rattled off that statement so fast that my mind was having trouble assimilating it. “Whoa,” I said, holding up my hand. “You’re going to have to slow down and give me an example.”
“Okay, look at it this way: if the evening news has a very high probability of being accurate, then it’s highly improbable that they would inaccurately report the numbers chosen in the lottery. That counterbalances any improbability in the choosing of those numbers, so you’re quite rational to believe in this highly improbable event.
“In the same way, any improbability that you might think resides in the resurrection of Jesus is counterbalanced by the improbability of the empty tomb, Jesus’ resurrection appearances, the sudden change in the first disciples taking place if there were no such event as the resurrection of Jesus. Do you see what I mean?”
Yes, I said, that illustration made his point clear. As improbable as the Resurrection might seem to skeptics, this has to be weighed against how improbable it would be to have all of the various historical evidence for its occurrence if it never actually took place.
“So,” Craig concluded, “it becomes quite rational to believe in an event like the miraculous resurrection of Jesus. Besides, I look at it this way: if God really exists, then in what sense is it improbable that he would raise Jesus from the dead? I can’t think of any.”
“Have you seen skeptics who have become believers in Christianity because of the quality and quantity of the evidence for the Resurrection?” I asked.
Craig’s eyes got wide. “Oh, yes, certainly!” he said. “I recently met a fellow who became a Christian out of the so-called free thought' movement. He looked into the Resurrection and concluded from the evidence that God raised Jesus from the dead. Of course, his free-thought colleagues bitterly railed against him. He said,Why are they so hostile? I merely followed the principles of free thought, and this is where the evidence and reason led me!”‘

I chuckled. “Are you saying some free thought' folks aren't as free thinking as they would have people believe?" "Frankly," he replied, "I think many skeptics act in a close-minded way." As a former skeptic myself, I have noticed the same phenomenon. "Are you referring to the fact that some of them rule out even the possibility of miracles from the outset?" I asked. "Precisely," Craig said. "Logicians have a term:inference to the best explanation.’ This means you have a body of data to be explained, and then you have a pool of live options or various explanations for that data. You need to choose which explanation from that pool would, if true, best explain the observed data.
“Some skeptics, however, will not allow supernatural explanations even to be in the pool of live options. Consequently, if there is no natural explanation for an event, they’re simply left with ignorance.
“That’s prejudice. Apart from some proof of atheism, there’s no warrant for excluding supernatural explanations from being a member of the pool of live options. If you do put them in that pool, then you’ve got to be an open, honest investigator to see which is the best explanation of any given event.”
THE MIRACLES OF JESUS
“Let’s say you’re an honest investigator,” I said, picking up on his last thought. “What would you look for to convince you that something miraculous has occurred?”
“You would have a number of criteria. You would have to investigate to see if something cannot be accounted for in terms of the natural forces that were operable at that time and place. And you’d look for a religio-historical context.”
I wanted to pursue this idea of context. Hume said that if historians uniformly agreed that the Queen of England died and then reappeared alive a month later, he would be inclined to accept any explanation other than God having performed a miracle. I asked Craig for his response to that.
“I would agree that a miracle without context is inherently ambiguous,” Craig replied. “The context of a miracle can help us determine if it’s from God or not. For instance, the Queen’s revivification would lack any religious context and would basically be a bald and unexplained anomaly.
“But that’s not the case with Jesus. His supernatural feats took place in a context charged with religious significance because he performed his miracles and exorcisms as signs of the in- breaking of the kingdom of God into human history, and they served as an authentication of his message. And his resurrection comes as the climax to his own unparalleled life and ministry and his radical claims to divine authority which got him crucified. This is why the Resurrection gives us pause, while the Queen’s return would only perplex us. Therefore, the religio-historical context is crucial in understanding miraculous events.”
But I pressed further: “Did Jesus perform miracles? What convinces you that he did?”
“The fact is that most New Testament critics today admit he performed what we would call miracles. Granted, they may not all believe these were genuine miracles, but the idea of Jesus of Nazareth as a miracle-worker and exorcist is part of the historical Jesus that’s generally accepted by critics today.”
With that, Craig swiveled his chair and withdrew a file from the shelf behind his desk. He flipped through some pages until he landed the one he was after. “Let me read you a quote from

Rudolf Bultmann, who’s recognized as one of the most skeptical New Testament critics of this century”:
The Christian fellowship was convinced that Jesus had done miracles and they told many stories of miracles about him. Most of these stories contained in the gospels are legendary or are at least dressed up with legend. But, there can be no doubt that Jesus did such deeds, which were, in his and his contemporaries’ understanding, miracles; that is to say, events that were the result of supernatural divine causality. Doubtless he healed the sick and cast out demons.9
Craig closed the file. “Even Bultmann says miracles and exorcisms belong to the historical Jesus. Now, in Bultmann’s day these stories were considered legendary because of the supposed influence of Greco-Roman mythology on the gospels, but scholars today realize this influence was virtually nil. They now believe the role of Jesus as a miracle-worker must be understood against the backdrop of first century Palestinian Judaism, where it fits right in.
“In fact,” he concluded, “the only reason to be skeptical that these were genuine miracles rather than psychosomatic healings would be philosophical-do you believe that such events can occur or not? The historicity of the events is not in doubt.”

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002


Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part I “Old Testament Bible Prophecy” includes the film TRUTH AND HISTORY and article ” Jane Roe became pro-life”

April 12, 2013 – 5:45 am

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Biblical ArchaeologyFrancis SchaefferProlife | Edit|Comments (0)

John MacArthur on fulfilled prophecy from the Bible Part 2

August 8, 2013 – 1:28 am

I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry King’s Show. One of two most popular posts I […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Edit|Comments (0)

John MacArthur on fulfilled prophecy from the Bible Part 1

August 6, 2013 – 1:24 am

I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry King’s Show. One of two most popular posts I […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events |Tagged Bible Prophecyjohn macarthur | Edit|Comments (0)

John MacArthur: Fulfilled prophecy in the Bible? (Ezekiel 26-28 and the story of Tyre, video clips)

April 5, 2012 – 10:39 am

Prophecy–The Biblical Prophesy About Tyre.mp4 Uploaded by TruthIsLife7 on Dec 5, 2010 A short summary of the prophecy about Tyre and it’s precise fulfillment. Go to this link and watch the whole series for the amazing fulfillment from secular sources. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvt4mDZUefo________________ John MacArthur on the amazing fulfilled prophecy on Tyre and how it was fulfilled […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Biblical Archaeology | Edit|Comments (1)

John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 2)

August 1, 2013 – 12:10 am

John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 2) I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit|Comments (0)

John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 1)

July 30, 2013 – 1:32 am

John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 1) I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit|Comments (0)

Adrian Rogers: “Why I believe the Bible is true”

July 9, 2013 – 8:38 am

Adrian Rogers – How you can be certain the Bible is the word of God Great article by Adrian Rogers. What evidence is there that the Bible is in fact God’s Word? I want to give you five reasons to affirm the Bible is the Word of God. First, I believe the Bible is the […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersBiblical Archaeology | Edit|Comments (0)

The Old Testament is Filled with Fulfilled Prophecy by Jim Wallace

June 24, 2013 – 9:47 am

Is there any evidence the Bible is true? Articles By PleaseConvinceMe Apologetics Radio The Old Testament is Filled with Fulfilled Prophecy Jim Wallace A Simple Litmus Test There are many ways to verify the reliability of scripture from both internal evidences of transmission and agreement, to external confirmation through archeology and science. But perhaps the […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Biblical ArchaeologyCurrent Events | Edit|Comments (0)

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part M “Old Testament prophecy fulfilled?”Part 3(includes film DEATH BY SOMEONE’S CHOICE)

April 19, 2013 – 1:52 am

  I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis SchaefferProlife | Edit|Comments (0)

Evidence for the Bible

March 27, 2013 – 9:43 pm

Here is some very convincing evidence that points to the view that the Bible is historically accurate. Archaeological and External Evidence for the Bible Archeology consistently confirms the Bible! Archaeology and the Old Testament Ebla tablets—discovered in 1970s in Northern Syria. Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Biblical Archaeology | E

On Saturday April 18, 2020 at 6pm in London and noon in Arkansas, I had a chance to ask Ricky Gervais a question on his Twitter Live broadcast which was  “Is Tony a Nihilist?” At the 20:51 mark Ricky answers my question. Below is the video:

Ricky Gervais 25/07/2021 Facebook Live at 28:29 mark Ricky answers my question about Sam Harris

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