Posted by Scott Palmer on 20 November 2015 | Comments


Eric Metaxas begins his book “Miracles” by citing a 2013 article in The New Yorker about faith and belief, Adam Gopnik wrote “We know that …in the billions of years of the universe’s existence, there is no evidence of a single miraculous intercession with the laws of nature.”  I agree with Metaxas when he states that is an extraordinary statement of opinion. Metaxas goes on to say, “To anyone who has experienced the miraculous or knows people who have experienced it, or who is familiar with the literature of miraculous accounts, it’s difficult to imagine being so confidently dismissive of something that seems at the very least to be entirely possible, and at best to be entirely certain.”

In North America, there does seem to be a growing number of people who would say they are “spiritual” (whatever that may mean).  At the same time, there is a growing segment of our population who would call themselves atheist, agnostic or naturalists.  As a result, from this segment of our culture there is a growing skepticism about anything supernatural.  The truth is a rejection of the miraculous is not a new paradigm of thought.  The modern mind is set against miracles primarily because of skeptic David Hume.  His arguments against miracles have dominated the intellectual scene for more than two hundred years.  Norman Geisler summarizes his argument against miracles this way:

      (a) A miracle by definition is a rare occurrence.

      (b) Natural law by definition is a description of regular occurrence.

      (c) The evidence for the regular is always greater than that for the rare. 

      (d) Wise individuals always base their belief on the greater evidence. 

      (e) Therefore, wise individuals should never believe in miracles. 

So wise people do not claim that miracles cannot occur but that they should never believe they happen. 

The problem with his argument is premise c which is the evidence for the regular is always great than that for the rare.  There are many examples where even the naturalist believes the evidence is greater for a singular event than for a regular one.  First of all, the origin of the universe was a singular event.  Most astrophysicists believe it all began with a Big Bang.  Second, the origin of life was a singular event.  This is a singularity that naturalistic scientists believe did happen and some have used the world “miracle” for it.  The spontaneous generation of first life, most believe life came from non-life in the past and we have no evidence that it is repeating.  Third, Macro-Evolution is a singular happening.  All naturalistic scientists believe in some form of macro-evolution, namely that all life evolved from a common ancestor over a long period of time by natural means without any supernatural intervention.  Yet macro-evolution has never been repeated in nature or the laboratory.  It is an unrepeated singularity to which they believe all evidence points.  According to Hume’s argument against miracles, no wise person should ever believe such singularity of events.  As Geisler points out, “Hume’s argument against miracles is hanged on its own gallows.”

So if Christians are going to say that miracles are possible we need to understand what we are talking about when we call something a miracle.  Norman Geisler shows that miracles are not anomalies, they are not providential acts, they are not psychological, they are not magic or satanic.  So what are miracles?  Miracles are a divine intervention in the natural world that produces an event that would not have resulted from purely natural causes.  If God exists one of the greatest miracles has already occurred, the creation of the universe.  In the bible we see the dividing of the Red Sea, Jonah and the Great Fish, Jesus turning water into wine, walking on water   If God exists, then miracles are possible.  Why?  Because they are a supernatural act of God, and supernatural acts can exist only where there is a supernatural Being who can act.  C. S. Lewis said, “If we admit God, must we admit miracles? Indeed, you have no security against it, that is the bargain.”

Therefore, to summarize, if God exists- a theistic God- then miracles are possible.  We have shown (Proof 3) there is good evidence that God exists.  Therefore, it follows that miracles are possible and the biggest miracle of all—creation—actually happened.  It makes no sense to say that a God who created the world from nothing is barred from working in the world He has made. He can intervene when He chooses and a God who created life from non-life can raise the dead.  So, the question becomes, if miracles are possible then what is the purpose of those miracles from God?  That is what we will look at in proof five.  MIRACLES CAN BE USED TO CONFIRM A MESSAGE FROM GOD.

Pastor Scott


Eric Metaxas. “Miracles” p. 3

Norman Geisler. “Twelve Points That Show Christianity is True: A Handbook on Defending the Christian Faith.”pp. 46-56.   

Norman Geisler.  “Introduction to Christian Apologetics” Lecture “If God Exists, Miracles Are Possible”