What about Miracles?
“It is not just a provocative rumor that God has acted in history, but a fact worthy of our intellectual conviction. The miracles of Christianity are not an embarrassment to the Christian worldview. Rather, they are testimony to the compassion of God for human beings benighted by sin and circumstance.” Gary Habermas, Resurrection theologian.
So what about miracles? Are they impossible because the laws of nature say so? Alternatively, are they phony attempts of magic, deception or propaganda designed to deceive people? Many skeptics that embrace a naturalistic worldview commonly hold these ideas and points of view.
Can a person embrace both science and the possibility of miracles to be true? Today I would like to dive into this subject matter with a desire to help us see how we can navigate these waters with understanding.
First, it is important to define what a miracle actually is. We can often overinflate things to a miraculous status. For example, "the parking lot was so full of cars, that it was a miracle that we found a parking space." Dr. William Lane Craig defines it like this, “in the proper sense, a miracle is an event which is not producible by the natural causes that are operative at the time and place that the event occurs.” That seems like a good explanation to me. For example, for humans to be able to fly in the 17th century would be a miracle, but after the invention of aviation, it is no big deal.
Another consideration understands that miracles are outside of science, but not necessarily contradictory to science. This is an important point. Science cannot explain their existence; because they are outside of the boundaries of natural science.
Another way to look at it is to say that miracles are supernatural, meaning that the term “super” means above or over something. A supernatural event is over and above the laws of nature. For us as Christians, we see that these laws are the product of Devine intelligence. Therefore, if the designer of it all chooses to override those laws, that is not an unreasonable perspective to hold. For example, when an apple falls to the ground, the law of gravity is in effect. However if a person catches the apple in midflight before it reaches the ground, they are not violating the law of gravity; they are merely influencing the trajectory of the apple. When legitimate miracles happen, God is in much the same way intervening in the laws of nature, not violating them.
This clarity make so much good sense as to provide a vehicle for evaluating the legitimacy of the possibility of miracles to occur. If a person says that there are no such thing as miracles, that seems to be a closed minded perspective that must refuse to consider the potential before even looking at the possible evidence that they could be true.
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