Is It Rational to Believe in Miracles?

Do you believe in miracles? The vast majority of people do, but with a decrease in religious belief and an increase in scientism, more people may be skeptical of the mysterious and miraculous. After all, isn’t believing in miracles inherently irrational?

Recently on The Cale Clarke Show, Cale discussed why that’s not the case, and explained why believing in miracles is actually a rational conclusion.

Cale noted, “Faith and science are not in opposition to one another, as we know. The creator of the Big Bang Theory was a Catholic priest, Father George Lemaître. Not the sitcom, of course, the theory of the Big Bang Theory. But I think a lot of people do think it’s anti-scientific to believe in miracles.”

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Cale said that that are typically two types of people in the world, those who believe in the possibility of the miraculous, and those who dismiss the idea immediately, and say miracles can’t exist in today’s world or in any world.

“I think that’s actually unscientific, as a matter of fact,” Cale said. “Because they’re not looking at the evidence.”

Before diving into the reasons that believing in the miraculous is a rational position, Cale took some time to define what a miracle is. Because while it may feel like a miracle that you passed a test you didn’t study for, that’s not the type of thing he’s talking about. He defined a miracle as:

  • An event that finds no reasonable explanation in human abilities or in other known forces that operate in our world of time and space.
  • An event that is the result of a special act of God, doing what no human power can do.

Looking specifically at the 27 miracles Jesus performed in the Bible, Cale laid out the evidence that Jesus performing these miracles is simply a historical fact.

“You don’t have to believe that the Bible is the Word of God to believe in miracles,” he said. “There are people outside the Bible who wrote about Jesus doing miracles. There are lots of different groups of people writing independently of each other in the Bible and outside the Bible who talk about Jesus doing the miraculous.”

“Pro-Jesus historical sources, for example in the New Testament, they all say that Jesus did miracles. Hostile sources to Jesus also admit that He did miracles. Other writers, anti-Christians, they all admit it.”

Given the overwhelming historical evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was a miracle worker, not believing in them would be like not believing in the moon landing, or that George Washington was the first president. It contradicts all evidence.

In fact, one New Testament historian said, “It is an irrefutable historical fact, with evidence provided throughout the tradition of the Gospels and other sources, that the historical person Jesus of Nazareth did indeed perform miracles.”

However, if you’re skeptical of historical accounts and think people back then just didn’t know any better, Cale noted there is plenty of evidence to be found that miracles still occur today.

Cale pointed to Craig S. Keener, a scholar who wrote the two-volume set Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts who meticulously researched miraculous claims and presented the evidence in favor of miracles taking place – both historically and in our modern time.

“He’s got pages of eyewitness testimonials of miracles in his books,” Cale said. “Lots of medically documented miracle accounts. In other words, they’re not explained by modern medicine and doctors don’t know what happened. So this stuff is still out there in the modern world.”

Learn more about the historical and scientific evidence for the miraculous by listening to the full conversation below:

The Cale Clarke Show airs weekdays at 5:00 p.m. Central on Relevant Radio® and the Relevant Radio App.

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Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.