Recently, out of curiosity, I Googled, “Why are there no miracles anymore?” I wanted to know how Christian bloggers would handle this question. I found their answers to be all over the map. And everyone is an expert, it seems, since each appeared to be absolutely certain he had the correct answer.
There were some other interesting viewpoints in their responses, as well. For example, one writer claimed the
“main miracle [the resurrection] happened and that we have been given enough evidence to believe without a miracle. After we come to grips with the fact that our unbelief is sin whether we’ve seen a miracle with our own eyes or not…”
So, we heathens aren’t just wrong because we don’t believe in the resurrection, we are sinners. Now that’s what I call leading with the fear card. You better believe, or else…
Christian bloggers’ opinions on the miracle question varied from those who agreed there are no miracles in our times to those who believed there are now more miracles than ever.
For example, one blogger wrote, “Contrary to the premise of your question, there are more miracles occurring in the world today than at any other time in history: The blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk and the dead are raised- stop your doubting and believe!” He gives no further explanation or examples, so I suspect he is thinking about modern medical “miracles,” which, of course, aren’t miracles at all, but applied science. As the Googled question implies, I consider a miracle an event requiring supernatural intervention. I’m not talking about events that are merely rare and amazing.
One very interesting response came from @khanahk.
“I think it’s not the time – it’s the people. I’ve read stories from missionaries in third-world countries of miracles. Those folks have a more religious expectation than we secularized people do.”
Big surprise . . . people who believe in miracles are going to interpret more events as miracles. But he seems to assume that there really ARE more miracles among those missionaries. This reminded me of a statement another confirmed Christian made on the Web,
“A missionary I know watched a bullet headed for him do a RIGHT ANGLE before it got to him.”
Is there anything this guy won’t believe?
Another response was similar:
“I can understand your want to see miracles as they were recorded in the OT. One thing I have learned through experience is Miracles do not produce faith, nor do they convert. Belief and Faith will open your eyes to the miracles which surround you.”
Again, it seems you have to believe in order to see. This is similar to the claim that the Bible will make sense to you only after you believe it’s the word of god. In other words, act like you’re brainwashed and, voila, you will be.
Another take on this angle was the following,
“As much as miracles are great and wonderful, they never have and never will convert the hard, stony heart of man. Only the miracle of the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit will ever perform that miracle.”
I must admit that my first instinct upon seeing a “miracle” would be to attribute it to a magic trick. So, in a sense, maybe you really do have to believe first.
Another blogger wrote,
“A miracle is an extraordinary event caused by the power of God. . . Miracles are a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith is necessary in order for miracles to be manifested”
Is he also saying that you can’t see miracles unless you believe in them? If so, then this would be similar to the common claim that god and the Holy Spirit must exist because one can feel them. So, the proof of reality is in our feelings? That’s weird, isn’t it?
One fellow wrote,
“Miracles still happen. The world is a wicked place, and often these miracles are attributed to science. I see advancements in medicine, science, space exploration, energy, etc. as miracles. Why? Because God inspires man to invent, He gives them ideas and they run with it.”
So, according to him, all the great ideas of science come from god. Apparently, we humans are just pawns in this great cosmic drama.
Now here is a really weird take on miracles from Tim Keller:
“Miracles lead not simply to cognitive belief, but to worship, to awe and wonder. Jesus’ miracles in particular were never magic tricks, designed only to impress and coerce. . . . Instead, he used miraculous power to heal the sick, feed the hungry, and raise the dead. Why? We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order.”
But, if Jesus wasn’t trying to impress and convince people, but merely to restore the natural order, then why didn’t he just remove disease from the world all at once?
One writer claimed that
“God is still in the business of miracles. I believe that the greatest miracle of all is that of converting a blind sinner to see their sin and to change the human heart … The miracle of human conversion is actually greater than any healing miracle because this brings eternal life in Christ.”
So, apparently, converting to Christianity is the real miracle. Given the extraordinarily sparse evidence for the whole resurrection story, I guess it is practically a miracle that anyone believes it.
At CoffeeHouseTheology.com, one Christian opined,
“Where I grew up, they said: ‘Miracles don’t happen anymore. They ceased with the disciples.’ I believed what they told me. Dozens of personal experiences and medically documented cases have caused me to do a 180 on this. Miracles are REAL.”
The author goes on to tell of numerous “healings” of medical conditions thru prayer. But, imagine my surprise when I saw that there were no prayer-only healings of baldness, cleft palates, amputations, glass eyes, and such.
Let’s close with this blogger’s recommendation:
“There is nothing inappropriate in seeking miracles for the proper purposes for which they are given by God: to confirm the truthfulness of the gospel message, to bring help to those in need, to remove hindrances to people’s ministries, and to bring glory to God. Miracles still happen, and Christians should avoid the two extremes of seeing everything as a miracle and seeing nothing as a miracle.”
Personally, I believe this is a case where Aristotle’s dictum of “all things in moderation,” as this guy is espousing, is all wet. Until just one event is proven by science to have been a miracle, involving supernatural intervention, I think it makes perfect sense to assume there are no miracles and there never have been. The world makes much better sense that way.
See also: Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?