William Lane Craig is in my view a very good Christian apologist and philosopher, and I regularly listen to his Reasonable Faith podcast. Even though I think he could use some more revival fires and hands-on mission work in the dirt, his intellectual defense for the Christian faith has undoubtedly helped many and led several people to the Lord. In a recent podcast, Craig and Kevin Harris discussed miracles and whether it is rational to believe in these. As a charismactivist, I find the topic highly interesting.
There are many different forms of philosophical and theological objections against the existence of miracles that all are quite easy to respond to. Cessationism is a Christian view which says that miracles did exist in the times of the Bible but then ceased when the Bible was written; ironically, this idea is not found in the Bible. Naturalism is the idea that the supernatural – obviously including miracles – does not exist, but this cannot be proven just as atheism cannot be proven. In fact, as long as the existence of God is not disproven and thus possible, it is entirely possible that miracles exist, as Craig points out in this short video:
In the podcast, Craig and Harris discussed another form of objections against miracles that is quite unique. Philosopher Hans Halvorson has argued that under no circumstances should one believe that a miracle occurs today: “for any event you experience in your life, no matter how strange, surprising, or wonderful, you should not believe that it is a miracle. Similarly, if somebody tells you that a miracle occurred, you should not believe him.” Yet, he also says “it can be rational to believe in the miracle stories of the Bible—because the miracle stories in the Bible are relevantly different than the purported miracles of today.” This is some kind of secular cessationism – miracles don’t happen today, but it’s possible to believe in Biblical miracles because they’re different.
Listen to Craig’s and Harris’ response to Halvorson’s article below:
I was going blind as a child, my dad called for the elders in our church, Open Bible in Baltimore, MD in1949 and they prayed for me and I did not go blind. My doctors always say — U have the strangest scars in your eyes. IT WAS JESUS. I CAN SEE
Amen, praise the Lord! 😀
[…] course, the resurrection hypothesis presupposes the existance of miracles, which in turn is dependent on the existence of God. So debates with atheists on the resurrection would naturally start there. But for people who […]
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Are you familiar with Craig Keener’s book on Miracles? Here is a short video of him explaining how Hume’s argument against miracles is circular: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1pUlP08MfI
Hi! Yes I am, one of my favourite books! I made an interview with Keener not long ago: https://pcpj.org/2016/03/09/war-love-and-powerful-miracles/