My first thought would be that this person hasn’t really considered the data that is out there. In fact, there are some thorough academic studies that have been done on this very subject. And what we have found is that there is an abundance of eyewitness & medical evidence affirming things such as supernatural healing. I’ve interviewed people who have witnessed supernatural healing and even exorcisms. I’ve seen well evidenced cases reported (also here & here) on, and in videos & documentaries. The study of the historical Jesus strongly points us in that direction too (see the evidence here). Concerning Jesus and just by weighing the evidence the non-Christian scholar Borg explains that “On historical grounds it is virtually indisputable that Jesus was a healer and exorcist” (1). Why does Borg, who actually rejects the resurrection, say this? Because the evidence is good. This is a position held by most scholars in the field.
So, to simply claim that there is “zero evidence for the supernatural” strikes me as a very weak argument. It would be analogous to me blindly saying that “there is very good evidence for the supernatural.” Would that convince anyone of my position? No, it wouldn’t because I’d need to give reasons why I believe that (I outline five of them here). So, where has any of this been taken into account by the atheist, skeptic or whoever may be making this challenge? Why should the Christian theist take this challenge seriously unless it is supported by arguments and evidence? I also believe that no atheist, skeptic, critic has ever given me reason to rule out the supernatural, nor have they proved that the physical words is all that exists which if was done would rule out the possibility of miracles.
My second point is that this is somewhat disingenuous, namely, to say that there is zero evidence. Evidence needs to be weighed, and academics have chronicled the evidence for the supernatural. This isn’t random, uncritical data that academics are sucking out of their thumbs. Now, that evidence may be granted to be weak but that does not make it not evidence. An analogy. Some Young Earth think tanks have forwarded alleged evidence for a worldwide cataclysmic flood, an event that mainstream scientists don’t believe in. Does that make the argument for a worldwide flood not evidence? No, but it is widely believed to be poor, contrived, weak evidence that is unconvincing for most researchers.
Lastly, I would also need to discern the type of individual I am speaking with. Is it an atheist that has no intention of considering the views of anyone else other than his own? Is it someone trying to challenge me but who is open to evidence that might not agree with him? Or is it a seeker who has heard an atheist line the internet that he is repeating? If it is the latter two then I would be happy to engage.
I would try to show them that there is an assumption in thinking, namely, that of anti-supernaturalism. His naturalism is colouring the way he sees evidence; any evidence. This is seen in how skeptics will go to extreme lengths to explain away eyewitnesses testimony (I respond to this here). But that is just an attempt to dismiss evidence without really considering it. In the end it is not my goal to force others to accept my view. What is my goal is to provide rational reasons for believing what I do.
I believe that there is hard, solid evidence for the reality of the supernatural. It has been documented in studies, corroborated by eyewitnesses, and has been experienced on all corners of the globe. It is also the reason why many, including, atheists (also here & here) have converted to belief in Jesus. Add the historical Jesus into this equation and I think we have a solid case.
1. Borg, M. Jesus, A New Vision: Spirit.