In a discussion of The Burial of Jesus, which advocates the use of historical methods to investigate historical questions, I encountered the accusation that this approach reflects the “antisupernaturalism” of historians.
I am convinced that this accusation is unfair, for two reasons. First, it is not simply historians who ask for more impressive evidence for more unusual claims. Few of us would treat claims made by individuals alive today, both of whom claimed to be pregnant, and one of whom claimed there was no human father, with the same degree of credulity or skepticism.
Second, excepting perhaps some Pentecostals, most Christians today share this “antisupernaturalism”, and indeed are part of the reason for it. If you are a Christians, and you don’t want society to treat claims to miracles with skepticism, why don’t you simply go out and demonstrate them in the manner the apostles did? Why do you not say to the lame “In the name of Jesus I say to you get up”? Why do you not pronounce a curse of blindness on your religious opponents? Why do you not provide the sort of evidence of the supernatural that you claim to believe in texts and want historians to accept today?
It is Christians who require belief in Biblical stories about miracles, while showing through their actions that they do not believe them themselves in any practical sense, who are the problem, and not those who admit they do not and seek to honestly explain how our worldview has changed from ancient times, and legitimately so.