The greatest miracle
It always strikes me as odd when skeptics or atheists dismiss the virgin conception of Jesus as a ridiculous impossibility. The late former atheist Christopher Hitchens – “former” because now he knows the truth – in a debate at Stanford on intelligent design interrupted his opponent’s opening remarks with two questions, “Do you believe Jesus Christ was born of a virgin?” and “Do you believe he was resurrected from the dead?” Upon the Christian’s affirmative reply Hitchens sneered dismissively, “I rest my case.”
It’s odd because despite all their derision of those who give credence to the possibility that something beyond nature acted on the natural laws to bring about an extraordinary event, they seem to have no trouble believing that the universe popped into existence from nothing. There was nothing…and then there was the universe. Ta da! Such an incredible, extraordinary event unexplainable in natural terms as to its cause because all of nature came into existence at the event, is still considered non-supernatural even though it is a much more spectacular miracle than the virgin birth or the resurrection.
The standard Big Bang model describing the beginning of the universe is widely accepted among cosmologists and astrophysicists, and those who are seeking a naturalistic explanation of it, as scientists are prone to do…naturally, have proposed various theories. But it seems that every tenable model turns out to require an absolute beginning, which requires then a cause over, above, outside of and apart from nature. In other words, supernatural.
- Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its beginning.
- The universe began to exist
- Therefore, the universe has a cause of its beginning.
This is the cosmological argument for the existence of God as argued by philosopher William Lane Craig. It is very modest in its premises, which are immensely more plausible than their negations. So the conclusion is undeniable if the premises are accepted as true. Since what we identify as the universe is all of space, time, matter and energy, its cause must be something else entirely.
Actually, someOne else, because the effect that is the universe had to be caused by an entity with a will who chose to cause it. An immaterial, spaceless, timeless, incredibly powerful, personal, supernatural being. A being for whom a virginal conception and a resurrection from the dead would be as easy as a casual thought.
Skeptics who ridicule those who believe miracles have occurred yet believe in the beginning of the entire universe, are believing in perhaps the greatest miracle of all.