Well, I am calling your bluff. Many of us have seen real miracles-- miracles of healing, miracles of paranormal phenomena, and yes I've run into someone who was genuinely raised from the dead in Siler City North Carolina-- flat e.k.g., dead for a good while, the whole shmeer.
I quite agree that all such claims should be carefully scrutinized and you are of course right that there are plenty of gullible people out there. This doesn't mean miracles do not happen. And here's the problem for your point of view. Jesus warned us that believing is what leads to seeing and understanding miracles, not necessarily the other way around.
I should tell you someday about the phone call my perfectly sane neighbor received from her dead best friend, in the presence of witnesses (woman had been confirmed dead a couple of hours before the phone call in Asheboro hospital). It freaked her smooth and I had to pick up the pieces.
Happy Easter--- and raise your expectations!After the skeptic responded, Witherington replied:
I'll not have it, and neither should you. The woman in question had her son present in the very room she had the conversation with Mrs. Albright the woman who had been dead for some time. Her son not only was there when the phone rang, his mother told him whom she was speaking to.
It is quite impossible for friends of 40 or more years to be mistaken for someone else in a 30 minute phone conversation! And her son was 25 years of age, shy and of absolutely sound mind. I am afraid you need to be skeptical of your own skeptism-- and if you will be, you shall be a much happier man by far.
Of course you are right that the man in Siler City did not have a resurrection body. He was like Lazarus, coming back to this body. And frankly when there is no pulse, no heartbeat, no breathing, no e.k.g, no brain waves of any kind for a long period of time--- the man is dead! Sorry-- you can't blame it on faulty equipment.
And what exactly would you make of what I saw in a faith healing service where I watched wretchedly deformed persons miraculously healed at Tremont Temple Church in downtown Boston in the late 70s? To see legs lengthened, goiters drop off, enormous deformities healed on the spot--- even the most skeptical would have to be Scrooge indeed to deny it happened. They would have to be willfully closing their eyes!
So you must really rethink your posture in this matter--- you do not KNOW that we live in a closed materialistic system at all. You just believe we do--- in other words this is faith postulate based on what you take to be sufficient evidence.
In other words, your posture is no different from mine. Its just my evidence differs from yours.
Think on these things.Wow! Yes, we should be cautious about believing miracle stories but this is Ben Witherington we're talking about, not some sketchy televangelist trying to separate people from their money.