It's a miracle!!!! Miracles in Christianity what do
It's a miracle!!!! Miracles in Christianity what do people believe and what impact do these beliefs have? What is a miracle?
Miracles? What do Christians believe about miracles? Jesus performed many miracles when he was on earth. He was God incarnate so God must be able to perform miracles too.
Christians believe God still interacts with the world today and performs miracles in response to prayers and for those in need. Christians believe God is all powerful and all-knowing, aware of what we need so he must be able to perform
miracles So what miracles did Jesus do? Exorcised some demons Luke 8:27-33 Jesus turned water into wine John 2:1-11
Jesus sent the demons out of a possessed man and sent them into some pigs who then ran and drowned in a river. Jesus first miracle. At a wedding in Cana, the wine ran out so Jesus
ordered the jars to be filled with water which he turned into wine. Healed a womans bleeding Luke 8: 43-48 The woman had been bleeding non-stop for 12 years reached out and
touched Jesus cloak. He declared that her faith in his power has healed her. Jesus walks on water Matthew 14: 22-33 Lazarus is raised from the dead John 11:17-44
Jesus friend Lazarus, brother of Mary and Martha, died. Jesus arrived after he had been dead for four days. He went into the tomb and called him forth, raising him from the dead. The disciples are in a boat after Jesus had
been teaching and were some distance from land. Jesus joined them by walking out onto the water. Biggest miracle of them all? Jesus resurrection where would Christians be without it?
Modern Miracles http://www.milkmiracle.com/ http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P1qCQroZ58 http:// www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/the-multist orey-miracle/2878.html
They were Biblical times; what relevance do these miracles have now? To answer question 2 fully, you need to use the correct skills of explanation and application. In other words, explain the details well and apply them to modern life. So, what impact can they have? Impact one
Consider the story of John Rajah. conversion Demonstrates Gods existence and power! Reinforces a persons beliefs
Gives focus for prayer Gives people hope for the future Miracle - a study of how God might interact
with humanity, by looking at the concept of miracle Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: different definitions of miracle, including an understanding of Hume; the biblical concept of miracle and the issues this raises about Gods activity in the world; the concept of miracle, and criticisms made
by Hume and Wiles; the implications of the concept of miracle for the problem of evil. Candidates should be able to discuss whether modern people can be expected to believe in miracles, and whether miracles suggest an arbitrary or partisan God. Candidates should be
able to discuss these areas critically and their strengths and weaknesses. From the Latin miraculum wonder different definitions of miracle, including an understanding of Hume; WHAT REALLY IS A MIRACLE?
In common English usage Its a miracle no one was killed! Is it??
1. RELIGIOUS UNDERSTANDING OF THE TERM MIRACLE More specific than a wonderful event or escape Something extraordinary which has been brought about by God for a particular purpose Something must be more than just unexpected
It must be in apparent violations of the laws of nature Must have some kind of religious significance AO1 In support of miracles Macquarrie Aquinas Evans
1. Macquarrie Principles of Christian Theology 1966 A miracle has to be something which is attributable to God, in addition to it being a wonderful event In a minimal sense, a miracle is an event that excites wonder..but it is evident in a religious context the word miracle carries more than just this minimal sense.. It is believed that
God is in the event in some special way, that he intends is the author of it and intends to achieve something special by the end of it 2. Steven Evans The Philosophy of Religion Argued that miracles are not just magic tricks. Obviously the miracles of a religion
such as Christianity are not merely bizarre events or stunts. They have a function and a purpose, and usually that function is a revelatory one 3. Thomas Aquinas Summa Contra Gentiles 13th century Attempted to define different events which could be interpreted as miraculous
Recognised that to call an event miraculous is to put an interpretation onto what happened and express an opinion about it Argued that for an event to be properly worthy of the name miracle it has to be an event which is intrinsically wonderful, not just wonderful to this person but not to that person (this would rule out the ordinary birth of a healthy baby) It must have a cause which is absolutely hidden
4. (late addition) Richard Swinburne It is important to be clear about what the laws of nature are - they are not necessarily fixed truths Perhaps God can suspend natural laws on occasions e.g. sometimes a lovng parent relaxes certain rules in response to a child pleading. Miracles have to be occasional if they were
more regular life would be confusing 5. John Polkinghome (late addition) Defends the possibility of miracles particularly the resurrection of Jesus. All that science can tell us is that a given event is against normal expectations not that it cannot happen at all
6. C.S Lewis Defended Christian belief in miracles Were faced with a choice about how we view the world. We are either naturalists (reality is totally physical) or supernaturalists (non physical things may exist soul/God) Naturalism is self-defeating. If you are just a physical being subject to laws of cause and effect as all physical objects are then your decision to believe in naturalism is physically caused, you have no choice about what you
believe. Your decision is caused by physical factors. Attempted to rank miracles 1. 2.
3. Those in which something is done by God that nature can never do Examples from the Bible: God makes a shadow move backwards (Isaiah 38) God does something that nature can do,
but not in that sequence and connection People being able to see after being blind in the natural order people can see first and then become blind something done by God, which is usually done by the operation of nature, but is done without the working of natural principles, as when one is cured by divine power of a fever, in itself naturally curable
DAVID HUME A wise man proportions his belief according the evidence EMPIRICIST Our knowledge of the world should come from the observations made by our senses
Thought we cannot reason accurately beyond what we see and hear as this requires us to make assumptions SCEPTIC For a miracle to be called a miracle, it
must be something that never happens in the normal world and therefore miracles do not happen by their very By very definition, miracles definition! are beyond the realms of
reasonable belief. They cant happen! David Hume Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding A miracle may be accurately defined, a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the deity or by the interposition of some invisible agent
Known as the violation definition - its key claim is that a miracle is a violation or breaking of a natural law No sensible person could ever believe that a miracle had happened other
interpretations are far more likely I flatter myself, that I have discovered an argument of a like nature, which, if just, will, with the wise and the learned, be an everlasting check to all kinds of
superstitions and delusions and consequently will be as useful as the world endures Based on our past experience, we know this doesnt
happen! Stories of miracles tend to come from ignorant and barbarous places and nations rather than from well educated people Therefore their testimonies are not to be trusted!!!
These people are more likely to be gullible and less familiar with rational/scientific theories! HOWEVER MAURICE WILES Myth of God Incarnate
(group of authors) Rejects miracles but for different reasons than Hume Didnt reject the concept of miracle for scientific reasons Certainly the notion of miracle cannot simply be ruled out on scientific grounds as logically impossible, since the world we know is not a closed, deterministically ordered system
The problem with miracles: making sense of the morality and wisdom of God vs Another philosopher shook his head and said with a weariness of disgust while the
cancer wards and the hospital wards of the world are full of suffering and dying people, you get your beach ball back. Somewhere in the world at that very moment , people were being murdered and you got your beach ball back Tom Morris Wiles objection to the traditional view
of miracles is on moral grounds If there is a God who sometimes performs these sudden miraculous interventions in the world, then it must be an arbitrary God A God who has favourites, a God who can be unfair and a God who lacks compassion
Any occasion where God intervenes with the natural order to help individuals or groups raises issues about consistency and fairness God would have to be arbitrary and partisan Is a God who performs occasional arbitrary miracles
worthy of worship? Wiles believed it is better theologically to believe in a God that does not do any miracles, than in one that was not morally good
(Ina Taylor) Wiles believed that there was in effect a single miracle of creation and that Gods creation was good it doesnt require intervention in the
form of other miracles Conclusion 1 Conclusion 2 God performs random, arbitrary
miracles and is therefore not worthy of worship God does not intervene at all AO2 Maurice Wiles
Wiles views allow people to believe in God yet still uphold the laws of science Allows believers to reinterpret the idea of prayer. Prayer is not about presenting a wish list to God but about allowing an individual to connect to Gods will.
AO2 Maurice Wiles 1. Wiles might not like the concept of a God who performs occasional miracles, but nevertheless, the Bible is quite clear that that IS how God
operates 2. Wiles is wrong to judge Gods actions by human moral standards. If God wants to cure a blind man but not save the people of Hiroshima, because it is Gods choice it will be the right thing to do even if we
cannot understand it. 3. Wiles misses the point of miracles they are not meant to be simply helping people in need, but have the purpose of revealing something of God. Therefore, a comparatively small miracle might be more
significant because of what it shows about God for Wiles!! Miracles are not possible in the world today Discuss (35) Yes
Aquinas Ward Swinburne Polkinghorne CS Lewis No Hume Wiles
different definitions of miracle, including an understanding of Hume; the biblical concept of miracle and the issues
this raises about Gods activity in the world; the concept of miracle, and criticisms made by Hume and Wiles; the implications of the concept of miracle for the problem of evil. Candidates should be able to discuss whether modern people can be expected to believe in miracles, and whether miracles suggest an arbitrary or partisan God. Candidates should be able to discuss these areas critically
Critically assess the view that the concept of miracle is inconsistent with belief in a benevolent God. Examples of miracles which show God to be benevolent God cant always intervene parent God wouldnt only help a few Wiles logical inconsistency no miraculous intervention prevented auschwitz or hiroshima Response if he did this too often we wouldnt hav elaws of nature at all. If the sea dried up every day to prevent people from drowning. Wed never know what the natural world would do next. BUT if there is a GOD who performs miracles he must be an arbitrary God rather than an omni benevolent God. (He seems to perform miracles on a whim rather with any real love/consistency)
FREE WILL interference ? BUT Are we wrong to judge Gods actions by human standards? We cant fully understand the mind of God Does Wiles miss the point of miracles? They ar enot meant to be simply helping people in need, but hav ethe purpose of revealing something about God therefore a comparatively small miracle might be more significant Another philosopher shook his head and said with a weariness of disgust while the cancer wards and and the hospital wards of the world are full of suffering and dying people, you get your beach ball back. Somewhere in the world at that very moment , people were being murdered and you got your beach ball back The gods give to mortals but not everything at the same time Homer 9th Century BC
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