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Miracles: 32 True Stories, is Free on Kindle today

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message 1: by John (new)

John Hileman (johnmichaelhileman) | 23 comments Miracles is a book for anyone who has ever asked the question, "does God work in our lives". This Best Selling book has sat in the top 10 in the Inspirational category of Amazon for 15 weeks. Snatch it up today for free, and please tell your friends to grab a copy too. This is a must-read.

message 2: by Karen (new)

Karen thank you.

message 3: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle So what kind of miracles are in this book? Just curious.
Benny Hinn type or Jesus type? Or Martin Luther type? Did anyone grow a new arm? OR did a sinner come to have an eternal relationship with the loving God of all creation?

I'll go read some reviews on it. Although Christians often deal more with emotions than truth. It's tricky reading between the lines.

message 4: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Well said Brantley. Everytime I look into claims of miracles I seem to instantly find a problem. Mostly I just find very poor research and wishful thinking.

The funnest thing to do is look at all the claims of other world religions. Every religion claims miracles and healings. Yet NO ONE has grown back a missing limb yet. Why? Because God is doing big important things. Things that affect all eternity.

But if God wants to do miracles. I'm okay with that. But i'm not convinced scripture tells us that.

message 5: by Brantley (new)

Brantley (bditto39) | 5 comments So, I read the Amazon preview (since I don't have a Kindle, I couldn't get a free copy). So far the book was a fantastic collection of inspirational stories of God's provision, but I do not think the term "miracle" should be assumed on the three I finished. Don't get me wrong, I don't question that the events happened. I think they sound very plausible! I doubt not the events but the definition of miracle that is being applied. When many Christians use the term miracle, they apply it to anything that happens that seems to be in any way mysterious and in any way touched by God. However, this definition often does not help the case for Christianity with those who question or doubt God's existence. Any of the three stories I finished have natural explanations that could apply to them. There is no necessity that in any of the first three stories a miracle (defined as a deviation from the normal natural order and operation of the universe by God) took place. In the first, someone was not able to be found when the observer thought the person should be right at hand. The assumption that the person was actually an angel is not proven because the EMT could not find the person. Also, the child surviving a broken neck after the mysterious person held it carefully does not necessitate that the child was saved because of that action. It could be that a well-meaning pedestrian held the neck in such a way that they happened to not do further damage to it (since moving someone with a spinal injury is a no no). I am not saying this is not a miracle, I am saying that there is not enough evidence in the story to assume that the person was a guardian angel and that the life saved was an action of God in defiance of natural order. Do I believe in God's providence in the event? Yes, but God's providence does not necessitate an abdication of normal, natural processes. The second two were also wonderful stories of God's provision in times of need and in conversion! I loved the stories, and they do not sound out of place or odd. And I think that is why I would not consider them to be "miracles" since they also seem to fit better into acts of God's provision and not in special cases of natural law being suspended.
Please don't get me wrong, I believe God to be at work in these events! I also believe in a miracle working God! I just think it is dangerous to have so loose of a definition of "miracle." Why? First, because the Bible doesn't seem to have this. Yes, the work of God is shown to be provisional, unique, and amazing in any instance! However, what we consider miraculous in the Scripture is so because it defies that which we know to happen on its own in nature. Sure, our observation is limited, we may not know every cause, and all that jazz...we can assume some basic things and not venture too far into philosophy with all of that here. Nonetheless, we see that when we let go of a ball, it goes down toward the earth every time. If something else happened, like it went up or did a loop-the-loop in mid-air, either something else acted on it or a miracle occurred. In the instances of Jesus actions -- making water into wine instantaneously (change of substance plus fermentation instantaneously is quite miraculous!), healing illness and disability, multiplying matter (bread and fish), rising from the dead, etc. -- those were more than just coincidental or providential. They were impossible by natural standards! That is what made them miraculous! Therefore, when we try to broaden the term miracle to that which can possibly be accounted for by God working within the natural order that is already in place, we dilute the term without changing the definition.
How is this problematic? People believe strongly that something is a miracle (which is actually providential or something of that nature), and when they find that it can be explained naturally, they might throw out more than is warranted by not believing in God at all because one event was not a miracle! Just because my conversion experience was not a miracle (breaking of natural order) does not negate its truth or God's work in the situation! Also, Christians use miracles to attest to the existence of God. Some people get saved hearing such things, true. But others shy away from Christianity because they see the natural explanations of the events and believe the Christians to be overly spiritualizing the event. They have a few good points here since the term miracle to the secular world (and Western Christian history and philosophy prior to modern popular Christian preachers and writers) a miracle is assumed to be an interference by God of the natural physical order he created to fulfill some purpose he has in some event. So, someone saying that people bringing them food when they were poor and needed some seems to be someone attributing to God what man did. As Christians, we believe that God most likely did something to make the person go out and get the groceries or something of that nature, but God did not necessarily break natural order to provide those groceries...he used human agents and normal natural happenings to fulfill the need.
I think what I am ultimately trying to say is that natural events (whether orchestrated by God or not) should not be describes in unwarranted supernatural ways, otherwise everything could be a miracle to someone (i.e. my old car starting, finding a lost dollar, finishing a long paper on time) and the concept of "miracle" will lose its value and its credibility as evidence for the faith. We ultimately make God's actual miraculous actions in the Scriptures and the rest of human history out to be on such a weak level as this when we broaden the term too much to include such events.
THERE ARE MIRACLE STORIES OUT THERE THAT ARE VERY CONVINCING! People such as Gary Habermas have devoted their lives to the study and assessment of such claims. But even evangelical Christians such as Habermas do not take the majority of claims to be evidential or even necessarily miraculous. Of the three I read, one of them may have actually been miraculous, but there is no way of knowing, analyzing, or proving this, so we can not affirm that it actually is or is not a miracle. Therefore, we should take these stories for what we know they are: true (as far as I know...I have no reason to doubt them) inspirational testimonies about the providence, power, and love of the God of Christianity and allow "miracle" to be a special term (which is used with the honesty of sometimes not knowing the nature of an event) once again!
This is not an attack on the author. She did a fantastic job of writing as far as I read. Any complaints people have about that are merely subjective and are in my opinion not worth very much. However, I think that she should re-evaluate the term miracle and present these wonderful testimonies under a different title and with different explanations as to what these accounts actually are.

message 6: by Brantley (new)

Brantley (bditto39) | 5 comments Oh my...that was a long post! Sorry!

message 7: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Wow, great stuff Brantley. I wish every Christian could read that.

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