Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Biblical Miracles

Dear TheoJunkie,

I'd really love to hear your thoughts (either in the combox here or on your own blog) regarding these recent posts:

Biblical Miracles I
Biblical Miracles II
(UPDATED 25 October 2007)
Biblical Miracles III



TheoJunkie said...


Right off the bat, let me be very clear:
I deny anything resembling "name it claim it" theology, and I deny so called "word of faith" theology. (And I even would deny that they are "theologies", so man-centered are they).

Let me also be equally clear:
I affirm with the author that all miracles-- indeed all things bar none-- are for the glory of God alone.

That said, the articles are somewhat tangential to the subject of spiritual gifts. "Miracles" in the usual sense are things like staffs turning into snakes and seas parting and dead people coming to life. On the other extreme, you have "mundane divine providence" (as if it could even be called mundane!)-- such as not being actually in the wreck up the way on the highway, because your coffee spilled and you pulled over to clean up, and if you hadn't you would have been on the road right in the middle of the pileup.

Somewhere in between staffs turning into snakes, and being kept out of a 6-car pileup... is spiritual gifts.

But, pertaining to outright miracles: I do not agree with the author that miracles are reserved for areas that have (so-called) "not been reached by the gospel." The author's concept of "circumfrential cessation" is unsupported (though perhaps he will address this later).

I would affirm that God works miracles when and where He needs them, and I would also affirm that it is not the strong in faith that need them (not that they wouldn't be strengthened by witnessing them).

In passing, I note that even the United States has not been 100% reached by the gospel (though it is easy to think this). Not even 100% of the people in the US have heard of "Christ"-- and many people have only heard some bastardization of the "gospel" (and we often think that counts... myself included sometimes... but unless it is the Gospel, it isn't the Gospel, as I'm sure you agree).

Also in passing, I note that the author's rationale that miracles are "shown to have ceased" (or "are fading") by Paul's leaving a few without healing them... is injured by the fact that Christ himself left Nazareth without doing many miracles there. (If we say that "not doing miracles at every turn" is a sign that they are fading away, then what are we to make of Christ). No, rather, the author's first point-- that miracles are done according to the will of God, according to his good pleasure-- is the valid take home message.

Anyway... I'll quit writing for a few moments...

Turretinfan said...

Dear TJ,

Thanks for your clarification/thoughts!


Seth McBee said...

Take a look at the third and final post...and then I will interact with your questioning and the like...thanks for the feedback...and wouldn't mind more interaction on this topic...

TheoJunkie said...


I read your third post. I'm responding here instead of on your blog for the following reasons:

1) TF pointed me to your blog as part of our ongoing discussion on spiritual gifts in relation to sola scriptura..

2) As noted in my first comment, I consider that spiritual gifts are not quite the same as "miracles" per se (I would quibble with you that you seem to equate them in your blog, but my purpose for the moment is not to debate the distinction). Because I do see that they are distinct, I don't want to risk muddying the waters while I address gifts and SS with TF. (I would even consider the question of cessation of miracles to be separate from the question of cessation of gifts).

3) I concur with you regarding "TV evangelists" (of the ilk that you speak of), as well as the purpose for (and the Source/Cause of) miracles-- at least insofar as "authenticating the messenger" and "glorifying God." (I would not necessarily agree that miracles are solely purposed for announcing a new prophet of Scripture... but again, I don't want to muddy the water regarding "gifts" vs "miracles").

..So, I'm not here to take you to task, but using your blog posts as a launching point (as requested by TF) to clarify to him where I stand on SS and spiritual gifts.

I apologize that my time is limited, because there are a few things I would like to discuss with you based on your posts. Perhaps once the "SS/gifts issue" has moved on.

By the way (relating to your points made in general, vis a vis SS)... I affirm that even spiritual gifts are not only given according to the will of God, but also used according to the will of God. He remains sovereign even in the ministration of gifts that he has given. People with a particular gift are not set free to go use it according to their own will-- but only when and where and how God purposes for them to use it (or not) in any given moment... to His glory alone.