As I had been observing Craig while he rattled off his reasons for believing in God, I noticed that he displayed a serene confidence in what he was saying. Before we finished, I wanted to get to the heart of what was producing that conviction.
"As you sit here right now, deep in your soul, do you know for a fact that Christianity is true?" I asked.
Without hesitating, he replied, "Yes, I do."
"Ultimately, how do you know for sure?"
"Ultimately, the way a Christian really knows that Christianity is true is through the self-authenticating witness of God's Spirit," he said. "The Holy Spirit whispers to our spirit that we belong to God .36 That's one of his roles. Other evidence, though still valid, is basically confirmatory."
Craig thought for a moment, then asked, "You know Peter Grant, don't you?" I replied that, yes, I was a friend of the Atlanta pastor. "Well," Craig said, "he came up with a great illustration of how this works.
"Let's say you're going to the office to see if your boss is in. You see his car in the parking lot. You ask the secretary if he's in, and she says, 'Yes, I just spoke with him.' You see light from under his office door. You listen and hear his voice on the telephone. On the basis of all this evidence, you have good grounds for concluding that your boss is in his office.
"But you could do something quite different. You could go to the door and knock on it and meet the boss face-to-face. At that point, the evidence of the car in the parking lot, the secretary's testimony, the light under the door, the voice on the telephone-all of that would still be valid, but it would take a secondary role, because now you've met the boss face-to-face. "And in the same way, when we've met God, so to speak, face-to-face, all of the arguments and evidence for his existence-though still perfectly valid-take a secondary role. They now become confirmatory of what God himself has shown us in a supernatural way through the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts."
"And this immediate experience of God is available to anyone who seeks it?"
"Absolutely. The Bible says God is knocking on the door of our life, and if we open it we will encounter him and experience him personally. He says in Revelation 3:20: Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with me."'
Craig gestured toward the tape recorder that had been capturing our conversation. "We've been talking a lot about miracles today," he said in conclusion. "It's no exaggeration to say that knowing God personally and seeing him change lives are the greatest miracles of all."
I reached over and clicked off the recorder. Because of my own experience with God after years of living in the mire of immorality as an atheist, I knew he was right.
Based on how God has transformed my life, my attitudes, my relationships, my motivations, my marriage, and my priorities through his very real ongoing presence in my life, I realized at that moment that miracles like manna from heaven, the virgin birth, and the Resurrection-well, in the end, they're child's play for a God like that.
• After reading this interview, do you believe that miracles are possible? What would convince you that something miraculous had occurred? Do you believe the evidence of history establishes that the miraculous resurrection of Jesus actually took place? Why or why not?
• Which one of Craig's arguments for the existence of God was most persuasive to you? Why? Taken together, do these five points convince you that it's rational to believe in the existence of a miracle-working God? If not, how else would you account for these five categories of evidence?
• Craig prayed for God to miraculously cure his medical condition, but he hasn't. What do you think of his reaction to that? Have you prayed for God to intervene with a miracle in your life? What happened? How has this affected your attitude toward God? In what way was Craig's response to his situation helpful or not helpful to you?
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