November 09, 2015

The Miracle of Ice

Greg Gilbert:
Imagine a man who lived all his life—a long time ago, before electricity or any modern technology—on a tropical island near the equator. One day, a ship shows up, and the sailors tell him they're from a country far away in the north. Then they begin to talk about this fantastic substance called ice, which is like water turning into rock when it gets very cold. Now our friend on the equatorial island has absolutely no experience of ice, nor even (likely) of the kind of cold required to make it. So probably, he's going to have a very hard time believing that this "water turning into a very cold rock" has ever actually happened. He may even declare it to be impossible and the sailors to be dupes or liars. Ice lies utterly and completely outside his experience, and he doesn't believe in it.
And yet ice exists.
When it comes to miracles, I think many of us are like that tropical guy with the ice. We've never experienced anyone walking on water or turning water into wine or rising from the dead, so we begin with an assumption that those things don't—indeed, can't—happen. But just because we've never experienced them doesn't mean they don't exist, just as it's ridiculous to say that ice doesn't exist because the island man has never seen any. In fact, for someone who has experienced miracles—and millions of people in the world say they have—this whole question of whether miracles are plausible (much less possible) seems pretty silly. . . . All that is to say that you can't just declare miracles—and therefore the Bible—to be implausible simply on the strength of your own experience or lack thereof. [1]

1. Greg Gilbert, Why Trust the Bible? (Crossway, 2015), pp. 106-107.
Gilbert pp. 106-107

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