Following on from the first post on the question of “Why doesn’t God do incredible miracles today?”, this second thought builds on the fact that although we think an “undeniable” miracle would provide rock-solid evidence for faith, there is much to suggest that it would not. If our hearts are set against belief then no amount of awesome miracles will compel us to believe. Now for my second point, which is this: though we demand for God to show himself undeniably to every human being as sufficient proof for belief, it is harder than we first believe to think of a way for him to actually do this. And not only this, but I strongly question whether this is something we would actually want him to do.
When you think about it, pretty much all of the examples which we usually come up with as “undeniable” actually end up being quite easily explained if we choose to remain skeptical. How about writing your name in the stars? Would this be undeniable proof? For many seekers perhaps it would, but I think equally, for committed skeptics, this would more easily be explained by some other phenomenon, even aliens for instance, than to allow for God’s handiwork. Consider the following factors as well. If it were only you that saw this, others would explain it away as hallucination. If it were witnessed by the entire human race across the globe, this might be good enough for them, but what about the generation after them? Even if it somehow worked perpetually for every successive generation, how would something like this reveal that God is in fact the God of the Bible and not just any other “Supreme Being”?
While you might be able to think of a much more convincing “undeniable” miracle my point is that it seems very hard, if not impossible, to think of a way in which God could actually meet our arrogant demand of him. There are very, very few things that are undeniable. These are limited to laws of pure logic (i.e statements such as ‘all bachelors are unmarried men’) and laws of mathematics (i.e 2+2=4). These are things which we can know for sure and cannot be honestly denied. But as I’m sure you’ll agree, proving these is quite a different kettle of fish to proving the existence of a person–and yes that includes even proving undeniably that a person called you exists.
But let’s imagine we can think of a way, and this is all assuming that God gives us some measure of freedom to believe in him. I suppose he could simply force every single person to believe and obey him; this is after all what we are really demanding when we ask for “undeniable proof”. But the next question I’m led to is: would we really even want this? Would we want God to reveal himself to us in a way that leaves us with no choice whether to believe in him or not? Would that fit into our idea of a perfectly loving God? That would make God a tyrant, as philosopher Blaise Pascal once said, trying to achieve by one way something which can only genuinely be had by another, i.e forcing us to love him when authentic love can only exist where there is freedom.
Here is a bit of food for thought. God is love. So let’s assume God values freedom of choice because without choice there cannot be genuine love. Can you think of a way that God could reveal himself to all people, providing enough evidence for those that do want relationship to believe in him, while maintaining enough freedom to allow those who do not want relationship to refuse belief in him? Let me put it another way: how could God reveal himself effectively to all people while maintaining their freedom to accept or reject him?
Perhaps one good way would be for him to actually step into our world as a person so we could see him, making sure people knew he was coming by predicting everything that would happen, and do certain things that only God can do like control the weather and bring dead people back to life. At the same time he could make sure people knew exactly which God he was by telling them what they need to know about himself, then proving his character with miracles and compassionate love. Maybe throw in a violent, unjust death by execution followed by a predicted self-resurrection while you’re at it. This would be probably be enough evidence for many to believe both at the time and afterwards, while at the same time not forcing anyone to accept him. Those that desired relationship would have their proof, and those that did not would have their opportunity for reasonable doubt. Anyway, there’s one possibility to think about. Oh wait…