10. Jesus appears to people – really?

October 30th, 2019

What this page is about

I don’t know about you, but when I hear a story of someone seeing a vision – of God, or Jesus or angels, or whatever – my first thought is to think hallucination, imagination or even invention. Likely as fake as the above graphic. We live in a day when we have learned to be suspicious of things that are beyond our own experience, and not verified by science.

But what if psychological explanations don’t fit so well? What if a person’s experience meets certain requirements we might set to weed out the obviously fanciful? What if the person reporting such an experience seems normal, truthful and not prone to such imaginations?

What if it was you, how sceptical would you be then?

In this page you can read some reports for yourself to see what we are talking about, look at the effects of these experiences, examine how they might be explained and consider whether these experiences are evidence for the reality of God.

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7. The evidence for miraculous healing

September 23rd, 2019

The plot thickens!

So far in this series, I have presented 6 reasons to believe that a theistic explanation of the universe and humanity makes more sense than a naturalistic explanation. Each reason increases the probability that there is a God. But is that God a personal being, as most of the world’s monotheistic religions say, or just an impersonal, distant force?

This post is the first of several that examine human experiences that are claimed to show a personal and caring God at work in the world. So we ask, does divine healing occur and thus add extra evidence that God truly is?

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What would it take to convince you that a healing miracle had occurred?

July 6th, 2019

It’s not uncommon to come across stories of people being miraculously healed. They are some of the most popular pages on this site, and there’s no shortage of them on the internet.

I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing that some people want to feel re-assured God is really there, and some are perhaps looking for hope for their own healing. And then of course there are those who don’t believe healing can occur and want to debunk the stories.

So I wonder what evidence you would need to believe someone was miraculously healed?

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Four things the historians tell us about Jesus’ miracles – and one thing they don’t

May 14th, 2018

A few months back I responded to a discussion I was having about Jesus’ miracles by writing a post on the historical evidence. I have since turned that post into a permanent page, Did Jesus really perform miracles?, so I thought I would summarise the main conclusions here.

Some of them may be surprising to you, particularly if you have read a lot of internet claims about Jesus’ miracles.

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Experiencing God?

April 9th, 2018

Many people claim to have experienced God directly in some way. They claim to have seen a vision, or received divine healing, or they have had some deep spiritual experience, or God has turned their lives around in some way. They come from different religions, even from no religion and atheism. Sometimes the experience changes their lives completely, sometimes not so much.

The interesting question, of course, is whether God is really the origin of their experience, or not. If so, then life takes on a different meaning. But even if these experiences have natural causes, they are still of great interest to psychologists.

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How can a christian possibly believe in something as impossible as the resurrection of Jesus?

April 1st, 2018

It’s Easter again, which evokes different responses in different people. Some people think about the claim that, after he was executed, Jesus was raised to life by God.

Of all the critical comments I have received on this blog, criticism of christian belief about the resurrection of Jesus is one of the most common and most vehement.

Let’s look at some of the arguments that have been offered to me.

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“I don’t set much store by signs and wonders, but ….”

November 12th, 2017

Aussie novelist Tim Winton is without doubt my favourite writer. I especially love That Eye the Sky, a novel of a family that is put under pressure by a serious car accident, and finds relief in unexpected places. It has been made into a film and two stage plays.

And it turns out that so much of the storyline is taken from real events when Tim was just a boy, something that was maybe miraculous, and which made a deep impression on him and his whole family

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Strong evidence of God?

July 31st, 2017

What would be strong evidence for God?

Some look outwards to the universe or inwards to ourselves, and argue that God is the most plausible explanation for the beginning and the design of the universe, or for human consciousness, freewill, rationality and ethical sense. Others point to Jesus, the man who was God, his miracles, claims and resurrection.

But I would guess that most people would like to have a personal revelation – God appearing to them or healing them in some irrefutably miraculous way.

And I can’t help feeling that Jackie Pullinger offers food for thought for these people.

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Do healing miracles prove God exists?

June 11th, 2017

Which side are you on?

The idea of divine healing is a polarising one. Non-believers are generally fairly suspicious, feeling healing is against medical science. Many christians are highly supportive of the idea that God heals today, and quite possibly have a personal story of healing to tell. But other christians are made of sterner stuff, having, they believe, good doctrinal reasons to say that God doesn’t work that way today.

And no-one wants to be conned, especially not by a white-suited televangelist with a big house and maybe even a private jet.

I am midway between the polarised christian views, believing healing is possible but wanting to see good evidence before I will accept any particular claim. My investigations have so far revealed what I regard as some good cumulative evidence, summarised in the links below.

I have been reading about some new evidence lately, so it seemed a good time to review the state of play on healing.

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