An upcoming documentary film examines medical evidence of miracle healings to challenge sceptics and close the gap between the hard sciences and the supernatural.
The “SEND PROOF” documentary by filmmaker Elijah Stephens explores the ways in which miracle claims can be corroborated by looking at X-rays, MRI scans and other follow-up medical examinations. In the film, he interviews evangelical scholars and some of the most prominent voices in Pentecostal and charismatic Christian circles.
Stephens worked closely with the Global Medical Research Institute and interviewed board-certified doctors, scientists, an atheist medical historian who believes in miracles, and some of the leading sceptic and atheist voices who assert that, when examined closely, miracles never withstand empirical scrutiny.
Stephens’ personal journey through his own doubts and the intellectual journey he took is interwoven in the storyline. At one point in the film, he recounts how frustrated he became with the idea of making the movie even as he felt God calling him to do it. The movie explains how, in 2015, he was at his house and his friends started texting him saying that Shawn Bolz, a prophetic minister who was speaking at Bethel that day called out his name from the stage. Stephens immediately jumped in his car and high-tailed it to the church.
When he arrived, Bolz, who had never met Stephens prior to that day and knew nothing of his filmmaking aspirations, gave him a stunningly accurate word, telling him that the Holy Spirit was breathing on the project and how it was going to impact medical professionals and others.
For Christians who are hesitant to embrace charismatic theology and practice, the filmmaker hopes that the contributions from biblical scholars like Craig Keener of Asbury Theological Seminary, J.P. Moreland of Talbot School of Theology (Biola University), and Gary Habermas of Liberty University will lead them to reconsider what they believe about the supernatural.
What was going through Jesus’ mind as He prepared for His crucifixion?
He certainly was not anxious or fearful, look at His actions. He washes the disciples feet. Jesus was teaching His disciples how to serve others and how to be humble all the way until the very end.
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” John 13:3-5
“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mathew 20:28.
Then He calmly predicts His betrayal
“I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am He.” John 13:18-19
“Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.“John 13:21b The disciples in disbelief asked who?
“Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.” John 13:26
This is just one of the many Bible prophecies Jesus gave the disciples so that they might believe that He is the Son of God. Look at the powerful message Jesus gave them in the following verses.
Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.” John 14:27-31
Despite what Jesus told the disciples in advance in these verses, and having lived with Him for three years and seen all the miracles He performed, the Bible tells us that Peter still denied Jesus three times exactly as predicted and only John turned up to be with Jesus at His crucifixion.
The Bible reveals the truth, warts and all, about His followers and is just more evidence for us to believe it is the “Word of God” to be trusted, believed and obeyed.
According to the American Worldview Inventory 2021, nearly half of the millennials surveyed said they either don’t know, don’t care, or don’t believe that God exists. Only 26% of Gen X, and a mere 16% of millennials, understand and believe the basics of the Gospel. In addition, 31% of teens and young adults “strongly agree” that what is “morally right and wrong changes over time, based on society.”
Almost half of Americans consider abortion to be “morally acceptable,” the highest percentage to think so in the past 20 years of surveying the question, according to a new report by Gallup.
The health of the Christian worldview appears increasingly bleak. According to the American Worldview Inventory 2021, Only 26% of Gen X, and a mere 16% of millennials, understand and believe the basics of the Gospel.
Acceptance of and teaching of evolution and an earths history of billions of years in our schools and universities has relegated the Bible to the book category of myths and fables. And yet the scientific evidence of the universe points unequivocally to intelligent design. Particularly since the discovery of DNA which demonstrates that complex information controls the functioning of all the cells in the body. What is the origin of this complex information? It can only come from a mind that is beyond our comprehension. It cannot come from matter and energy by random chance this is nonsense of the highest order and yet this is what is taught in our institutes of highest learning.
Fortunately, what has emerged is a new program for scientific research known as Intelligent Design. Within biology, Intelligent Design is a theory of biological origins and development. Its fundamental claim is that intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex, information-rich structures of biology such as DNA, and that these causes are empirically detectable.
The Intelligent Design movement is growing and because it does not talk about God, in other words the mind behind the intelligence, it is harder for the establishment to attack it on the grounds that it is religion and not science.
Intelligent Design properly formulated is a theory of information. Within such a theory, information becomes a reliable indicator of intelligent causation as well as a proper object for scientific investigation. Intelligent Design thereby becomes a theory for detecting and measuring information, explaining its origin, and tracing its flow. Intelligent Design is therefore not the study of intelligent causes per se, but of informational pathways induced by intelligent causes.
As a result, Intelligent Design presupposes neither a creator nor miracles. Intelligent Design is theologically minimalist. It detects intelligence without speculating about the nature of the intelligence. Biochemist Michael Behe’s “irreducible complexity,” physicist David Bohm’s “active information,” mathematician Marcel Schützenberger’s “functional complexity,” and William Dembski’s “complex specified information” are alternate routes to the same reality.
Through this approach of critiquing Darwinism on the one hand and providing a positive alternative on the other, the Intelligent Design movement has rapidly gained adherents among the best and brightest in the academy. Already it is responsible for Darwinism losing its corner on the intellectual market. If fully successful, Intelligent Design will unseat not just Darwinism but also Darwinism’s cultural legacy. And since no aspect of western culture has escaped Darwinism’s influence, so no aspect of western culture will escape reevaluation in the light of Intelligent Design.
It is the empirical detectability of intelligent causes that renders Intelligent Design a fully scientific theory, and distinguishes it from the design arguments of philosophers, or what has traditionally been called “natural theology.” The world contains events, objects, and structures which exhaust the explanatory resources of undirected natural causes, and which can be adequately explained only by recourse to intelligent causes. Scientists are now in a position to demonstrate this rigorously. Thus what has been a long-standing philosophical intuition is now being cashed out as a scientific research program.
Where does this leave special creation? Logically speaking, Intelligent Design is compatible with the starkest creationism (i.e., God creating all species at the beginning with the potential for adaptation to the environment). For Intelligent Design the first question is not how organisms came to be (though this is a research question that needs to be addressed), but whether they demonstrate clear, empirically detectable marks of being intelligently caused.
However, the good news is that Intelligent design brings God back into existence. People must consider who is this Intelligent Designer who exists outside of His creation. Could He be the God of the Bible?
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.So they are without excuse.” Romans 1:18-20
The Creator who has gone to extraordinary lengths to make Himself known, even to sending His Son to pay the price for our redemption. His book the Bible demonstrates with fulfilled prophecy that it has been constructed by God to be His Story book of this Cosmos from its beginning to its prophesied end. We know the end of the story and the last one thousand years of this Cosmos will begin in the not too distant future.
The information on Intelligent Design is taken from the opening page of The Intelligent Design Movement, Discovery institute. http://www.discovery.org
Dr. Francis Collins is considered to be one of the most effective and ground-breaking scientists in the world. Collins graduated with a degree in chemistry from the University of Virginia. He earned his PhD in chemistry at Yale and then decided, for good measure, he would go to medical school at the University of North Carolina. From there, he returned to Yale and later, the University of Michigan. He is most noted for having been chosen to chair theHuman Genome Projectwhere, in 2003, he led an international collaboration of two thousand scientists in sequencing the human genome. More recently, he was appointed by President Obama to be the Director of the National Institutes of Health. Clearly, he is a prominent scientist, but what is perhaps even more interesting is his spiritual journey.
“As a scientist, I had always insisted on collecting rigorous data before drawing a conclusion. And yet, in matters of faith, I had never collected any data at all. I didn’t know what I had rejected. So, I decided that I should be a little better grounded in my atheism. I better find out what this is all about. So, I challenged a patient of mine who was a Methodist minister. And, after listening to my questions and realizing that I was not dealing with a very full deck of information, he suggested that I read the Gospel of John, which I did…I found the scripture to be interesting, puzzling, and not at all what I had thought faith was about… then I began to read C.S. Lewis and realized there was a great depth of thinking and reasoning that could be applied to the question of God.”
Lewis convinced Francis Collins that reason and faith go hand in hand, though faith has the added component of revelation—the Bible. Collins had previously believed that Jesus and the stories of the Bible were nothing more than mere myths. Again, as he studied the historical evidence, he was stunned at how well documented and how historically accurate the Bible is. He also saw a surprising fidelity of the transmission of the manuscripts that were passed down over the centuries. And, over time, Francis Collins, based on the accumulation of the evidence that he observed, concluded that God exists, and that Jesus is the Son of God.
He also concluded that most of the religious skeptics that he knew and that he meets today are just like he was. That is to say, they didn’t want to think about these things and never looked at any evidence, never drawing conclusions from the real evidence that was available.
This is what Dr. Dallas Willard, former professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California, believed was a major problem with individuals who considered themselves to be agnostic or atheist. Willard found that so many of the students and scholars he encountered on campus and in the world were guilty of what he called “irresponsible disbelief.” These bright men and women would often choose to disbelieve in something without any significant commitment to an investigation of that disbelief by way of sound reasoning and careful examination of the evidence.
“In this seminal new book, distinguished biochemist Michael Denton takes the fine-tuning argument to a whole new level. He shows that many of the chemical elements themselves and their properties are delicately fine-tuned for life, and the same holds for crucial compounds like water. Denton also makes a convincing case that all these instances of fine-tuning converge towards a ‘primal blueprint’ that existed prior to the arrival of the first living cell. Denton is at the forefront of assembling this evidence as a cumulative case for teleology (the study of the evidences of design or purpose) in nature. The Miracle of the Cell greatly advances the case in favour of intelligent causes in the natural sciences. The growing body of evidence from modern science more and more calls for a shift away from the ruling but obsolete paradigm of materialism, which allows only for the blind action of natural laws and mere matter in motion. Michael Denton’s work will prove to be a milestone in this ongoing scientific revolution.” GÜNTER BECHLY, Ph.D., PALEONTOLOGIST
If you read my recent post “Does God Exist” then you will know a little about the timely new book written by Richard E. Simmons 111, Reflections on the Existence of God. If you want to learn more about the book and why Richard decided to write it at this time then listen to the Eric Metaxas interview below. It is excellent you will learn heaps from both men about their journey of faith.
And yet, our educational establishments lead the way with this foolishness. clinging to the notion that nothing can produce something, even more obtuse, a big bang can produce the complex universe in which we live.
Our children are taught there is no right or wrong, no meaning or purpose in life, despite the fact that our Creator God has revealed the true history of the universe through His prophets, His covenant people Israel, His Word, and finally stepping into history just over 2,000 years ago as the God/Man, Jesus Christ. Is it any wonder that false science is now a major problem when people call evil good and good evil.
The Bible gives us an accurate record of this world and even more important reveals to us the end of the story. Twenty five percent of the Bible is prophecy and just as it accurately predicted Jesus first coming to earth, it also tells us of His second coming. Moreover, the events unfolding on earth at this time indicate we are fast approaching the final seven years prophesied by Daniel in the 70 Weeks prophecy (Daniel 9:24).
It is now inconceivable to think that nations would repent of their past godless actions as President Abraham Lincoln did just one hundred years ago. His April 30, 1863, call expressed timeless sentiments that remain applicable to us today, including:
“It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognise the sublime truths announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.
. . . We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God; we have forgotten the gracious hand which served us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behoves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness…”
We know this: the Lord will do His part. As He sees “His people called by His name” turning from our sins, He will hear once again, will forgive our personal and national sins, and will heal our precious land.”
Sadly, as mentioned, we know the end of the story, for Christians the last six years of history this side of the Millennium will be a serious challenge, but also exciting for those who stand firm, who overcome. “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:21