Monday, August 14, 2006

MIRACLES!!! a discussion next Sunday at the Cave

What about miracles? This next Sunday at the Cave we are gonna take a look at some miracles in the book of acts, and talk about miracles. We will discuss the different arguements for and against miracles both in the past and today. We will talk about a practical response to some of the problems and will even have some time for prayer.

I am a bit nervous talking about the subject, I find that so much weirdness in the church has made me reluctant to talk about the supernatural. And the typical attitude of "naturalists" to dismiss it as faerie tales and con men, doesn't make it any easier.

If you would like to share anything that might be helpful on the subject I would be grateful. In other words, help me do my homework!




Daniel said...

Hi Rev, I do believe miracles occur, and I believe that they occur daily in the lives of disciples (some will seem ordinary and just be dismissed as coincidence, while others cannot be argued with).

The birth of a child is a miracle. All my answered prayers are miracles. The three Indonesian christians scheduled for execution this week and suddenly the execution was post-poned - that is a miracle.

Why is our western world so de-sensitised to the supernatural? I have had friends who returned from the Fillipines and told me of face to face encounters with supernatural figures in their bedroom while sleeping – these things were tangible. My Fillipino friends have told me that the appearance of “white ladies” (ghosts) are not un-common. There is a martial art in Indonesia called Pencak Silat that uses spiritual power to overcome the opponent. My Indonesian colleagues have told me of witnessing these fights and seeing incredibly powerful blows hit the opponent from someone who is at least one meter away. Do a search on black magic in Indonesia and you will see what is still happening in some of the remote Indon tribes. Very sinister stuff indeed.

My point is, these societies that experience the miracles of God are societies that already have a deep appreciation that there is a spiritual realm, therefore, for these cultures, there is no logical argument of whether or not God can perform miracles.

We’re not supposed to follow miracles by any means, but I do believe that miracles should be a common place within God’s kingdom to set things straight – “may Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

Anonymous said...

just preach from the gospels...Plus see if you can find Grahame Twelftree's book on miracles...phil b

urbanmonk said...

For some reason, I cant log into the signposts thread, so im makin my comments on the topic here...

First, doubt in supernatural acts is totally natural. In fact, I would suggest that if it really happens, ( i believe it can) that disbelief is probably going to be the first response. The disciples didnt believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, even after he told them he would be, and even after he appeared in front of them. How would you react if an old friend of yours who died five or six years ago was suddenly standing in your lounge room? Youd freak.

Second, I think that when God does do a miracle like raising someone from the dead, or making legs grow, he doesnt do it to "prove" anything to anybody. What does God have to prove to anybody?

Thirdly, People want evidence of Gods power, And Jesus always refused to do the miraculous in this way, or for this reason. In fact, when he did do it, he often told people to not mention it to anyone.

Fourthly, there are claims of Physical healings in my family, ( three in fact)Back problems, asthma etc...Ive never experienced it myself.

Perhaps I just dont have enough faith

David said...

Rev made a comment that "skepticism is disempowering".

That approach is similar to the psychic hucksters who say skeptics can't be convinced or skeptics block their powers.

Why is skepticism frowned upon when evaluating the possibility of miracles? Is a degree of gullibility required to accept some miracles?

Compare this to scientific investigation of the natural world where skepticism and doubt can be overcome by solid evidence and rational thought. Is the supernatural world somehow immune from solid investigation that seeks to expose cold hard facts?

A believer can be impressed easily by anecdotal stories about miracles. A skeptic convinced on the basis of good evidence? That would be miraculous.

The Rev said...

Skepticism can be dismpowering for the miracle worker, not for those investigating the miracle. The bible says that Jesus couldn't do many miracles in one particular place because of the peoples disbelief. So it appears that there is some correlation between miracles and belief.

I am in no way saying that sceptics shouldn't question things. But like CS Lewis points out in his book miracles, even if you see a miracle right in front of your face, you would say, "well there is a logical explanation for it, we don't understand enough yet to figure out how it really happened"

Which basically brings it back to, unless you can prove it by double blind scientific testing it isn't a miracle. Ofcourse if you could prove it, it wouldn't be either would it?

Which is one of the reasons I don't talk much about what I have experienced because most people just make excuses why it wasn't a miracle, or explain that I am either lying or ignorant.