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The Raising of Lazarus, (c. 1410) folio 171r from Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. Musée Condé, France.

A miracle is an unexpected event attributed to divine intervention. Sometimes an event is also attributed (in part) to a miracle worker, saint, or religious leader. A miracle is sometimes thought of as a perceptible interruption of the laws of nature. Others suggest that God may work with the laws of nature to perform what people perceive as miracles.[1] Theologians say that, with divine providence, God regularly works through created nature yet is free to work without, above, or against it as well.[2]

A miracle is often considered a fortuitous event: compare with an Act of God.

In casual usage, "miracle" may also refer to any statistically unlikely but beneficial event, (such as the survival of a natural disaster) or even which regarded as "wonderful" regardless of its likelihood, such as birth. Other miracles might be: survival of a terminal illness, escaping a life threatening situation or 'beating the odds.' Some coincidences are perceived to be miracles.[3]

Contents

Supernatural acts

In one view, a miracle is a phenomenon not fully explainable by known "laws" of nature, or an act by some supernatural entity or unknown, outside force. Some scientist-theologians such as Polkinghorne suggest that miracles are not violations of the laws of nature but "exploration of a new regime of physical experience".[4]

The logic behind an event being deemed a miracle varies significantly. Often a religious text, such as the Bible or Quran, states that a miracle occurred, and believers accept this as a fact. However, C.S. Lewis noted that one cannot believe a miracle occurred if one had already drawn a conclusion in one's mind that miracles are not possible at all. He cites[citation needed] the example of a woman he knew who had seen a ghost, who had discounted her experience; claiming it to be some sort of hallucination (because she did not believe in ghosts).

Many conservative religious believers hold that in the absence of a plausible, parsimonious scientific theory, the best explanation for these events is that they were performed by a supernatural being, and cite this as evidence for the existence of a god or gods. However, atheist Richard Dawkins criticises this kind of thinking as a subversion of Occam's Razor.[5] Some adherents of monotheistic religions assert that miracles, if established, are evidence for the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent God.[citation needed]

Finally, miracles would contradict the hypothesis of the Non Overlapping Magisteria proposed by Stephen Jay Gould, in that they would both be evidence for supernatural beings in the theological magisterium, and also subject to scientific investigation.

Religious texts

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Hebrew Bible

Descriptions of miracles (Hebrew Ness, נס) appear in the Tanakh.

New Testament

See also Miracles attributed to Jesus.

The descriptions of most miracles in the Christian New Testament are often the same as the commonplace definition of the word: God intervenes in the laws of nature. In St John's Gospel the miracles are referred to as "signs" and the emphasis is on God demonstrating his underlying normal activity in remarkable ways.[6]

Jesus is recorded as having turned water into wine, fed a multitude by turning a loaf of bread into many loaves of bread, and raised the dead. Jesus is also described as rising from the dead himself, with God his father having raised him. Jesus explains in the New Testament that miracles are performed by faith in God. "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'move from here to there' and it will move." (Gospel of Matthew 17:20). After Jesus returned to heaven, the book of Acts records the disciples of Jesus praying to God to grant that miracles be done in his name, for the purpose of convincing onlookers that he is alive. (Acts 4:29-31). Other passages mention false prophets who will be able to perform miracles to deceive "if possible, even the elect of Christ" (Matthew 24:24, 2 Thes 2:9, Revelation 13:13).

Qur'an

Miracle in the Qur'an can be defined as a supernatural intervention in the life of human beings.[7] According to this definition, Miracles are present "in a threefold sense: in sacred history, in connection with Muhammad himself and in relation to revelation."[7] The Qur'an does not use the technical Arabic word for miracle (Muʿd̲j̲iza) literally meaning "that by means of which [the Prophet] confounds, overwhelms, his opponents". It rather uses the term 'Ayah'(literally meaning sign).[8] The term Ayah is used in the Qur'an in the above mentioned threefold sense: it refers to the "verses" of the Qur'an (believed to be the divine speech in human language; presented by Muhammad as his chief Miracle); as well as to miracles of it and the signs(particularly those of creation).[7][8]

In order to defend the possibility of miracles and God's omnipotence against the encroachment of the independent secondary causes, some medieval Muslim theologians such as Al-Ghazali rejected the idea of cause and effect in essence, but accepted it as something that facilitates humankind's investigation and comprehension of natural processes. They argued that the nature was composed of uniform atoms that were "re-created" at every instant by God. Thus if the soil was to fall, God would have to create and re-create the accident of heaviness for as long as the soil was to fall. For Muslim theologians, the laws of nature were only the customary sequence of apparent causes: customs of God.[9]

Events planned by God

In rabbinic Judaism, many rabbis mentioned in the Talmud held that the laws of nature were inviolable. The idea of miracles that contravened the laws of nature were hard to accept; however, at the same time they affirmed the truth of the accounts in the Tanakh. Therefore some explained that miracles were in fact natural events that had been set up by God at the beginning of time.

In this view, when the walls of Jericho fell, it was not because God directly brought them down. Rather, God planned that there would be an earthquake (or some such other natural disaster) at that place and time, so that the city would fall to the Israelites. Instances where rabbinic writings say that God made miracles a part of creation include Midrash Genesis Rabbah 5:45; Midrash Exodus Rabbah 21:6; and Ethics of the Fathers/Pirkei Avot 5:6.

Philosophers' explanations

Fundamentally, no philosopher sticking to the scientific world view could explain the existence or not of miracles, since miracles are incompatible with it by definition. What philosophers discuss is the fact that they could be taken or not as a justification to the existence of supernatural forms of expression different from those given to reason and experience, or in minor intellectual approaches, to what is considered to be fair and unfair from a human God's perspective to be given to the common human claims for palliation of suffering.

Aristotelian and Neo-Aristotelian

Aristotle rejected the idea that God could or would intervene in the order of the natural world. Jewish neo-Aristotelian philosophers, who are still influential today, include Maimonides, Samuel ben Judah ibn Tibbon, and Gersonides. Directly or indirectly, their views are still prevalent in much of the religious Jewish community.

Baruch Spinoza

In his Theologico-Political Treatise Spinoza claims that miracles are merely lawlike events whose causes we are ignorant of. We should not treat them as having no cause or of having a cause immediately available. Rather the miracle is for combating the ignorance it entails, like a political project. See Epistemic theory of miracles.

David Hume

According to the philosopher David Hume, a miracle is "a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent.".[10] The crux of his argument is this: "No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact which it endeavours to establish."

Søren Kierkegaard

The philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, following Hume and Johann Georg Hamann, a Humean scholar, agrees with Hume's definition of a miracle as a transgression of a law of nature,[11] but Kierkegaard, writing as his pseudonym Johannes Climacus, regulates any historical reports to be less than certain, including historical reports of such miracle transgressions, as all historical knowledge is always doubtful and open to approximation.[12]

James Keller

James Keller, along with many other philosophers, states that "The claim that God has worked a miracle implies that God has singled out certain persons for some benefit which many others do not receive implies that God is unfair.”[13] An example would be "If God intervenes to save your life in a car crash, then what was He doing in Auschwitz?". Thus an all-powerful, all-knowing and just God, predicated in Christianity, would not perform miracles.

Nonliteral interpretations of the biblical story

These views are held by both classical and modern thinkers.

In Numbers 22 is the story of Balaam and the talking donkey. Many hold that for miracles such as this, one must either assert the literal truth of this biblical story, or one must then reject the story as false. However, some Jewish commentators (e.g. Saadiah Gaon and Maimonides) hold that stories such as these were never meant to be taken literally in the first place. Rather, these stories should be understood as accounts of a prophetic experience, which are dreams or visions. (Of course, such dreams and visions could themselves be considered miracles.)

Joseph H. Hertz, a 20th century Jewish biblical commentator, writes that these verses "depict the continuance on the subconscious plane of the mental and moral conflict in Balaam's soul; and the dream apparition and the speaking donkey is but a further warning to Balaam against being misled through avarice to violate God's command."

Products of creative art and social acceptance

In this view, miracles do not really occur. Rather, they are the product of creative story tellers. They use them to embellish a hero or incident with a theological flavor. Using miracles in a story allows characters and situations to become bigger than life, and to stir the emotions of the listener more than the mundane and ordinary.

Misunderstood commonplace events

Littlewood's law states that individuals can expect miracles to happen to them, at the rate of about one per month. By its definition, seemingly miraculous events are actually commonplace. In other words, miracles do not exist, but are rather examples of low probability events that are bound to happen by chance from time to time.

Claims

C.S. Lewis, Norman Geisler, William Lane Craig, and other Christians have argued that miracles are reasonable and plausible. For example, C.S. Lewis says that a miracle is something that comes totally out of the blue. If for thousands of years a woman can become pregnant only by sexual intercourse with a man, then if she were to become pregnant without a man, it would be a miracle.[14][15][16]

Religious groups

Catholic Church

The Catholic Church recognizes miracles as being works of God, either directly or through the prayers and intercession of a specific Saint or Saints. There is usually a specific purpose connected to a miracle, e.g. the conversion of a person or persons to the Catholic faith or the construction of a church desired by God. The Church tries to be very cautious to approve the validity of putative miracles. It maintains particularly stringent requirements in validating the miracle's authenticity.[17] The process is overseen by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.[18]

The Catholic Church claims to have confirmed the validity of a number of miracles, some of them occurring in modern times and having withstood the test of modern scientific scrutiny. Among the more notable miracles approved by the Church are several Eucharistic miracles wherein the Sacred Host is transformed visibly into Christ's living Flesh and Blood, bleeds, hovers in the air, radiates light, and/or displays the image of Christ. The first example of the Host being visibly changed into human flesh and blood occurred at Lanciano, Italy around 700 A.D. Unlike some miracles of a more transient nature, the Flesh and Blood remain in Lanciano to this day, having been scientifically examined as recently as 1971.

According to 17th-century documents, a young Spanish man's leg was miraculously restored to him in 1640 after having been amputated two and a half years earlier[19] (see miracle of Calanda).

Another miracle claimed valid by the Church is the Miracle of the Sun, which occurred near Fátima, Portugal on October 13, 1917. Anywhere between 70,000 and 100,000 people, who were gathered at a cove near Fátima, witnessed the sun dim, change colors, spin, dance about in the sky, and appear to plummet to earth, radiating great heat in the process. After the ten-minute event, the ground and the people's clothing, which had been drenched by a previous rainstorm, were both dry.

In addition to these, the Catholic Church attributes miraculous causes to many otherwise inexplicable phenomena on a case-by-case basis. Only after all other possible explanations have proven inadequate may the Church assume Divine intervention and declare the miracle worthy of veneration by the faithful. The Church does not, however, enjoin belief in any extra-Scriptural miracle as an article of faith or as necessary for salvation.

Protestant

There have been numerous claims of miracles in Christendom. Mainline protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians accept spiritual gifts, including healing and the working of miracles. Some of the types of miracles that are claimed to occur in modern times are healings, casting out demons, multiplying food, etc.

Hindu

The Hindu milk miracle was a phenomenon considered by many Hindus as a miracle which occurred on September 21, 1995.

Individuals

Buddha

The Buddha is said to have performed miracles such as walking on water; however, understanding the workings of the skeptical mind, the Buddha replied to a request for miracles:

...I dislike, reject and despise them,[20]

and refused to comply. (see Miracles of Gautama Buddha)

Muhammad

Vespasian

The Roman emperor Vespasian was credited with having performed several miracles. According to stories recorded by the Roman historians Dio Cassius and Tacitus, Vespasian worked several healing miracles, while visiting the shrine of Sarapis in Egypt. Among these miracles, Vespasian is credited with healing a blind man and restoring another man's crippled hand (Tacitus Histories 4.81).[21] It should be noted that these "miracles" of Vespasian were performed after consulting with human physicians that the infirmities were in fact within the reach of human skill (Tacitus Histories 4.81).[22]

Apollonius of Tyana

According to his later biographer, Philostratus, Apollonius of Tyana possessed extraordinary gifts, including innate knowledge of all languages, the ability to foretell the future, and the ability to see across great distances. Apollonius's possession of divine wisdom also endowed him with the ability to heal the sick and demon-possessed, and Philostratus narrates the miraculous quality of a number of these cures and exorcisms.[21]

Other religions

Followers of the Indian gurus Sathya Sai Baba and Swami Premananda claim that they routinely perform miracles. The dominant view among skeptics is that these are predominantly sleight of hand or elaborate magic tricks.

Some modern religious groups claim ongoing occurrence of miraculous events. While some miracles have been proven to be fraudulent (see Peter Popoff for an example) others (such as the Paschal Fire in Jerusalem) have not proven susceptible to analysis. Some groups are far more cautious about proclaiming apparent miracles genuine than others, although official sanction, or the lack thereof, rarely has much effect on popular belief.

Dismissal, disbelief and skepticism

Thomas Paine, one of the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution, wrote “All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and New Testament are filled, are fit only for impostors to preach and fools to believe”.[23]

Thomas Jefferson, principle author of the Declaration of Independence of the United States, edited a version of the Bible in which he removed sections of the New Testament containing supernatural aspects as well as perceived misinterpretations he believed had been added by the Four Evangelists.[24] [25] Jefferson wrote, "The establishment of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent moralist, and the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture, which has resulted from artificial systems, [footnote: e.g. The immaculate conception of Jesus, his deification, the creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurrection and visible ascension, his corporeal presence in the Eucharist, the Trinity; original sin, atonement, regeneration, election, orders of Hierarchy, etc. —T.J.] invented by ultra-Christian sects, unauthorized by a single word ever uttered by him, is a most desirable object, and one to which Priestley has successfully devoted his labors and learning."[26]

Robert Ingersoll wrote, "Not 20 people were convinced by the reported miracles of Christ, and yet people of the nineteenth century were coolly asked to be convinced on hearsay by miracles which those who are supposed to have seen them refused to credit."[27]

Writer Christopher Hitchens, when asked for his favorite Bible story replied “Casting the first stone” is a lovely story, even though we’ve found out how much it wasn’t in the Bible to begin with. And the first of the miracles. Jesus changes water into wine. You can’t object to that."[28]

John Adams, second President of the United States, wrote, "The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?"[29]

Elbert Hubbard, American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher, wrote "A miracle is an event described by those to whom it was told by people who did not see it."[30]

American Revolutionary War patriot and hero Ethan Allen wrote "In those parts of the world where learning and science have prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue."[31]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Sproule, R C (1992). Essential Truths of the Chistian Faith. Tyndale. pp. 65–66. ISBN 0-8423-2001-6. 
  2. ^ McLaughlin, R (May 2002). "Do Miracles Happen Today?". IIIM Online. Reformed Perspectives Magazine. http://www.thirdmill.org/newfiles/ra_mclaughlin/TH.Mclaughlin.miracles.html. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  3. ^ Halbersam, Yitta (1997). Small Miracles. Adams Media Corp. ISBN 1-55850-646-2. 
  4. ^ John Polkinghorne Faith, Science and Understanding p59
  5. ^ The God Delusion
  6. ^ see e.g. Polkinghorne op cit. and any pretty well any commentary on the Gospel of John, such as William Temple Readings in St John's Gospel (see e.g. p 33) or Tom Wright's John for Everyone
  7. ^ a b c Denis Gril, Miracles, Encyclopedia of the Qur'an
  8. ^ a b A.J. Wensinck, Muʿd̲j̲iza, Encyclopedia of Islam
  9. ^ Robert G. Mourison, The Portrayal of Nature in a Medieval Qur’an Commentary, Studia Islamica, 2002
  10. ^ Miracles on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  11. ^ Hume and Kierkegaard by Richard Popkin
  12. ^ Kierkegaard on Miracles
  13. ^ Keller, James. “A Moral Argument against Miracles,” Faith and Philosophy. vol. 12, no 1. Jan 1995. 54-78
  14. ^ "Are Miracles Logically Impossible?". Come Reason Ministries, Convincing Christianity. http://www.comereason.org/phil_qstn/phi060.asp. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  15. ^ "“Miracles are not possible,” some claim. Is this true?". ChristianAnswers.net. http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t011.html. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  16. ^ Paul K. Hoffman. "A Jurisprudential Analysis Of Hume’s “in Principal” Argument Against Miracles" (PDF). Christian Apologetics Journal, Volume 2, No. 1, Spring, 1999; Copyright ©1999 by Southern Evangelical Seminary. http://www.ses.edu/journal/articles/2.1Hoffman.pdf. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  17. ^ Pathfinder.com
  18. ^ 30giorni.it (Italian)
  19. ^ Messori, Vittorio (2000): Il miracolo. Indagine sul più sconvolgente prodigio mariano. - Rizzoli: Bur.
  20. ^ The Long Discourses of the Buddha, A Translation of the Dīgha Níkāya by Maurice Walshe
  21. ^ a b Religion in the Roman World
  22. ^ MU.edu
  23. ^ The Writings of Thomas Paine, Volume 4, page 289, Putnam & Sons, 1896
  24. ^ Jeremy Kosselak (November 1998). The Exaltation of a Reasonable Deity: Thomas Jefferson’s Bible of Christianity. (Communicated by: Dr. Patrick Furlong). Indiana University South Bend - Department of History. IUSB.edu, Retrieved 2007-02-19
  25. ^ R.P. Nettelhorst. Notes on the Founding Fathers and the Separation of Church and State. Quartz Hill School of Theology. Theology.edu Retrieved 2007-02-20.
  26. ^ Letter to William Short (31 October 1819), published in "The Works of Thomas Jefferson in Twelve Volumes", Federal Edition, Paul Leicester Ford, ed., New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904, Vol. 12, pp. 141–142.
  27. ^ New York Times, Page 8, April 24, 1882
  28. ^ New York Magazine, April 26, 2007
  29. ^ John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, June 20, 1815
  30. ^ Elbert Hubbard, The Philistine (1909)
  31. ^ Ethan Allen, Reason, the Only Oracle of Man, 1784
  • Colin Brown. Miracles and the Critical Mind. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984. (Good survey).
  • Colin J. Humphreys, Miracles of Exodus. Harper, San Francisco, 2003.
  • Krista Bontrager, "It’s a Miracle! Or, is it?", Reasons.org
  • Eisen, Robert (1995). Gersonides on Providence, Covenant, and the Chosen People. State University of New York Press.
  • Goodman, Lenn E. (1985). Rambam: Readings in the Philosophy of Moses Maimonides. Gee Bee Tee.
  • Kellner, Menachem (1986). Dogma in Medieval Jewish Thought. Oxford University Press.
  • C. S. Lewis. Miracles: A Preliminary Study. New York, Macmillan Co., 1947.
  • C. F. D. Moule (ed.). Miracles: Cambridge Studies in their Philosophy and History. London, A.R. Mowbray 1966, ©1965 (Good survey of Biblical miracles as well).
  • Graham Twelftree. Jesus the Miracle Worker: A Historical and Theological Study. IVP, 1999. (Best in its field).
  • Woodward, Kenneth L. (2000). The Book of Miracles. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-82393-4.
  • M. Kamp, MD. Bruno Gröning. The miracles continue to happen. 1998, (Chapters 1 - 4), Bruno-Groening.org

Further reading

  • Houdini, Harry Miracle Mongers and Their Methods: A Complete Expose Prometheus Books; Reprint edition (March 1993) originally published in 1920 ISBN 0-87975-817-1.
  • Andrew Dickson White (1896 first edition. A classic work constantly reprinted) A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, See chapter 13, part 2, Growth of Legends of Healing: the life of Saint Francis Xavier as a typical example.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

For the film, see Miracle (film)

Miracles are perceptible interruptions of the laws of nature, such that can be explained by divine intervention, and are sometimes associated with a miracle-worker.

Sourced

  • A miracle is a supernatural event, whose antecedent forces are beyond our finite vision, whose design is the display of almighty power for the accomplishment of almighty purposes, and whose immediate result, as regards man, is his recognition of God as the Supreme Ruler of all things, and of His will as the only supreme law.
    • Abbott Eliot Kittredge, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 416.
  • The miracles of earth are the laws of heaven.
    • Jean Paul Richter, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 416.
  • When I look to my guiltiness, I see that my salvation is one of our Saviour's greatest miracles, either in heaven or earth.
    • Samuel Rutherford, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 416.
  • It was a great thing to open the eyes of a blind man, but it is a greater thing to open the eyes of a blind soul. It was a great thing to bring a dead body back to life, but it is a greater miracle to bring a soul dead in sin back to life. My friends have you ever felt the touch of this Jesus? Oh! that we all might feel His touch, that we might look and be healed and live.
    • Abbott Eliot Kittredge, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 416.

External links

Wikipedia
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Study guide

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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to The Miracles article)

From Wikisource

The Miracles
by Rudyard Kipling
From The Seven Seas (1896).

I sent a message to my dear —
  A thousand leagues and more to Her —
The dumb sea-levels thrilled to hear,
  And Lost Atlantis bore to Her.

Behind my message hard I came,
  And nigh had found a grave for me;
But that I launched of steel and flame
  Did war against the wave for me.

Uprose the deep, by gale on gale,
  To bid me change my mind again —
He broke his teeth along my rail,
  And, roaring, swung behind again.

I stayed the sun at noon to tell
  My way across the waste of it;
I read the storm before it fell
  And made the better haste of it.

Afar, I hailed the land at night —
  The towers I built had heard of me —
And, ere my rocket reached its height,
  Had flashed my Love the word of me.

Earth sold her chosen men of strength
  (They lived and strove and died for me)
To drive my road a nation's length,
  And toss the miles aside for me.

I snatched their toil to serve my needs —
  Too slow their fleetest flew for me —
I tired twenty smoking steeds,
  And bade them bait a new for me.

I sent the lightnings forth to see
  Where hour by hour She waited me.
Among ten million one was She,
  And surely all men hated me!

Dawn ran to meet me at my goal —
  Ah, day no tongue shall tell again!
And little folk of little soul
  Rose up to buy and sell again!

PD-icon.svg This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1936, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.


Wikibooks

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

Miracles.png
Theory, Methods, and History

Contents

Introduction

This book will deal with miracles. This book starts on the assumption that miracles exist, whether they come from a natural or divine source. It will deal with different perspectives on miracles ranging from literal to metaphorical. It will also look at miracles from theological, psychological, systems, and social perspectives. This book has originally inspired by the collection of books entitled A Course In Miracles (ACIM). Many concepts will be taken from these books.

A possible definition of a miracle is that a miracle is something that negates a holon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holon_%28philosophy%29).

Theory & Methods

Many ideas behind the theories presented here are taken from A Course In Miracles (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/A_Course_In_Miracles), a book of which certain versions are in the public domain.

Miracles naturally occur. If they fail to occur something has gone wrong. Miracles are manifestations and expressions of love. The meaning of love cannot be communicated, events can only occur to remove blocks to the awareness of love's presence.

Miracles reduce the need for time. Time is used to correct errors.

All of the mistakes you have made in what you refer to as "your life" are merely errors. They can easily be corrected if you allow them to be corrected.

One should not consciously attempt to perform miracles. If intentions are correct, miracles will naturally occur. Consciously trying to perform miracles will often produce misguided results.

When miracles are performed, it is not "you" who performs the miracle. It should not go to your head.

When one is willing to let miracles outpour from oneself, one must first ask oneself what outcome they desire. What would you like the final outcome to be?

Literal Theories

Metaphorical Theories

Philosophical Perspectives

History

Metaphorically speaking, the first miracle was the creation of the universe. Different interpretations of this miracle exist. Some say the miracle was a natural event, and others claim it to be divine. However, the verbiage does not matter because both perspectives are practically the same - both natural and divine refer to the same thing. On one level the words sound different, but that difference is just a production of the interaction between your physiology and your ego. This miracle includes the creation of all the planets, stars, elements, etc.

The second miracle was the creation of life, this includes plants, animals, and most importantly humans.

The third was time and the ability to heal.

The fourth miracle was society and technology.

The fifth was the shortening of wars.

The sixth was the increase in prosperity.

The seventh was peace, love, harmony, and freedom.

Saints and Miracle Workers

Jesus was supposedly a worker of miracles. According to the bible he healed the sick, raised the dead, turned water into wine, and turned a little food into a tremendous amount of food.

Catholic Doctrine

Technology and Metaphorical Perspectives

Metaphors, Nonlinear Dynamics, and System Theories

Conclusion

Create a better world.

Related Wikipedia Articles

Other Resources

http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2005/entries/miracles/


Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Miracle article)

From BibleWiki


an event in the external world brought about by the immediate agency or the simple volition of God, operating without the use of means capable of being discerned by the senses, and designed to authenticate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message (Jn 2:18; Mt 12:38). It is an occurrence at once above nature and above man. It shows the intervention of a power that is not limited by the laws either of matter or of mind, a power interrupting the fixed laws which govern their movements, a supernatural power.

"The suspension or violation of the laws of nature involved in miracles is nothing more than is constantly taking place around us. One force counteracts another: vital force keeps the chemical laws of matter in abeyance; and muscular force can control the action of physical force. When a man raises a weight from the ground, the law of gravity is neither suspended nor violated, but counteracted by a stronger force. The same is true as to the walking of Christ on the water and the swimming of iron at the command of the prophet. The simple and grand truth that the universe is not under the exclusive control of physical forces, but that everywhere and always there is above, separate from and superior to all else, an infinite personal will, not superseding, but directing and controlling all physical causes, acting with or without them." God ordinarily effects his purpose through the agency of second causes; but he has the power also of effecting his purpose immediately and without the intervention of second causes, i.e., of invading the fixed order, and thus of working miracles. Thus we affirm the possibility of miracles, the possibility of a higher hand intervening to control or reverse nature's ordinary movements.

In the New Testament these four Greek words are principally used to designate miracles: (1.) Semeion, a "sign", i.e., an evidence of a divine commission; an attestation of a divine message (Mt 12:38, 39; 16:1, 4; Mk 8:11; Lk 11:16; 23:8; Jn 2:11, 18, 23; Acts 6:8, etc.); a token of the presence and working of God; the seal of a higher power.

  1. Terata, "wonders;" wonder-causing events; portents; producing astonishment in the beholder (Acts 2:19).
  2. Dunameis, "might works;" works of superhuman power (Acts 2:22; Rom 15:19; 2 Thes 2:9); of a new and higher power.
  3. Erga, "works;" the works of Him who is "wonderful in working" (Jn 5:20, 36).

Miracles are seals of a divine mission. The sacred writers appealed to them as proofs that they were messengers of God. Our Lord also appealed to miracles as a conclusive proof of his divine mission (Jn 5:20, 36; 10:25, 38). Thus, being out of the common course of nature and beyond the power of man, they are fitted to convey the impression of the presence and power of God. Where miracles are there certainly God is. The man, therefore, who works a miracle affords thereby clear proof that he comes with the authority of God; they are his credentials that he is God's messenger. The teacher points to these credentials, and they are a proof that he speaks with the authority of God. He boldly says, "God bears me witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles."

The credibility of miracles is established by the evidence of the senses on the part of those who are witnesses of them, and to all others by the testimony of such witnesses. The witnesses were competent, and their testimony is trustworthy. Unbelievers, following Hume, deny that any testimony can prove a miracle, because they say miracles are impossible. We have shown that miracles are possible, and surely they can be borne witness to. Surely they are credible when we have abundant and trustworthy evidence of their occurrence. They are credible just as any facts of history well authenticated are credible. Miracles, it is said, are contrary to experience. Of course they are contrary to our experience, but that does not prove that they were contrary to the experience of those who witnessed them. We believe a thousand facts, both of history and of science, that are contrary to our experience, but we believe them on the ground of competent testimony. An atheist or a pantheist must, as a matter of course, deny the possibility of miracles; but to one who believes in a personal God, who in his wisdom may see fit to interfere with the ordinary processes of nature, miracles are not impossible, nor are they incredible. (See LIST OF MIRACLES, Appendix.)

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)

This article needs to be merged with MIRACLE (Jewish Encyclopedia).
This article needs to be merged with Miracle (Catholic Encyclopedia).

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