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Miracles everywhere!

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  • Miracles everywhere!

    I have no idea if that's the right section for this topic, so forgive me if it isn't.

    And now the the point. There are claims of miracles from every religion. And they all think those miracles confirm their beliefs. But that can't be right. All of them can't be genuine at the same time. How do you cope with that?

    Your religion has genuine miracles and others are frauds and lies? How do you know yours aren't?

    There are no miracles at all? Well that's the most convenient answer.

    Your miracles are really from God and theirs are from the devil? Then how do you know yours aren't from the evil one?

    Or maybe all the miracles are genuine and God is really a prankster who's behind all of the world's religions (and perhaps atheism too) in a grand scheme to make fun of us? I sympathize with that view.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Wilkowsky View Post
    I have no idea if that's the right section for this topic, so forgive me if it isn't.

    And now the the point. There are claims of miracles from every religion. And they all think those miracles confirm their beliefs. But that can't be right. All of them can't be genuine at the same time. How do you cope with that?

    Your religion has genuine miracles and others are frauds and lies? How do you know yours aren't?

    There are no miracles at all? Well that's the most convenient answer.

    Your miracles are really from God and theirs are from the devil? Then how do you know yours aren't from the evil one?

    Or maybe all the miracles are genuine and God is really a prankster who's behind all of the world's religions (and perhaps atheism too) in a grand scheme to make fun of us? I sympathize with that view.
    It might be that all (or most, or atleast not only miracles occuring in a Christian context) miracles are genuine, but that a subclass of miracles are exclusive to God. Accurate predictions of the future (i.e prophecy) would be one of them. Either because only God knows the future, or because only God has the power to steer the future where he wants it (or both of the above).

    If this is true we might be able to determine which miracles, after confirming that they actually happened of course and weren't counterfeit, comes from God, and which "miracles" are the works of demons, assuming demons are able to accomplish anything other than counterfeit miracles. Of course, we would need criteria to determine which miracles belong in the subclass "exclusive to God, and only God", and to be honest, I don't know of many, other than "knowing the future" and possibly "knowing the innermost secrets of the human heart".

    ETA: of course, there's also a third criteria, which would be "a genuine resurrection from the dead."
    Last edited by JonathanL; 06-15-2014, 06:13 PM.
    ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

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    • #3
      I might briefly add that the Christian worldview does not necessarily preclude the idea of miracles not done by Christians. The biblical story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt shows that the Egyptian Pharaoh's magicians were permitted to do miracles of their own.
      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
        It might be that all (or most, or atleast not only miracles occuring in a Christian context) miracles are genuine, but that a subclass of miracles are exclusive to God. Accurate predictions of the future (i.e prophecy) would be one of them. Either because only God knows the future, or because only God has the power to steer the future where he wants it (or both of the above).
        Prophesies and there claim of fulfillment would not be considered 'miracles,' because there is a possible natural explanation for the claims. For example, many claims fulfillment of OT prophecies rely on interpretation that many scholars questionable.

        If this is true we might be able to determine which miracles, after confirming that they actually happened of course and weren't counterfeit, comes from God, and which "miracles" are the works of demons, assuming demons are able to accomplish anything other than counterfeit miracles. Of course, we would need criteria to determine which miracles belong in the subclass "exclusive to God, and only God", and to be honest, I don't know of many, other than "knowing the future" and possibly "knowing the innermost secrets of the human heart".
        I do not know of any miracles that have been confirmed to have actually happened.

        ETA: of course, there's also a third criteria, which would be "a genuine resurrection from the dead."
        I do not know of any objectively verified 'genuine resurrection from the dead.'
        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

        go with the flow the river knows . . .

        Frank

        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
          Prophesies and there claim of fulfillment would not be considered 'miracles,' because there is a possible natural explanation for the claims. For example, many claims fulfillment of OT prophecies rely on interpretation that many scholars questionable.
          I don't care. I was speaking hypothetically, assuming that the prophecy and it's fulfillment already had been verified. Whether or not such a thing actually has occurred is besides the point.

          Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
          I do not know of any miracles that have been confirmed to have actually happened.
          As I said, that's besides the point. I'm not arguing for the existence of miracles, I'm trying to discuss, given the assumption that miracles are real, how we cam discern which miracles are from God and which ones are from some other supernatural entity.

          Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
          I do not know of any objectively verified 'genuine resurrection from the dead.'
          Again, completely beside the point.
          ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

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          • #6
            Accurate predictions of the future (i.e prophecy) would be one of them. Either because only God knows the future, or because only God has the power to steer the future where he wants it (or both of the above).
            It doesn't fit in with acts 16:16-18, where there is a woman who had a spirit by which she could predict the future. And it obviously wasn't The Holy Spirit since Paul casts out the spirit out of her.

            Is there anything in the Bible that suggests there are things only God can do and demons can't? Or better - is there a list, perhaps? Obviously foretelling the future isn't exclusive to God. Also are there any reasons to think that genuine resurrection can be done only by God, other than mere intuition?

            And another question: do you think miracles are a good base for conversion, I mean witnessing a miracle and external one, not just some inner feeling?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Wilkowsky View Post
              It doesn't fit in with acts 16:16-18, where there is a woman who had a spirit by which she could predict the future. And it obviously wasn't The Holy Spirit since Paul casts out the spirit out of her.
              Except that isn't very much of a counter-case given that we have no idea how precise and/or accurate her predictions were.

              Originally posted by Wilkowsky View Post
              Is there anything in the Bible that suggests there are things only God can do and demons can't? Or better - is there a list, perhaps? Obviously foretelling the future isn't exclusive to God. Also are there any reasons to think that genuine resurrection can be done only by God, other than mere intuition?
              Well, creation for starters, seem to be exclusive to God. And I wouldn't be so sure about foretelling the future not being exclusive to God. A major point of the prophetic literature in the Bible seems to be God's insistence to His People that he is the living God and that they should believe because when God tells his people through the prophets that something will happen it actually comes to pass, in contrast to the idols of the neighbouring people who are deaf and mute.

              When it comes to things like resurrections I guess that depends on whether or not you believe someone other than God has power over life and death.

              Originally posted by Wilkowsky View Post
              And another question: do you think miracles are a good base for conversion, I mean witnessing a miracle and external one, not just some inner feeling?
              I think miracles can be part of a good base for conversion, provided there's a way to distinguish divine miracles from demonic activity.
              ~Formerly known as Chrawnus~

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Chrawnus View Post
                It might be that all (or most, or atleast not only miracles occuring in a Christian context) miracles are genuine, but that a subclass of miracles are exclusive to God. Accurate predictions of the future (i.e prophecy) would be one of them. Either because only God knows the future, or because only God has the power to steer the future where he wants it (or both of the above).

                If this is true we might be able to determine which miracles, after confirming that they actually happened of course and weren't counterfeit, comes from God, and which "miracles" are the works of demons, assuming demons are able to accomplish anything other than counterfeit miracles. Of course, we would need criteria to determine which miracles belong in the subclass "exclusive to God, and only God", and to be honest, I don't know of many, other than "knowing the future" and possibly "knowing the innermost secrets of the human heart".

                ETA: of course, there's also a third criteria, which would be "a genuine resurrection from the dead."
                There is no way to determine whether any miracle or prophecy comes from the Christian God or some other god.
                In essence, Seeing a glass jar that, when a cat knocks it from a high shelf, begins to fall to a slate floor, and then saying "it is broken" before it lands is a very basic form of prophecy. Of course, saying that "Not two hours shall pass and the glass is broken" while it is still firmly in place atop the shelf means being able to predict the actions of the cat 1 hour + ahead of time, but that is pretty much a matter of degree.
                Prophecy and other types of miracle need to be evaluated before source can be determined. Those that originate with the Christian God will accompany or follow after teachings that are accurate in scriptural terms. That doesn't mean the teachings can't be new - just that they will not contradict the basic precepts of verifiable holy writ.
                Miracles don't affirm the messenger, but the message. Thus the miracles performed by those to whom Jesus says "I never knew you." The name of Jesus cannot be invoked by persons who declare a false gospel or attempt to invoke the name without belief in Christ, as the sons of Sceva found to their hurt.
                Whether a messenger is Christ's will be affirmed by his behaviour.
                sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

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                • #9
                  In most dictionaries the word following 'Miracle' is 'Mirage.'
                  Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                  Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                  But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                  go with the flow the river knows . . .

                  Frank

                  I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                  Comment

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