A couple days ago I posted about the Undeniable Fact and its Inescapable Consequence. As some of the commenters have pointed out, this is not a complete disproof of the Gospel, because believers can simply insist that yes, God does so show up in real life. In other words, they can simply deny the Undeniable Fact. That, however, is a reply that has its own unfortunate consequences for the believer.
The first consequence is that before you can say that God shows up in real life, you have to admit that He has no good and compelling reason not to show up. After all, if there were such a reason, then obviously He must not show up after all, because He can’t. But by claiming that God does show up in real life, the believer is admitting that apologists everywhere are not telling the truth when they suggest that, say, God cannot show in real life because doing so would “ravish” man’s free will (to use C. S. Lewis’ excuse).
Now then, if there’s nothing preventing God from showing up in real life, then we have a very easy means of determining whether or not men are telling the truth about Him. According to the Gospel, God wants to be with us, badly enough to die for it Himself, so if men are telling the truth about Him, all we have to do is ask Him to show up, and He will, because it’s what HE wants. And if He does not show up, then we know that Christians are not telling the truth about Him.
That’s an unfortunate consequence for the Christians, because even they themselves know God is either unwilling or unable to show up in real life—that’s why they work so hard inventing good and compelling reasons why He can’t and/or shouldn’t do it. And that in turn proves that the Undeniable Fact is indeed undeniable. But that’s not the most unfortunate consequence.
The big problem with denying the Undeniable Fact is that in order to claim that God shows up in real life, you have to significantly lower the bar for what constitutes “showing up.” If you look at the specific cases people will give you for God showing up, you’ll find several stories about people having funny feelings, or strong emotional experiences, or amazing things happen that they give God credit for. That, however, is not a case of God showing up, it’s just ordinary superstition. Muslims do the same thing with Allah; Hindus with Krishna & Co., New Agers with their “spirit guides” and so on.
The way to prove this is to ask for pics. They don’t have them, of course, and shame on you for even asking. But that’s the catch, right? Because what they’re telling you is that God is “showing up” in a way that’s not literally true. They’re demonstrating the fact that, for believers, an “appearance” does not need to be a literal, physical, visible and audible appearance in order to count as a true appearance of God.
Wind back a couple thousand years and apply that to the Christians who wrote the New Testament. The big argument for the resurrection is not that people saw Jesus rise from the dead—the only actual eyewitnesses would have been the guards, and their testimony is that he did not rise. No, the evidence of the resurrection is his alleged post-death appearances to the believers.
By claiming that God shows up in real life today, modern Christians are pulling the rug out from under the witness of the Apostles, by giving us a chance to observe, first hand, what sort of experiences it takes to convince believers that they’re in the presence of a genuine “appearance.” We can know that, if the Apostles happened to be anything like the Christians of today, they could accept almost any subjective or superstitious perception as being a genuine manifestation of their “risen” Savior, whether or not anything was happening in the physical material world.
Thus, by showing how little it takes to constitute an “appearance” of God, those who deny the Undeniable Fact are giving us the evidence we need to show that the Gospel is a fraud. The only evidence for the resurrection is the witness of the apostles, but modern Christians demonstrate that this evidence does not mean what they think it means. The only way out is to admit that the Undeniable Fact is indeed undeniable, and that God does not show up in real life.