Are Miracles Even Possible?
A couple days ago I posted an article on Why I Believe God Exists which received a lot of traffic. It seems there are many people who needed to be reminded that the Christian faith does not require a blind belief in unprovable “facts.” Being a Christian does not require one to turn off their brain.
I understand where the the hiccups come from, however. When we stop to think about it, Christmas alone stretches our credulity. It comes complete with an angel appearing, a virgin birth, a virgin conceiving, a star-guiding, and a heavenly host singing. How can a rational, scientifically literate, 21st-century people like us believe such things?
Great question! There are two major approaches that I take. I will leave the former for now, but we will run with the latter.
1) If we are not careful we will approach the Bible with questions that the Bible never intended to answer. The reliability of the various miraculous moments peppered throughout the Bible can often find themselves under this blinding spotlight all because people go in with an agenda.
2) If I have already come to terms with the idea that an all-powerful, all-knowing God created all existence, then why do I limit his ability to create miraculous moments? This is the one we will play with.
Let’s think about the “impossible.”
If I say all swans are white and posit that as a scientific hypothesis, how would I go about verifying it? By checking out swans:
A million swans.
Or ten million.
Based on this I can say confidently that all swans are white. The problem is that I don’t really know this. Tomorrow I might see a black swan, and there goes my scientific law.
This is not a frivolous example. For thousands of years before Australia was discovered, the only swans people in the West had seen had been white. Consequently, the entire Western world took it for granted that all swans were white, and expressions like “white as a swan” abound in Western literature. It was only when Europeans landed in Australia that they saw, for the first time, a black swan.
What was previously considered a scientifically inviolable truth had to be retired.
It’s the same with Newton’s laws of physics. Newton’s laws were for nearly two centuries regarded as absolutely true. They worked incredibly well; until they didn’t. Einstein’s theories of relativity directly contradicted Newton and Newton’s laws were immediately considered inadequate.
It’s funny, isn’t it?
Even absolute certainty can be undermined in one simple stroke. This is the case when it comes to miracles. And if you have come this far, you believe in an omnipresent, omnipotent, Creator of the universe.
Can the Creator manipulate the creation? Can the being who created time, matter, and space make unexplainable exceptions within it? This is not a far leap to make.
However, it is precisely the step that must be made in order to continue moving forward. If God truly exists and he is the intelligent mind behind the workings of the universe, surely we can accept the idea that this God can produce and conduct unexplainable actions.
Actions such as:
Parting a large body of water (Exodus 14)
Turning water to wine (John 2)
Feeding thousands with a few loaves of bread (Matthew 15)
Walking on water (Matthew 14)
Defeating death (1 Corinthians 15)
This is but a small collection of the wondrous stories found in the Bible. We have numerous eye-witnesses telling about the power of God being performed right in front of their eyes.
And in the midst of your doubt, hear God’s words once again, “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27
Even absolute certainty can be undermined in one simple stroke. I am not one to build my faith on supernatural phenomenon. But I certainly do not limit the capabilities of the God whom I believe created all existence.
So there you have it.
Sure, miracles are hard to believe in a world where we have mastered the laws of physics and we understand the origin and decomposition of every form of matter, but we haven’t done this. We live in an existence stuffed-full with unanswered questions, yet Christians are considered “fools” or “unintelligent” for believing the Creator of all things can do anything, including miracles.
In one small stroke our world can be turned upside down. It has in the past and I can guarantee it will happen in the future. Don’t let miracles stop you from believing in the validity of the Bible. In fact, lean into the unexplainable to help you paint a better portrait of who God is.