Why Be Interested in Miracles?
“Miracles, by definition, violate the principles of science.”—RICHARD DAWKINS, FORMER PROFESSOR FOR PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENCE.
“Belief in miracles is entirely rational. Far from being an embarrassment to religious faith, they are signs of God’s love for, and continuing involvement in, creation.”—ROBERT A. LARMER, PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY.
“DO YOU believe in miracles?” As shown by the above quotations, opinions vary drastically. But how would you answer that question?
You may be hesitant to answer, “Yes, I believe.” Perhaps you feel that to do so might indicate that you are somewhat superstitious or uneducated. Many feel that same way.
On the other hand, you may be convinced that miracles really do happen. You might believe in the miracles recorded in the Bible, such as Moses’ parting of the Red Sea. You may also believe that miracles occur in our time. In fact, a report recently issued revealed that “a significant proportion of the population of the Western world—for example around three-quarters of those in the United States and 38 per cent in Britain—continue to believe in miracles.” (The Cambridge Companion to Miracles, edited by Graham H. Twelftree) Moreover, belief in miracles is not limited just to Christians. According to the Britannica Encyclopedia of World Religions, belief in miraculous events “is a feature of practically all religions.”
Or you may belong to a third group, who would answer: “I don’t know, and I don’t care! Miracles don’t happen in my life!” Really, why should you be interested in miracles?
Consider this scenario: Imagine that you have an incurable disease. If you were to read a report in a reputable medical journal about a new medicine that might cure your sickness, would it not be worthwhile to expend at least a little time and energy to investigate the facts? Similarly, the Bible promises that soon some amazing miracles will occur. They will affect the lives of every living creature on this planet. Would it not be worth some of your time and energy to find out whether that promise is reliable?
However, before we examine what those promised miracles are, let us answer three common objections concerning miracles.
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WHAT IS A MIRACLE?
It is an event that surpasses all known human and natural powers and is usually attributed to some sort of supernatural power.