What are "miracles?" Should they be viewed as a normative part of Christian experience?

Mendalla

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they would have grounds for dismissing the whole bible.
Yes, they would, at least as a work that can be taken as any kind of literal truth. Which is why it is important for both believers and non-believers to recognize that the Bible is a work of faith, not something to be relied upon as a work of science or history or whatever. It is not based on a rigorous methodology like those fields, but on people's experiences interpreted through a lens of faith.
 

GeoFee

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I once worked with an elderly gentleman who had been deeply affected by a stroke. When I met him he was depressed and sat all day watching the television set. Day by day I encouraged effort to work at strengthening his remaining physical and mental resources. At one point he told me I was nothing but an old midwife; "With you its always push, push, push." This pushing let him come out of his depression and begin living life. I helped him work in his garden, got him involved with a stroke club, and going out for regular walks around the neighbourhood. One year later I heard from a family member who had attended a wedding in the company of the old fellow. She told me that all who knew him spoke of the change in is life as a miracle. This not as a divine act but as the end result of compassionate care. That is how I see the miracles of Jesus. Folks limited by disabilities of one kind or another, leading to the sense that life was meaningless and purposeless. I see Jesus as a compassionate person who helped other overcome the limitations of their experience and recover the fulness of life. This even though the disabilities may not have been significantly altered. I have no confidence in the interventions of a supernatural being in the sky.
 

chansen

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Yes, they would, at least as a work that can be taken as any kind of literal truth. Which is why it is important for both believers and non-believers to recognize that the Bible is a work of faith, not something to be relied upon as a work of science or history or whatever. It is not based on a rigorous methodology like those fields, but on people's experiences interpreted through a lens of faith.
But then it's not exclusive. When you're trying to sell faith like Berserk is, you need exclusive answers and a faith that is intolerant of other beliefs or non-belief.

Once you admit that what you have is merely a series of interpretations of what may be, or what people wish was true, then all you really have is a work of fiction. Most of Christianity will not admit that. They can not admit that. Christianity is a cornered animal.
 

Luce NDs

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Exclusive is a denial function ... excellent for the anti social bunch that goes for independence and separation from the hated demos ...

Hoo Dahth unkET ...
 

Ritafee

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or anti-vaxxers, where demonstrable concepts and evidence is dismissed in favour of discredited crackpot hypotheses.
Or pro-vaxxers at all costs where demonstrable concepts and evidence is dismissed in favor of pharmaceutical lobbyists.
 

Mendalla

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Oh s**t, do we really need to fight that battle in this thread? I am starting to think that having a decent, uninterrupted discussion on any R&F topic will be a miracle.
 

Ritafee

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Oh s**t, do we really need to fight that battle in this thread? I am starting to think that having a decent, uninterrupted discussion on any R&F topic will be a miracle.
Vaccines are a matter of Faith. Some people call them miracles.
 

Mendalla

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Vaccines are a matter of Faith. Some people call them miracles.
Doesn't mean that a battle that is and has been fought in multiple threads needs to show up in this one. We all know how you feel about mandatory vaccination and, frankly, I at least don't need to hear it again or watch another thread turn into a flamewar over this subject. How about we have a thread for vaccine debates (I think there is one already) and keep the topic there?
 

Ritafee

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Fine with me ... @chansen brought it up ... I did not let it pass. And from now on in whatever thread it is allowed to be brought up as a 'crackpot' hypothesis ... I will respond. Done and Done.
 

PilgrimsProgress

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I don't believe in miracles.......

How can a God of unconditional love select one person to heal - and yet let another with the same prognosis die an untimely death?

Where's the unconditional love in that action?

I believe God's power lies not in performing miracles - but in the power to love unconditionally everyone. God doesn't rule the world -God is in the world. God's power resides in -through us - working to bring the best possible outcome in the present situation.

I feel the same unease when folks claim a miracle as I do when folks tell me that they've been selected for heaven. A sense of entitlement divides rather than unites.........

I rejoice whenever anyone makes a good recovery, and feel compassion for every loss of life.

You have to understand the context of the world in Biblical times. "Miracles" were more apparent then because medicine was not very advanced. (That said, folks still pay good money today to see magicians at work!)
 

GeoFee

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Christianity is a cornered animal.
Christianity is a historic manifestation of the desire for power. Unlike Jesus, a person just like us who resisted power and inspires persons of all times and places to follow in that way.
 

chansen

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Christianity is a historic manifestation of the desire for power. Unlike Jesus, a person just like us who resisted power and inspires persons of all times and places to follow in that way.
And yet, the book and faith he is said to have inspired is popularly used to...*checks notes*...wield power.

I guess Jesus really f***ed that one up.
 

GeoFee

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I don't believe in miracles.......

How can a God of unconditional love select one person to heal - and yet let another with the same prognosis die an untimely death?

Where's the unconditional love in that action?

I believe God's power lies not in performing miracles - but in the power to love unconditionally everyone. God doesn't rule the world -God is in the world. God's power resides in -through us - working to bring the best possible outcome in the present situation.

I feel the same unease when folks claim a miracle as I do when folks tell me that they've been selected for heaven. A sense of entitlement divides rather than unites.........

I rejoice whenever anyone makes a good recovery, and feel compassion for every loss of life.

You have to understand the context of the world in Biblical times. "Miracles" were more apparent then because medicine was not very advanced. (That said, folks still pay good money today to see magicians at work!)
An interesting read on topic is “Dear and Glorious Physician” by Taylor Caldwell.
 

GeoFee

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And yet, the book and faith he is said to have inspired is popularly used to...*checks notes*...wield power.

I guess Jesus really f***ed that one up.
No. The story of Jesus was and continues to be exploited by power seekers. Hopefully your critical thinking has not been eclipsed by your bias concerning matters of faith.
 

GeoFee

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Barbara has been a nurse for the whole of her adult life. She has many stories about unexpected reversal of severe medical issues. Many times this reversal is considered miraculous by the patient and those who love her or him. This in no way implying any supernatural presence.
 

Mendalla

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Miracles - phenomena we cannot explain?
Pretty much. Unlike some, I would not call a sunset or the birth of a child a miracle. They are amazing and awe-inspiring, but we know fairly well how the process works and that no supernatural element is involved. It is only when we do not know how something happened, that recourse to "it's a miracle" can be considered.
 

Luce NDs

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Quantum chance is ... Jesus intomed ... in the myth so we can't see it from here ...
 

Mystic

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Chansen's ill-informed speculation about what doctors would do when confronted with true healing miracles has been decisively refuted by my OP's last 2 posted videos. To stick a fork in chansen's silly screed just watch this video of Bruce Van Natta's unprecedented creation healing miracle that the History Channel has confirmed from contacts with the attending surgeons:


This video is particular compelling for our prayer group because some of them joined me in hearing Bruce's testimony firsthand when he came to town and made his tour of local churches. btw, this testimony gladly makes me humbly admit that ours is far from the most effective prayer group, despite our miracles. Bruce Carlson's role in traveling a great distance to lay hands on Van Natta as a representative of his church's prayer group is an even better model of the power of healing faith.

Today, I ran into a female member of our prayer group and her lady friends at a local restaurant. I told her I'd returned to this toxic website and that chansen was eager to make contact. I told her about chansen's toxic personality and how it was tolerated and even welcomed by the UCCans on this site, so that she would be aware of the cesspool in which she'd be immersed. But I added that her testimony might open the minds of some of the ailing women on WC2. Despite this, she agreed that perhaps she might give her phone number to said ailing women (but not to chansen) for direct confirmation, but she needed time to think about this.
 

Waterfall

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I told her about chansen's toxic personality and how it was tolerated and even welcomed by the UCCans on this site, so that she would be aware of the cesspool in which she'd be immersed.
Well I hate to tell you Mystic, but I wouldn't be surprised if even Jesus preferred Chansens' company to yours, after reading that remark.
 
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