There has been a great back and forth discussion going on for and earlier posting, Crazy Talk: Are Atheists biased or just uninformed? This most recent comment from Nick, along with all the other comments, deserves your attention:
It’s more of a cumulative argument kind of thing — what is the best worldview that explains both the mutation in Second Temple Judaic thought that gave birth to Christianity and all the data we have on the Shroud? To me, the Christian worldview simply put it all together without any leaks while my metaphysical naturalistic outlook seemed to collapse on my face. So it’s not as much as relying off of one or two ‘hints’ but the big picture.
I suppose ‘prove’ is not the right word as one cannot show it to be the absolute case. Rather, the right idea would be ‘best possible explanation’.
As for my faith, obviously if the Shroud was shown to be false I’d do a double take, but I would not jump ship and go back to atheism/agnosticism. I’ve experienced and seen things that make no sense in a naturalistic worldview. I can’t say for sure (and I don’t think I will ever have to), but I’d probably remain a Christian. The Shroud was the straw that broke the camels back for me; apologetic works of the likes of N.T. Wright and others had already put me on shaky ground.
As for using it to convert or not, there’s nothing against it in the Orthodox Church so I guess we’ll have to disagree. I know that I’ve gotten my friends to at least reconsider their worldviews and are giving the time to look into the Shroud. Plus, at the end of the day, if the Shroud really is Christ’s and can at least provide possible evidence (not proof) for the Resurrection, then why shouldn’t we use it? Are we not called to evangelize all nations? Would this not finally be the ‘scientific evidence’ Dawkins et. al have been asking for (on their faulty epistomological assumptions)?
Perhaps, though, I’m just a case of zeal without knowledge. It’s just that the Shroud did so much for me and I want to thus share it with others. Lord, have mercy.