Turin Shroud is Authentic

A new study released this week by a team of Italian scientists has given further evidence for the Shroud of Turin’s authenticity. This article from the Daily Telegraph reports a new approach to shroud studies. The scientists set out to replicate the mysterious images on the cloth, and found that the only method that could create the same kind of image was ultraviolet light–described as “some form of electromagnetic energy such as a burst of light at low wavelength.”

This is good news for shroud believers (which I have always been) and reminds us that in the midst of debates with the atheists and agnostics we must always return to the resurrection of Christ. The whole argument for Christianity has been and always will be the resurrection event. Either it happened or it didn’t. Those who wish to think through the question of the Christian faith must examine the evidence.

The Shroud of Turin is not proof of the resurrection, but it is an intriguing reminder that the evidence must be collected and sorted. Those who doubt the Christian faith seem happy to dismiss the resurrection with a wave of the hand based on rationalist assumptions that miracles don’t happen. Otherwise intelligent people use David Hume’s stupid statement that “Miracles don’t happen because miracles can’t happen.” In other words, my philosophical worldview does not permit miracles. Therefore miracles do not occur. And this from people who object to “blind faith”? C’mon.

The problem with the doubters who never really stop to consider the resurrection is, ironically enough, the same problem with the majority of Christians. How many people who call themselves Christians have really stopped and considered the radical fact of the resurrection? Oh yes, they accept the story with a ho hum and a yawn on Easter day, but then forget about it the rest of the year and never really stop to consider the implications. If the resurrection is true, then so is the rest of the Christian gospel.

If Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, then all the magnificent claims about him in the New Testament are true too. He really is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the power by whom all things were created and by whom all things consist. He really is the one before whom every knee shall bow and every tongue confess. He is the Lord of Glory. He is the Son of Man and Son of God.

But these magnificent claims are watered down and the risen Lord is turned into some sort of spineless social worker–a martyr for a cause and an admirably naive and idealistic Jewish rabbi. If that is all he is, to hell with it.

I’m for the resurrected Lord and I’m for the Shroud of  Turin. Always have been, and if one day they show it to be a fake and really prove it, well then, I’d rather be guilty of believing too much than too little. I’d rather be guilty of being gullible than cynical. I’d rather hold my head and say, “Gee, I’m sorry I was taken in and believed too much. Forgive me for being a fool.”

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17691145638703824456 kkollwitz

    "I'd rather be guilty of believing too much than too little."I'm thinking about Christopher Hitchens right about now. I should say a prayer for him.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08758314961163692341 August

    Christ prayed for unity.Wouldn't believing too much be a source of discord and therefore a more dangerous sin than your words imply?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14807873592896092136 Anthony S. Layne

    I've always been of the opinion that the Shroud would be even more inexplicable as a 12th-century fake than as a genuine relic of Christ's resurrection. I hadn't read of the UV test, but I knew from previous experiments that the image was formed by the slight melting (caramelization) of the top two or three fibers of the Shroud, a distance of mere microns in depth.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11218974916477894298 Sue

    The Shroud is an obvious miracle.The unbelievable thing is how people trust a "scientific result" more than their own eyeballs!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14741156230488736793 Chuck M

    When in the neighborhood, drop by the Shroud Exhibit and Museum in Alamogordo, NM. We may be the only museum in the world with a working VP-8 image analyzer (analog) where you can see the 3D data in real time. By the way, the image is only a couple fibrils deep (less than a human hair), but the cloth had oxidized instead of melted. The chemical change didn't happen under the blood stains, and I'm still waiting for a reasonable scientific explanation for the image.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14807873592896092136 Anthony S. Layne

    @ Chuck M: Fibrils? Oxidized? Okay, it's been a while since I did my reading. BTW, how long has the Museum been there? I ask because my brother was stationed at Holloman AFB from '81 to about '92; I'd visited him there a couple of times when I was living in Albuquerque, but if the Museum were there I didn't know about it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09011063783466945979 Michael

    Should have giving the same opportunity to your kids about Santa. Just Kidding. It is real, good post.MD

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02204199533749851084 James C.

    Of course Father, one of the problems is that in 99% of the parishes the liturgy isn't celebrating the Resurrection but the "community" instead. The crisis of belief in the Church won't be solved unless we stop worshipping as if it is a whole lot of hooey.

  • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

    About David Hume, a proper appraisal of the man requires a read of Cobbett’s History of the Reformation. The interesting thing is that Hume became first famous as a historian. Once upon a time his History of England was a best-seller; till Cobbett came along and showed it to be not only “malignant” (his favourite description of Hume) but thoroughly and repeatedly false to its own sources, in a way that cannot possibly be other than conscious and deliberate. He reminds one more of Dan Brown than of anything deserving of the name historian. And the interesting thing is that Hume as a philosopher tended to come to the fore as Hume the historian became discredited and neglected. I am willing to bet that not one in ten of the undergraduates who sweat their way through his philosophical essays has ever opened the History; and nobody reflects on the fact that this eminent philosopher was, in his practice as a historian, a fraud and a liar. Karl Popper has done us the favour of pointing out similar character features in Fichte, but given Hume’s greater importance to modern philosophy, it is the more important that his fraudulency should be widely known.