Guide Miracles

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What is a miracle? What is the purpose of miraculous signs? Are genuine miracles happening today? What about the "miracles" of the so-called modern.
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Disagreement arises, however, as to what makes a miracle something worth wondering about. In what sense must a miracle be extraordinary? Thomas Aquinas , expanding upon Augustine's conception, said that a miracle must go beyond the order usually observed in nature, though he insisted that a miracle is not contrary to nature in any absolute sense, since it is in the nature of all created things to be responsive to God's will.

This second definition offers two important criteria that an event must satisfy in order to qualify as a miracle: It must be a violation of natural law, but this by itself is not enough; a miracle must also be an expression of the divine will. This means that a miracle must express divine agency; if we have no reason to think that an event is something done by God, we will have no reason to call it a miracle. More recently, the idea that a miracle must be defined in terms of natural law has come under attack.

Holland has argued that a miracle may be consistent with natural law, since a religiously significant coincidence may qualify as miraculous, even though we fully understand the causes that brought it about. The outcome of any discussion of miracles seems to depend greatly on our worldview. The usual theistic view of the world is one that presumes the existence of an omnipotent God who, while transcending nature, is nevertheless able to act, or to express his will, within the natural world.

Clearly belief in miracles is already plausible if our enquiry may presume this view of things. Those who would defend supernaturalism sometimes do this through a commitment to an ontology of entities that exist in some sense outside of nature, where by "nature" is meant the totality of things that can be known by means of observation and experiment, or more generally, through the methods proper to the natural sciences. Defenses of supernaturalism may also take a methodological turn by insisting that the natural sciences are incapable of revealing the totality of all that there is.

While supernaturalists typically hold that God reveals his nature in part through observable phenomena as for example in miracles, or more generally, in the order of nature , as we shall understand it here, methodological supernaturalism is committed as well to the view that our knowledge of God must be supplemented by revelation. Knowledge of God that is passed down in scripture, such as the Bible or the Qur'an, is generally conceived by theists to have a revelatory character.

Supernaturalistic accounts of the miraculous very commonly make reference to supernatural causes, which are thought to play a useful role in the construction of supernatural explanations. However, as we will see in sections 10 and 11, belief in miracles does not obviously commit one to belief in supernatural causes or the efficacy of supernatural explanations.

Naturalism is sometimes further characterized as holding that nature is uniform, which is to say that all events in nature conform to generalizations e. Naturalists do commonly hold this view—confidence in the uniformity of nature is an important part of the scientific enterprise—but strictly speaking this represents an additional metaphysical commitment regarding the nature of the universe and its susceptibility to human understanding.

If nature turns out not to be fully lawlike, this would not require the rejection of naturalism. A failure of uniformity, or what a believer in miracles might refer to as a violation of natural law, would imply only that there are limits to our ability to understand and predict natural phenomena.

Naturalism denies the existence of supernatural entities and denies as well the claim that revelation is capable of providing us with genuine knowledge. Where the supernaturalistic worldview is quite open to the possibility of miracles, naturalism is much less sympathetic, and one might argue that the tenets of naturalism rule out the possibility of miracles altogether; see Lewis Much, of course, depends on how we conceive of miracles, and on what we take their significance to be.

One concern we might have with the miraculous would be an apologetic one. By "apologetic" here is meant a defense of the rationality of belief in God. Historically, apologists have pointed to the occurrence of miracles as evidence for theism, which is to say that they have held that scriptural reports of miracles, such as those given in the Bible, provide grounds for belief in God.

While this argument is not as popular now as it was in the 18th century, the modern conception of the miraculous has been strongly influenced by this apologetic interest. Such an interest puts important constraints on an account of miracles. If we wish to point to a miracle as supporting belief in a supernatural deity, obviously we cannot begin by assuming the supernaturalistic worldview; this would beg the question. If we are trying to persuade a skeptic of God's existence, we are trying to demonstrate to him that there is something beyond or transcending nature, and he will demand to be persuaded on his own terms; we must make use of no assumptions beyond those that are already acknowledged by the naturalistic worldview.

Because the history of modern thought regarding miracles has been strongly influenced by apologetic interests, the emphasis of this entry will be on the apologetic conception of the miraculous—that is, on the concept of miracle as it has been invoked by those who would point to the reports of miracles in scripture as establishing the existence of a supernatural God. It is important to bear in mind, however, that any difficulty associated with this apologetic appeal to miracles does not automatically militate against the reasonableness of belief in miracles generally.

A successful criticism of the apologetic appeal will show at most that a warranted belief in miracles depends on our having independent reasons for rejecting naturalism; again, see Lewis A major concern with the rationality of belief in miracles is with whether we can be justified in believing that a miracle has occurred on the basis of testimony.

To determine whether the report of a miracle is credible, we need to consider the reliability of the source. Are S's reports generally true? Clearly if she is known to lie, or to utter falsehoods as jokes, we should be reluctant to believe her. Aside from the possibility that she may be influenced by some tangible self-interest, such as a financial one, her report may also be influenced by emotional factors—by her fears, perhaps, or by wishful thinking.

We should also consider whether other reliable and independent witnesses are available to corroborate her report. We must also ask whether S is herself a witness to E, or is passing on information that was reported to her. If she witnessed the event personally, we may ask a number of questions about her observational powers and the physical circumstances of her observation. There are quite a few things that can go wrong here; for example, S may sincerely report an event as she believed it to occur, but in fact her report is based on a misperception.

Thus she may report having seen a man walk across the surface of a lake; this may be her understanding of what happened, when in fact he was walking alongside the lake or on a sand bar. If it was dark, and the weather was bad, this would have made it difficult for S to have a good view of what was happening. And of course we should not neglect the influence of S's own attitudes on how she interprets what she sees; if she is already inclined to think of the man she reports as walking on water as being someone who is capable of performing such an extraordinary feat, this may color how she understands what she has seen.

By the same token, if we are already inclined to agree with her about this person's remarkable abilities, we will be all the more likely to believe her report. If S is merely passing on the testimony of someone else to the occurrence of E, we may question whether she has properly understood what she was told. She may not be repeating the testimony exactly as it was given to her.

And here, too, her own biases may color her understanding of the report. The possibility of distortions entering into testimony grows with each re-telling of the story. It will be fruitful to consider these elements in evaluating the strength of scriptural testimony to the miracles ascribed to Jesus. The reports of these miracles come from the four gospel accounts. Some of these accounts seem to have borrowed from others, or to have been influenced by a common source; even if this were not the case, they still cannot be claimed to represent independent reports.

Characteristics of a Genuine Miracle

Assuming they originate with the firsthand testimony of Jesus' followers, these people were closely associated and had the opportunity to discuss among themselves what they had seen before their stories were recorded for posterity. They were all members of the same religious community, and shared a common perspective as well as common interests. While the gospel accounts tell us that miracles took place in front of hostile witnesses, we do not have the testimony of these witnesses.

What Does the Bible Say About Miracles? : Christian Courier

It is sometimes suggested that these men undertook grave risk by reporting what they did, and they would not have risked their lives for a lie. But this establishes, at best, only that their reports are sincere; unfortunately, their conviction is not conclusive evidence for the truth of their testimony. We could expect the same conviction from someone who was delusional. Let us consider a particular report of Jesus' resurrection in applying these considerations. Popular apologetic sometimes points to the fact that according to Paul in 1 Corinthians After all, it may be argued, they could not have shared a mass hallucination, since hallucinations are typically private; there is no precedent for shared hallucination, and it may seem particularly far-fetched to suppose that a hallucination would be shared among so many people.

Accordingly it may be thought much more likely that Jesus really was there and, assuming there is sufficient evidence that he had died previously to that time, it becomes reasonable to say that he was resurrected from the dead. But let us suppose that Paul means to report that the five hundred saw Jesus in the flesh.

Unfortunately we do not have the reports of the five hundred to Jesus' resurrection; we have only Paul's hearsay testimony that Jesus was seen by five hundred. Furthermore Paul does not tell us how this information came to him. It is possible that he spoke personally to some or all of these five hundred witnesses, but it is also possible that he is repeating testimony that he received from someone else. This opens up the possibility that the report was distorted before it reached Paul; for example, the number of witnesses may have been exaggerated, or the original witnesses may have merely reported feeling Jesus' presence in some way without actually seeing him.

For the sake of argument, however, let us suppose that there was at one time a group of five hundred people who were all prepared to testify that they had seen a physically resurrected Jesus. This need not be the result of any supposed mass hallucination; the five hundred might have all seen someone who they came to believe, after discussing it amongst themselves, was Jesus. In such a case, the testimony of the five hundred would be to an experience together with a shared interpretation of it. It is also possible that the text of Paul's letter to the Corinthians has not been accurately preserved.

Thus, no matter how reliable Paul himself might be, his own report may have been modified through one, or several, redactions. There are, therefore, quite a few points at which error or distortion might have entered into the report in 1 Corinthians: The apologist may argue that it would be very surprising if errors should creep into the report at any of these four points. That some error should arise in regard to above, or that Jesus really was resurrected from the dead. Hume did not explicitly address the question of whether actually witnessing an apparent miracle would give us good reason to think that a miracle had actually occurred, though it is possible that the principles he invokes in regard to testimony for the miraculous can be applied to the case of a witnessed miracle.

Definition and Classification of Miracles

His stated aim is to show that belief in miracle reports is not rational, but that "our most holy religion is founded on Faith, not on reason" Enquiries, p. Hume surely intends some irony here, however, since he concludes by saying that anyone who embraces a belief in miracles based on faith is conscious of "a continued miracle in his own person, which subverts all the principles of his understanding" Enquiries, p. The most compelling of these is the one I will call the Balance of Probabilities Argument. For a brief discussion of some of the other arguments, see the entry "David Hume: We have already examined some of the considerations that go into assessing the strength of testimony; there is no denying that testimony may be very strong indeed when, for example, it may be given by numerous highly reliable and independent witnesses.

The problem that arises is not so much with the reliability of the witnesses as with the nature of what is being reported. A miracle is, according to Hume, a violation of natural law. We suppose that a law of nature obtains only when we have an extensive, and exceptionless, experience of a certain kind of phenomenon. For example, we suppose that it is a matter of natural law that a human being cannot walk on the surface of water while it is in its liquid state; this supposition is based on the weight of an enormous body of experience gained from our familiarity with what happens in seas, lakes, kitchen sinks, and bathtubs.

Given that experience, we always have the best possible evidence that in any particular case, an object with a sufficiently great average density, having been placed onto the surface of a body of water, will sink. According to Hume, the evidence in favor of a miracle, even when that is provided by the strongest possible testimony, will always be outweighed by the evidence for the law of nature which is supposed to have been violated. Considerable controversy surrounds the notion of a violation of natural law.

Thus given that we have a very great amount of experience regarding dense objects being placed onto water, and given that in every one of these cases that object has sunk, we have the strongest possible evidence that any object that is placed onto water is one that will sink. Accordingly we have the best possible reasons for thinking that any report of someone walking on water is false—and this no matter how reliable the witness. While objections are frequently made against Hume's conception of natural law, in fact no particularly sophisticated account of natural law seems to be necessary here, and Hume's examples are quite commonsensical: All human beings must die, lead cannot remain suspended in the air, fire consumes wood and is extinguished by water Enquiries p.

This may be a naive conception of natural law; nevertheless it is true that, all things being equal, we can assign a minimal probability to the occurrence of a counterinstance to any of these generalizations. Past regularities do not establish that it is impossible that a natural law should ever be suspended Purtill However, regardless of Hume's original intent, this is a more extravagant claim than his argument requires. After all, there is no precedent for any human being walking on water, setting this one controversial case aside, but there is ample precedent for the falsehood of testimony even under the best of circumstances.

Accordingly Hume says Enquiries p. We must ask ourselves, which would be more of a miracle: That Jesus walked on water, or that the scriptural reports of this event are false? While we may occasionally encounter testimony that is so strong that its falsehood would be very surprising indeed, we never come across any report, the falsehood of which would be downright miraculous. Accordingly, the reasonable conclusion will always be that the testimony is false. Thus to return to Paul's report of Jesus' resurrection in 1 Corinthians: It may be highly unlikely that the original witnesses were wrong, for one reason or another, about whether they saw Jesus; it may be highly unlikely that the testimony of these witnesses may have been distorted before reaching Paul; it may be highly unlikely that Paul incorrectly reported what he heard about the event, and it may be highly unlikely that Paul's original letter to the Christian community in Corinth has not been accurately preserved in our modern translations of the New Testament.

Suppose the apologist can argue that a failure in the transmission of testimony at any of these points might be entirely without precedent in human experience. Apologetic appeals frequently focus on the strength of testimony such as Paul's, and often appear to make a good case for its reliability.

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Nevertheless such an appeal will only persuade those who are already inclined to believe in the miracle—perhaps because they are already sympathetic to a supernaturalistic worldview—and who therefore tend to downplay the unlikelihood of a dead man returning to life. Having said all this, it may strike us as odd that Hume seems not to want to rule out the possibility, in principle, that very strong testimony might establish the occurrence of an unprecedented event. He tells us Enquiries p. Thus even if we were convinced that such an event really did take place—and the evidence in this case would be considerably stronger than the evidence for any of the miracles of the Bible—we should suppose that the event in question really had a natural cause after all.

In this case the event would not be a violation of natural law, and thus according to Hume's definition would not be a miracle. Despite this possibility, Hume wants to say that the quality of miracle reports is never high enough to clear this hurdle, at least when they are given in the interest of establishing a religion, as they typically are.

People in such circumstances are likely to be operating under any number of passional influences, such as enthusiasm, wishful thinking, or a sense of mission driven by good intentions; these influences may be expected to undermine their critical faculties.

Given the importance to religion of a sense of mystery and wonder, that very quality which would otherwise tend to make a report incredible—that it is the report of something entirely novel—becomes one that recommends it to us. There is something clearly right about Hume's argument. The principle he cites surely resembles the one that we properly use when we discredit reports in tabloid newspapers about alien visitors to the White House or tiny mermaids being found in sardine cans.

Nevertheless the argument has prompted a great many criticisms. Some of this discussion makes use of Bayesian probabilistic analysis; John Earman, for example, argues that when the principles of Hume's arguments "are made explicit and examined under the lens of Bayesianism, they are found to be either vapid, specious, or at variance with actual scientific practice" Earman The Bayesian literature will not be discussed here, though Earman's discussion of the power of multiple witnessing deserves mention.

Earman argues that even if the prior probability of a miracle occurring is very low, if there are enough independent witnesses, and each is sufficiently reliable, its occurrence may be established as probable. Of course the number of witnesses required might be very large, and it may be that none of the miracles reported in any scripture will qualify. It is true that some of the miracles of the Bible are reported to have occurred in the presence of a good number of witnesses; the miracle of the loaves and fishes is a good example, which according to Mark Mark 6: But we have already noticed that the testimony of one person, or even of four, that some event was witnessed by a multitude is not nearly the same as having the testimony of the multitude itself.

Another objection against Hume's argument is that it makes use of a method that is unreliable; that is, it may have us reject reports that are true or accept those that are false. Consider the fact that a particular combination of lottery numbers will generally be chosen against very great odds. If the odds of the particular combination chosen in the California Lottery last week were 40 million to 1, the probability of that combination being chosen is very low. The unreliability objection, made out in this particular way, seems to have a fairly easy response.

There is no skeptical challenge to our being justified in believing the report of a lottery drawing; that is, reports of lottery drawings are reports of ordinary events, like reports of rainstorms and presidential press conferences. They do not require particularly strong testimony to be credible, and in fact we may be justified in believing the report of a lottery drawing even if it came from an otherwise unreliable source, such as a tabloid newspaper.

This is surely because we know in advance that when the lottery is drawn, whatever particular combination of numbers may be chosen will be chosen against very great odds, so that we are guaranteed to get one highly improbable combination or another. Despite the fact that the odds against any particular combination are very great, all of the other particular outcomes are equally unlikely, so we have no prejudice against any particular combination.

We know that people are going to win the lottery from time to time; we have no comparable assurance that anyone will ever be raised from the dead. The third degree of miracles is when God does what is wont to be done by the operation of nature, but without the operation of the natural principles: In Hinduism, miracles are focused on episodes of liberation of the spirit. This is a typical situation in Hindu mythology wherein "wondrous acts are performed for the purpose of bringing spiritual liberation to those who witness or read about them.

Hindu sages have criticized both expectation and reliance on miracles as cheats, situations where people have sought to earn a benefit without doing the work necessary to merit it. The scientific explanation for the incident, attested by Indian academics, was that the material was wicked from the offering bowls by capillary action. It rather uses the term 'Ayah' literally meaning sign. To defend the possibility of miracles and God's omnipotence against the encroachment of the independent secondary causes, some medieval Muslim theologians such as Al-Ghazali rejected the idea of cause and effect in essence, but accepted it as something that facilitates humankind's investigation and comprehension of natural processes.

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They argued that the nature was composed of uniform atoms that were "re-created" at every instant by God. Thus if the soil was to fall, God would have to create and re-create the accident of heaviness for as long as the soil was to fall. For Muslim theologians, the laws of nature were only the customary sequence of apparent causes: Sufi biographical literature records claims of miraculous accounts of men and women.

The miraculous prowess of the Sufi holy men includes firasa clairvoyance , the ability to disappear from sight, to become completely invisible and practice buruz exteriorization. The holy men reportedly tame wild beasts and traverse long distances in a very short time span. They could also produce food and rain in seasons of drought, heal the sick and help barren women conceive.

Examples include prophets, such as Elijah who performed miracles like the raising of a widow's dead son 1 Kings The Torah describes many miracles related to Moses during his time as a prophet and the Exodus of the Israelites. Parting the Red Sea , and facilitating the Plagues of Egypt are among the most famous. During the first century BCE, a variety of religious movements and splinter groups developed amongst the Jews in Judea. A number of individuals claimed to be miracle workers in the tradition of Moses , Elijah , and Elisha , the Jewish prophets. The Talmud provides some examples of such Jewish miracle workers, one of whom is Honi HaM'agel , who was famous for his ability to successfully pray for rain.

There are people who obscure all miracles by explaining them in terms of the laws of nature. When these heretics who do not believe in miracles disappear and faith increases in the world, then the Mashiach will come.

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For the essence of the Redemption primarily depends on this — that is, on faith [40]. Most Chasidic communities are rife with tales of miracles that follow a yechidut , a spiritual audience with a tzadik: Thomas Jefferson , principal author of the Declaration of Independence of the United States, edited a version of the Bible in which he removed sections of the New Testament containing supernatural aspects as well as perceived misinterpretations he believed had been added by the Four Evangelists.

The immaculate conception of Jesus, his deification, the creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurrection and visible ascension, his corporeal presence in the Eucharist, the Trinity; original sin, atonement, regeneration, election, orders of Hierarchy, etc.

John Adams , second President of the United States, wrote, "The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles? American Revolutionary War patriot and hero Ethan Allen wrote "In those parts of the world where learning and science have prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue".

Robert Ingersoll wrote, "Not 20 people were convinced by the reported miracles of Christ, and yet people of the nineteenth century were coolly asked to be convinced on hearsay by miracles which those who are supposed to have seen them refused to credit. Elbert Hubbard , American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher, wrote "A miracle is an event described by those to whom it was told by people who did not see it. Biologist Richard Dawkins has criticised the belief in miracles as a subversion of Occam's razor. Mathematician Charles Hermite , in a discourse upon the world of mathematical truths and the physical world, stated that "The synthesis of the two is revealed partially in the marvellous correspondence between abstract mathematics on the one hand and all the branches of physics on the other" [51].

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Miracle disambiguation. The entire nation of Japan was able to view the tears of the statue of the Virgin Mary on national television. United Kingdom United States World. Death and culture Parapsychology Scientific literacy. Law of truly large numbers and Littlewood's law.

Epistemic theory of miracles. Miracles of Jesus and Gift of miracles. Marian apparition , Eucharistic Miracle , Stigmata , Weeping statue , Moving statues , Visions of Jesus and Mary , Incorruptibility , and Perceptions of religious imagery in natural phenomena. Islamic view of miracles and Miracles of Muhammad. The Everything Mary Book: The Life and Legacy of the Blessed Mother. Retrieved 31 July The Nature of Religion". Speeches to its Cultured Despirers. Columbia University Press, New York, The acts of Jesus: Come Reason Ministries, Convincing Christianity.

Christian Apologetics Journal, Volume 2, No. Archived from the original PDF on October 26, Archived from the original on 13 July Retrieved 14 January Wonder and Meaning in World Religions.

What Does the Bible Say About Miracles?

The Exaltation of a Reasonable Deity: Quartz Hill School of Theology. Putnam's Sons, , Vol. The gifts were miraculously endowed functions in the church e. Moreover, the duration of these supernatural governments was specified. And so, to sum up: Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 13 are wonderfully complimentary.

We will now consider a couple of arguments that frequently are employed in an attempt to prove that miracles did not cease with the apostolic age. First, some contend Paul taught that spiritual gifts would continue to the very end, i. We offer the following points. It is not certain that miraculous gifts are even in view within this context. Meyer argues that spiritual blessings in general are under consideration, not miraculous gifts , One may be confirmed sustained through the message of the inspired Word 2 Timothy 3: Second, it is claimed that the Lord is as powerful today as he was in the first century; and so, he can perform signs today.

Does he will to perform miracles today? He does not will to create men directly from the dust of the earth. He does not will to feed us with manna from heaven, etc. Horne presented a remarkable summary statement of this matter that is worthy of consideration. Why are not miracles now wrought?

Besides, if they were continued, they would be of no use, because their force and influence would be lost by the frequency of them; for, miracles being a sensible suspension or controlment of—or deviation from—the established course or laws of nature, if they were repeated on every occasion, all distinctions of natural and supernatural would vanish, and we should be at a loss to say, which were the ordinary and which the extraordinary works of Providence.

Moreover, it is probable that, if they were continued, they would be of no use, because those persons who refuse to be convinced by the miracles recorded in the New Testament, would not be convinced by any new ones: Lastly, a perpetual power of working of miracles would in all ages give occasion to continual impostures, while it would rescind and reverse all the settled laws and constitutions of Providence. Frequent miracles would be taught to proceed more from some defect in nature than from the particular interposition of the Deity; and men would become atheists by means of them, rather than Christians , In the first place, we really are not obligated to defend as divine a modern event simply because it may have certain elements that are difficult to explain.

There are many illusions that modern magicians perform which the average person cannot explain; but they do have natural explanations. They are not miracles. That aside, there are several possible bases for so-called modern miracles. As an example, let us focus upon alleged faith healings. Some instances of faith healings are pure fakery. Consider the case of Peter Popoff, miracle-working cleric of Upland, California. Prominent magician James Randi exposed the entire affair on nationwide television , Randi also demonstrated that Popoff was providing rented wheelchairs for people who could actually walk; then, at his services, he was pronouncing them healed.

The fact is, however, they had nothing organically wrong with them. Their ailment was psychosomatic. This means that though some bodily feature was actually affected, the real root of the problem was mental or emotional; hence, by suggestion a cure might be effected. It has been estimated that some fifty-five percent or more of the patients applying for medical treatment in the United States suffer from psychosomatic illnesses.

It is generally believed by experienced physicians that at least two-thirds of the ordinary cases of sickness which doctors are called upon to treat would, if left entirely alone, recover without the aid of the doctor or his medicine , Sadler affirmed that after twenty-five years of sympathetic research into faith-healing, he had not observed a solitary case of an organic disease being healed. It is commonly known that an African witch-doctor can literally command a believer in voodoo to die, and within the prescribed time, the victim will expire.

This evidences the powerful control of the mind over the body. Surely no one will claim, though, that a witch-doctor has the Spirit of God. Another explanation for some so-called faith cures is a phenomenon known as spontaneous remission. Spontaneous remission is an unexpected withdrawal of disease symptoms, and an inexplicable disappearance of the ailment. It occurs in about one out of every eighty thousand cancer patients. Joseph Mayerle of Bremerton, Washington had exploratory surgery; it was discovered that he was consumed with cancer.

His physicians gave him only a few months to live. Months sped by and his disease utterly vanished. There was nothing miraculous about it. According to newspaper accounts, Mr. Mayerle, a bartender, made no claim to faith, prayer, or a miracle-cure. There is one final point of this presentation that needs to be pressed with great vigor.

In fact, more than 20 million Americans annually report mystic experiences including healing in their lives Psychology Today , Since the Scriptures clearly teach that the purpose of miracles, as evidenced in biblical days, was to confirm the message proclaimed, hence, to validate the Christian system, do the multiple alleged examples of miracle-workings indicate that the Lord has authenticated all of these woefully contradictory systems?

There is abundant evidence that genuine miracles were performed by divinely appointed persons in the first century, but there is no proof whatever that such wonders are being replicated in this modern age. Ancient Superstition or Historical Reality? Back to Kindergarten The Silence of Scripture: Works Cited Abbott-Smith, G.

Arndt, William and Gingrich, F. Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Critical and Grammatical Commentary on Ephesians. Manual of Christian Evidences. Handbook to the Grammar of the Greek Testament. A Critical Introduction to the Holy Scriptures.