Pastor J.D. reviews the major approaches people take regarding miracles and explains why caution, not cynicism, is necessary.

A glimpse inside this episode:

Brief review of major approaches:

  • Continuits: miracles never stopped
  • Cessasionists: Stopped after disciples died.
  • Third Wave: Miracles happen in movement-based waves.
  • Open but cautious: Nothing in the Bible that indicates that miracles have stopped.

I am open but cautious:

  • It’s okay to be a little skeptical, not believing everything you hear about what God has said to person, or even everything you personally feel. To be honest, I probably don’t believe 60 percent of the “miracles,” “visions” or “God told me” reports that I hear.
  • But don’t let that caution turn into cynicism.

One heresy: Miracles are not a benefit we can just claim, like we can Isaiah 53 (“by his stripes we are healed”). We can’t just claim healing like forgiveness.

Sam Storms in his book, Practicing the Power, talks about expectancy. What would God do? When you see him in the Gospels, how did Jesus react?

They are signs:

  • Miracles don’t suspend the natural order; they are a return to the natural order.
  • They are not just a naked display of God’s power or magic tricks, but reveal the redemptive purpose of his power.
  • CS Lewis: “Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.”
  • Examples:
    • Jesus didn’t levitate or do a Vader choke-hold on his opponents.
    • He turned water into wine (which God does, but usually in a longer process).
    • He multiplied food so that more people could eat it (again, a divine, but usually slower process).
    • He made blind people see, deaf people hear, dead people alive—he took the brokenness of the world and healed it.

 

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