On talking snakes and rational belief in the Bible


People tell me all the time that they can’t believe in what the Bible says because of some of the fantastically impossible stories it tells.

Is this a rational argument?

Talking snakes, donkeys that speak in a human language, a dead Jewish carpenter that comes back from the dead… These things, skeptics point out, aren’t things we routinely see and experience, and so we must reject them as being false and see them possessing no more real substance than a tale in Aesop’s fables.

But, what’s the real issue here? Is it truly a talking snake or something else?

At its core, the real problem is that the skeptic imports his/her anti-supernatural bias and philosophical naturalistic presuppositions into their view of the Bible. From the outset, their a priori position is that God does not exist. That being true in their worldview, then miracles become impossible, and since the Bible contains miraculous accounts, the Bible becomes impossible to believe.

But what if God does exist? Then might we expect a book that describes some pretty spectacular and rare things? We certainly might. As C. S. Lewis observed, “But if we admit God, must we admit Miracle? Indeed, indeed, you have no security against it. That is the bargain.”

In truth, a talking snake or donkey is much less miraculous than the odds of life coming about on our planet given the universe as we know it and the number of cosmological constants that must be in place for us to actually exist. Or DNA arising on its own accord. Or … take your pick of a variety of astonishing things that are incredible to believe, but true.

The question is not if a snake or donkey can talk, but if a supernatural God exists. If the latter is true, the former is a walk in the park. That’s the question the skeptic should heartily pursue instead of using a talking snake as an excuse to opt out of the real conversation.

Categories: Apologetics, Christianity

Tags: , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. The child’s pet parrot Molly is a quiet reminder that the animal kingdom is full of surprises.

    The real killer is not that a donkey spake and was understood, but that humans speak with tongues and without brains.

    Need proof? Read any attempt by an atheist to do away with God.

    Jackasses I tell ya, with apologies to good donkeys across the fruited plane.

    Liked by 1 person

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