The natural world view says that there is a natural explanation for everything that happens, including what the faith world view would attribute to the supernatural. They also say that there is a degree of faith in both views; i.e., that whether or not one believes in the supernatural, it is by faith (unseen belief). Also, if the supernatural were obvious (seen), all would believe. So, they approach the subject of the supernatural by asking, how can we figure it out; i.e., that this is indeed a struggle for most people. With the natural world view, there seems to be a train of thought to indicate that a thing can be declared true, if, and only if, it is what most people believe. i.e., If you can persuade me, then it is true. This seems very arrogant.
On the contrary, the answer, to me, is that one cannot believe without the nudging of the Holy Spirit. A thing can be true whether or not I understand it, or believe it.
So, a debate on this subject often seems to lead to a discussion of miracles. Do miracles happen? Miracles can only happen by way of the supernatural. I agree, since this seems to be a reasonable definition of miracles; i.e., that they constitute what is not the natural order of things; rather, they are supernatural. Again, the natural world view says that all phenomena have a natural explanation, and supernatural forces do not exist. An advocate of this position says that, since he operates on principles of induction (and supposedly nobody else does), he needs to see a thing before he will believe it. We need to be able to show that a thing actually happened, and then we will be able to explain it in natural terms. We need to demonstrate at thing, or reproduce it, before it can be believed. Otherwise, we will consider it to just be a made-up myth. Of course, with this view, the Bible holds no authority.
So, the skeptic asks, how do miracles occur. If we believe in miracles, aren’t we curious about how they occur? Why doesn’t it make just as much sense to say that we simply cannot explain them, rather than to attribute them to external, supernatural forces? When it comes to miracles, we often tend to think of healings, or turning water into wine. However, I like to think of a lesser known miracle, that I believe to be a better example. In 2 Kings 6:5-7, a man was cutting down a tree, and the iron axhead he was using came loose from the ax handle, and fell into the Jordan River. He was distressed because the ax was borrowed. Then the prophet Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the river where the axhead had fallen, and the iron ahead iron floated to the top of the water. This is a perfect example of a miracle because it so obviously defied the natural order of the earth that we live in. The heavy iron axhead defied the natural gravitational forces that would normally have held it at the bottom of the river.
Incidentally, Buddhism, being a non-theistic religion, also refuses to adhere to belief in miracles.
Christianity has been called the true myth. Only in Christianity has God been seen in history, with the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Even skeptics have to respect the historical (both biblical and extra-biblical) and archeological records of Jesus in human history. The eyewitness accounts of His earthly ministry, and His death, burial, and resurrection have been passed down through all the generations since that time, both orally, and with documentation in written form, by both believers and non-believers. Furthermore, believers and unbelievers agree, that anyone claiming to be the Son of God is either a lunatic or he is telling the truth, and there is general agreement that Jesus was, at the least, a very wise man, and not a lunatic.
Chuck Colson writes of the tremendous impact of these eyewitness accounts, through an analogy of his own situation in recent history. Colson was one of the conspirators in Nixon’s Watergate cover-up. He said that any time a group of men conspire to cover up a story, there’s always at least one man in the group that concedes and admits the truth, especially when pressured by the authorities, such as for a plea bargain. His analogy is that if the twelve disciples had just concocted the story about Jesus’s life, death, burial, and resurrection, at least one of the twelve would have eventually conceded with the truth, especially since almost all of them were martyred because of their spreading of the gospel. Instead, they all simply and bravely faced their martyrdom.
Now, consider the atheist who doesn’t believe in God, or the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus because he hasn’t seen Him with his own eyes. He refuses to believe in miracles as well, saying that he first has to see one, and then he would believe. He denies all of the evidences of the biblical, other historical documents, science, and archeological. Yet this same person is willing to believe a hypothesis that Homo erectus roamed the earth between the years of 2 billion BC and 1.6 billion BC, even though these dates are continually changed by various scientific minds by a billion years or so. This same person is also willing to believe in scientific methods such as carbon dating. Why doesn’t he reject this in the same way he rejects miracles and the risen savior, since he has seen no direct evidence with his own eyes? Why doesn’t he say that he will only believe that a particular rock is 100,000 years old if we carbon date it now, then wait 100,000 years, and future generations carbon date it again, and compare the results? Why is he so sure that the carbon dating concept of a half-life has remained constant throughout history, even through earth-changing events such as a world-wide flood? Why does he demand scientific laboratory proof in one case, but he is willing to forego it another? Where is the consistency that he claims science has over faith?