Miracles: Is Belief in the Supernatural Rational?



                Before I get started, I guess the definition of miracle could be stated, since the word can be used for many different situations. From the Merriam-Webster website, the three definitions of miracle are as follows: an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs, an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment, and a divinely natural phenomenon experience humanly as the fulfillment of spiritual law. Some will argue against miracles because they would appear to be violations of the laws of nature, but are miracles, in the divine sense, really violations of the laws of nature?
                Suppose I had a box or drawer in my apartment that I deposited one-hundred dollars per day for a week. I come and check the contents of the box after a week, so I am imagining a total of seven hundred dollars in the box, and I find fifty dollars left in the box. Do I automatically assume that the laws of arithmetic have been broken, or do I assume the laws of the state of Texas have been broken? Someone had to have come in from outside the system that I have created, and taken out what I was putting into it. I think this is how certain miracles of God had to have been performed, such as raising Jesus Christ from the dead, but in this case God put something back into the system instead of taking out. When I argue for the resurrection of Jesus Christ raising from the dead, I am not saying that he came back by some natural process, but that the Almighty God injected his power and energy into the universe to give life to a lifeless body and bring his son back from the grave. A resurrection like this is a singularity of sorts. Anyone would say that people in general don’t come back from the dead, so some people use this to claim that Jesus wasn’t resurrected. Surely of course, one could get a group of people together and observe a graveyard for a year and attempt to document a resurrection. If one doesn’t happen, you could come back and say that resurrections do not happen. However, unless you could go and observe every grave and tomb from the beginning of time, I would argue that you would have to downgrade resurrection from the dead from impossible to very improbable. That is the point and the glory of Jesus coming back, since we know the law of nature regarding death. When Jesus was crucified, his disciples were spiritually broken and depressed, because they thought that Jesus’ death was the end of his ministry. When he appeared to his disciples, many were overjoyed, but Thomas still doubted until he touched Jesus. There are documented witness accounts in the Bible of Jesus post-resurrection all the way up to his ascension into Heaven.
                Now of course not all miracles are as dramatic as raising someone from the dead. What about a healing for someone you are praying for, in any sense of the word? Or what about events that take place in such a certain way that you think that only divine intervention could have brought the results that are before you? Skeptic Michael Shermer might argue against the healing statement, for there have been studies to show that prayed for people come back from illness just as often as non-prayed for people, but I think that personal experience has a little bit of say in this kind of situation. I’m sure I could find story after story of people being healed from terminal diseases and those people praising God for the healing. Now does God heal everyone who is prayed for? No, he does not, and I do not have an answer for why God doesn’t heal everyone except for the often used answer that God works in mysterious ways. All I can do in those situations, is to mourn with those who are mourning and rejoice with those who are joyful (Romans 12:15).
There are certain events in the Bible that could be called what I will term “natural miracles”, or the spectacular results of which I was talking about earlier.  How about part of my name’s sake David, taking on Goliath with only a sling and a few stones? David took a stone in a sling and slew Goliath in one shot. Some people would term this a miracle. I think these types of miracles are a little more overlooked than the more dramatic miracles akin to Elijah being taken by a flaming chariot or Jesus turning water to wine, but I think this shows that God can influence events in a subtle way as well as a flashy way. I believe that God is still acting in these more subtle acts, but He may just be bringing out the potential of the people in the events, or influencing natural events, such as the weather to bring drought or rain.
So when it comes to the subject of miracles, hopefully if you are not a total believer, maybe you haven’t totally discounted the possibility of them, or maybe I have reopened that possibility for you. Have a good weekend and God bless you.

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