Skip to main content

Part 2 ~ Miracles: Impossible?

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 
Miracles: Impossible? Remembering David Hume's definition of a miracle from the last post: "[a] violation of the laws of nature; and because firm and unalterable experience has established these laws, the case against a miracle is--just because it is a miracle--as complete as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined to be." 1 If we take a look at Hume's definition of miracle, at first glance, it would seem as if he is declaring miracles to be an impossibility because they cannot violate the laws of nature. Is this really what Hume is attempting to argue? Hume taught "that what we call the laws of nature are simply an account of what has happened up to the present plus a belief that the future will continue to be like the past."2 According to Hume, we observe what has happened and we believe, or shall we say, take a step of faith to believe that what we have observed over and over again will continue.

photo credit: Waiting For The Word via photopin cc
How can this be, since I am a virgin? Luke 1:34b

Miracles: Improbable? According to Hume, he would not think it impossible for a miracle to occur, but rather he would think it unreasonable to believe that a miracle had ever occurred.3 His rationale hinged upon the laws of nature acting in accordance with their "regular pattern and function" were more probable to function normally than for an exception to occur causing the normal function to cease for a period of time. Hume believed that an exception to the natural order of things, natural law, was not likely to occur, it was not probable. "Perhaps being contrary to nature would make God's special presence the more conspicuous." 4Just because an 'act' is not probable or less likely to occur, does it make the act less believable? It it is not likely that if you buy a lottery ticket that you will win the lottery. The odds are not in your favor. Is it unreasonable to believe that you might win even though it's not likely that you will? 


Does something immediately become less credible and unreasonable to believe because it is not likely to happen?





David Hume, "An Enquiry of Understanding," Harvard Classics Volume 37 [P.F. Collier & Son, 1910]: Section X.

2 Ronald H. Nash, Faith & Reason: Searching for a Rational Faith [Grand Rapids:            Zondervan Publishing House, 1988], 228.  

3 Nash, 231.

4 R.C. Sproul, John Gerstner, and Arthur Lindsley, Classical Apologetics [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984], 145.

Comments

  1. You made me think with this post! Thank you for sharing with all of us on the Oh My Heartsie Girls Wordless Wednesday.

    Wishing you a wonderful week.
    xx
    Lysa ~ Co-Host

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Lisa. Have a wonderful Christmas week!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Common Ground: The Road Less Traveled

The Presence of God. Ruth and Naomi found themselves in very trying circumstances after each suffered the loss of a husband and the inescapable grief that accompanies death. Scripture gives us a snapshot into their lives and we get a glimpse of the strong bond of friendship that took place between Ruth and Naomi. Was it the deep sense ofgrief that brought these two women together in a way they had never experienced before? Perhaps these women were drawn to each other because they knew they were “alone” in the world. More importantly, the presence of God is evident by Ruth's response to her mother-in-law. Ruth reminds us and reminded Naomi of God's presence.
The presence of God is the bond that unites our hearts as brothers and sisters in Christ.
photo credit: B Gilmour. via photopincc
Mutual Commitment. Naomi urged Ruth to go home to her mother in Moab hoping that Ruth would find another husband. Ruth refused to leave Naomi; she was committed to Naomi and committed to serving Nao…

The Hope of Christmas ~ The Heart of God

Behold, The virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name "Immanuel," which translated means,  "God With Us."  Matthew 1:23
God With Us. God is not far away from us but with us, desiring to be close, so close that He sent His Son in the form of a man to be "with us."  An act of humility and an act of love directly from the God of the universe. We did not beg for His attention nor did we attempt to ingratiate ourselves into His good graces. God initiated contact with us, with all of the human race. (Philippians 2:8) He entered the sinful world we chose to be part of without reservation, knowing His entrance into this world, would inevitably mean suffering. The God of the universe, perfect in every way, entered this world willingly, knowing He would suffer greatly for me and for you.
photo credit: Curtis McCormick via photopincc The Word Became Flesh
God Desires That We Seek Him. He came and dwelt among us. (John 1:14) God desires …

Close Calls

For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him? Deuteronomy 4:7
Sound of the fury or two terriers. There was a time when we had two terriers who were not always fond of each other. Though they were small, they were feisty. I was walking through the kitchen one day when the one terrier upon seeing the other, decided that this was her time to shine and leave her mark. The pearly whites of her teeth began to gleam as she lifted her lip in utter disdain and latched on to her "companion" and would not let go. The usual verbal threats masked in the growling and snarling were not part of this fight; however, the sheer determination to defeat the opponent and win were certain. To say that I was concerned was an understatement. After quite a while of trying to pry the dogs apart and loosen the clenched teeth without success, I finally blurted out, "Jesus, help us!" It was at this exact moment that the one dog release…

BG Badge

BG Badge
Bible Gateway Blogger