On the one hand, the doctrinal affirmation of Jesus being both divine and human was viewed by the Liberals as being untenable, so their desire was to “unmask” the historical Jesus from the Christ of faith and doctrine. They attempted to strip the Christ of dogma from the human Jesus.^37
On the other hand, the historicity of miracles was also rejected. The most common way^38 to deal with the subject was to accept as factual the biblical accounts containing them, minus the supernatural portion. This element was explained by normal, naturalistic phenomena. For example, in the early nineteenth century, Heinrich Paulus accepted most of the Gospel reports pertaining to the death and resurrection of Jesus with one major exception: Jesus was said to have been removed from the cross while he was still alive. The resulting view attempted to remove the supernatural element from the resurrection.^39
This approach presents some seemingly compelling ideas, such as viewing the Gospels as generally historical sources, an attitude that takes the supporting evidence and historical data seriously. However, there are several reasons why it falls short, and this led to the rejection of Old Liberalism. We will present four major critiques of this view.
1. A priorirejection of miracles
First, why should miracles be rejected as actual events, unless we have prior knowledge that they can neverbe factual? Neither history, science, nor any other discipline can rule out miracles without an investigation. The claim that miracles are contrary to the laws of nature and therefore invalid is itself based on faulty reasoning and thus cannot rule out miracles a priori.^40
Current science is no longer able to postulate absolutes that can rule out possibilities in an a priorimanner, as was often believed in the past. We can only speak in terms of probabilities for any given occurrence. Even more important, the technique of examining all of the evidence before conclusions are drawn is required by the proper use of inductive research methodology. Accordingly, such an approach is utilized not only in physics, but in such varied disciplines as law,