So what if Jesus was to reappear on Earth and, in a well documented manner, did things like heal amputees? In other words, what if God did as the atheists demand and they get their sensational, miraculous, unexplainable gaps? What next?
Atheists like Michael Shermer would not acknowledge this as evidence for God. Instead, they would insist that this “Jesus” could be some ETI trying to deceive us.
But atheists like Jerry Coyne would count this as evidence for God. Provisionally, that is. According to Coyne:
At some point I would just say, “Okay, I’ll tentatively say there’s a God,”
He also adds:
If only Christian prayers were answered, and Jesus appeared doing miracles left and right, documented by all kinds of evidence, I would say, “It looks as if some entity that comports with the Christian God is working ‘miracles,’ though I don’t know how she does it.”
So if God were to satisfy atheist demands for “evidence,” many atheists would still not believe and others would offer up some mealy-mouthed concession about the mere existence of God and want to know how she does her miracles.
Once we, as Christians, can recognize how this would play out, it becomes rather obvious that all those demands for evidence are a sham. For I do not think God is all that interested in whether or not someone believes He exists. He is interested in whether or not someone believes they are a sinner. And note the reaction of the atheists. Would they repent of their sins? Would they beg for forgiveness? Would they choose to worship and follow Christ? No. Not at all. They would simply reassert their sins of pride and arrogance. They would maintain their self-centered perception as judge of all reality.
The biggest head fake of all is this notion that atheists are atheists because of “the evidence.” We’ve seen that the non-existence of such “evidence” is a matter of subjective opinion, but what is far more important is whether or not the self-centered views of the atheists can acknowledge the need to repent of their sins. For it’s not whether or not there is some gap out there that would force some atheists to say “Okay, I’ll tentatively say there’s a God.” What matters is whether or not atheists can admit their need for salvation.
The core issue here is not, and had never been, “the evidence.” The issue is rebellion and the manner in which we love our sin. So the question that gets us closer to the heart of the matter is not “what type of data would count as evidence for God.” It is, “if you were convinced God exists, what would it take to get you to repent of your sins and stop rebelling against God?”