Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Christianity Today Article on the Shroud of Turin

My wife, Ærynn, sent me a link to a Christianity today article on the Turin Shroud, that piece of cloth that allegedly has the image of Jesus (the Veronica, or "True Image") imprinted on it.

I have always believed that the Turin Shroud is not the shroud that was used to wrap Jesus up in for his burial. The Gospels are clear, the cloths that wrapped Jesus in was in more than two pieces: one for the head and one for the body (John 20:6-7)

6Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.
The Turin Shroud, on the other hand, is all in one piece. For that reason alone, I know that it is not the shroud that wrapped Jesus up in the tomb. But, as N.D. Wilson said in that article (click this post's title to get to it, or click here), too many people make it the basis of their faith, risking their lives for what they believe is the genuine article. It is sad and discouraging, when faith is based on such flimsy foundation.

Yet it is sadder and more discouraging when atheists and skeptics say that the shroud is fake and then conclude that, just because the shroud is fake, so is all Christianity, including miracles, the Virgin Birth, and the resurrection of the dead at the end of time. I disbelieve the shroud's authenticity, but not in the authenticity of miracles, the Virgin Birth and the resurrection of the dead.

I have, however, engaged in debates with atheists online. No matter how much evidence I give them, nothing satisfies them. It seems fair, since no amount of evidence they can bring up will convince me that there is no God. Apparently, both of us are ruled by our faith—my faith that God is real, their faith that God just isn' there. It seems fair... or is it? For I have yet to meet an atheist who makes sense (I can, of course, be blamed for being biased here); for, if all their rules are to be followed, then the atom (which no one has seen but whose effects can be demonstrated mathematically and, within the realm of Quantum Physics, physically) will also not exist. Neither would tigers, elephants and glowing fish, all of which were held as mythical by skeptics in centuries past just because they hadn't seen it with their own eyes. Their most persistent demand is this: "You say there is a god, show him/her/it to me! You can't? Therefore, god does not exist." They might as well have demanded that I show them a hydrogen atom. I have no power to show them a hydrogen atom even if zillions of them are probably swarming around us at the moment; neither would I have the power, or the bloody authority, to just present the Creator of the Universe and the King of Kings to someone just to win an argument.

Or, speaking of persons, I cannot just mosey over to Malacañang, take GMA's brain out, and show it to my atheist acquaintance just to prove that she has a brain.