A Miracle is an event (1) brought about by the power of God that is (2) a temporary (3) exception (4) to the ordinary course of nature (5) for the purpose of showing that God has acted in history.Have you experienced a miracle ever? I have, numerous times, once was when I was a kid, my little brother who was eight years old was dead for half an hour, then came back to life, more miraculous was his recollection of Jesus during his time being physically dead. I have just experienced the miraculous once again. I will briefly share this experience before addressing the common objections to miracles, because, after all, “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 KJV).
Today is Tuesday, June 25th, and I am coming off of a traumatic weekend of spiritual warfare, but out of the ashes exist the miraculous fingerprint of God. On Saturday I was doing my daily walk with my three dogs; I live in the middle of nowhere in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains with no neighbors for four miles, you can drink the river water here, it is that pristine. Shortly on my walk, my ten-pound dog Trixie ran ahead of me barking at a man parked right off the property of our ranch, there were 30 seconds that I didn’t see her. Little did I know that the man had drugged her with the street drug Molly, or ecstasy. Our daily walk is just a 45-minute stroll, and on the way back we saw the man again, this time he was holding a gun waving it in the air at the pine trees. Terrified, I held my small dog and kept my big dogs near me as we hurried by, I busted out until a full sprint once I was out of his sight. When we got home, my small dog began “tweaking,” we took her to the veterinary emergency hospital, and the vet confirmed the deadly concoction with meth being the primary drug in the lethal designer drug cocktail she was fed. Her chances were not good, the vet said, “it would be a miracle if she makes it,” it was the most terrible concoction of drugs the vet had ever seen in a dog so small. I barely slept that night, but when I woke up the next day, I had a profound sense of peace, my last dream before waking up was of Trixie and me cuddling, and her drinking water… maybe that water was symbolic of the water of life that Jesus mentioned when he spoke to the Samaritan women at the well? Well Trixie came back home yesterday, she is not herself yet, but she is alive and healing; it is a miracle that she is alive. Her surviving that dose of drugs with a small ten-pound stature certainly defies the laws of nature, all glory to God. Please pray for her continuous recovery as her liver and blood filter the remaining toxins.
Pardon my long introduction, now, allow me to look at the question of “what objection to miracles do I find the most difficult to address?” Off the top of my head, I would answer that the disbelief of the skeptics and they’re trying to reason away the miraculous event, is what I find most troublesome. I want to call these people, “haters,” but I should be more scholarly. Miracles rationalized. One of the most common responses to miracle claims is to attempt to explain them away.So with the story of my brother coming back to life after being dead for half an hour, and my ten pound dog defying chances of survival after a lethal drug dosage, the miracles rationalized folk (or “haters” in postmodern culture lingo) would discredit these situations and chalk it up to what “really happened.”
As I type, my sick little dog Trixie is lethargic and staring at me, she is healing but is undoubtedly not herself. How can I dispute the folks who disagree that her recovery is a miracle? As I mentioned before, we can call the people who discredit miracles as miracles rationalized people.How can I, a witness of the miraculous come up with a valid argument, and a couple sound objections to the people who discredit my experience of the miraculous? My brother came back from the dead, and my ten- pound dog survived a dose of drugs that would stress a full-grown man; these are miracles by the very definition, they supersede the laws of nature. Not only are these miracles, but there are dozens of witnesses, real-life medical records, including the hospital staff, and family. For my two miracle examples, it is possible to prove these historical events happened in the past. The testimonies I share are not unlike the statements of Jesus in the Bible, and there is historical evidence for Jesus. For a miracle “hater,” or miracles rationalized person to argue that a miracle did not happen discredits historic eye witness accounts is to attempt to support a self-defeating claim. There are two simple ways one can logically object to the person who wishes to discredit a miracle and rationalize the reality of a miracle ever happening.
- To doubt a valid, historical account, with numerous witnesses and records is a self-defeating argument. Because history plays into all things, even science, like the history of Darwin studying finches; even science must expand on past historic advancements to grow into the future. So, for a “miracles rationalized person,” to say that a historical account is not valid is a self-defeating argument because then nothing is correct in all of reality.
- Second, to doubt, or reason against a historical account with eyewitnesses’ contradicts the validity of soft sciences like sociology, psychology, anthropology, and biology. Historical accounts are just as valid as a soft science claims, there are no differences between historical accounts and soft sciences. A hard science like chemistry or physics is very different from a soft science like biology or historical evidence like the Bible. Science and concepts continue to change as we learn more in the present combined with historical knowledge of the past. Use the solar system for an example, as a child of the ’80s there were eight planets or maybe nine, now there are many more, and more classifications of giants and dwarfed planets. So, history is valid with regards to knowing or reasoning both eye witness accounts like in the Bible, or scientific theories like planets or Darwin’s finches.
In conclusion, miracles happen all around us. Being suspended in space in the “Goldilock,” zone is in of itself a miracle. The specific conditions of the universe at large reveal an intricate and finely tuned ensemble of factors that make embodied human life possible. These are called “anthropic coincidences.” These are necessary conditions for the existence of life as we know it, and all are balanced on a razor’s edge.There is a double standard in the secular world to those who wish to explain away or rationalize miracles as ordinary scientific happenings, and also discredit the historical accounts of the Bible, yet these same people have blind faith in the historical accounts of soft sciences and believe theories like evolution as fact. A Christian may object by pointing to the double standard and objecting to the historical reliability and necessity for science to exist today. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moons, and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him? (Psalm 8:3).
Lee Strobel, The Case For Miracles (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2018), 27.
Douglas Geivett and Gary R. Habermas, In Defense of Miracles (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997), 16.
Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics, A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2011), 247.