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APOLOGETICS - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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APOLOGETICS. MIRACLES. Miracles. Matthew 14:22-33 2 Kings 6:1-7 Exodus 3:1-4 I Kings 17:7-24. Characteristics of Miracles. A true miracle Has an unnatural dimension that commands attention Burning bush not consumed, fire from heaven, ax head floats

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  • Matthew 14:22-33

  • 2 Kings 6:1-7

  • Exodus 3:1-4

  • I Kings 17:7-24

Characteristics of miracles
Characteristics of Miracles

A true miracle

  • Has an unnatural dimension that commands attention

    • Burning bush not consumed, fire from heaven, ax head floats

  • Has a theological dimension that presupposes a God who can work miracles

  • Has a moral dimension that reveals the character of God

    • Miracles bless, showing the love and mercy of God

    • Miracles punish, showing the justice of God

Characteristics of miracles1
Characteristics of Miracles

A true miracle

  • Has a teleological dimension, a goal to accomplish, a purpose driving what actually happens

    • To glorify God, to declare Jesus to be divine, to edify the Church, etc.

  • Has a doctrinal dimension

    • Miracles directly or indirectly verify truth claims

Characteristics of miracles2
Characteristics of Miracles

A miracle is an event that is contrary in some way to natural law

  • A temporary suspension of a natural law

  • A change in the rate of a process governed by natural law

    A miracle produces immediate results

    A miracle always brings glory to God

    A miracle never fails

Kinds of false miracles
Kinds of False Miracles

  • Magical tricks

  • Psychosomatic curses

  • Anomalies of nature

  • Satanic signs

  • False claims to resurrection

What about providence
What about Providence?

  • James 1:17

  • Matthew 5:45

  • Acts 17:25

  • Psalm 104:21, 27-28

  • Birth

  • Growth

  • Health

The value of miracles for an apologist
The Value of Miracles for an Apologist


  • Acts 14:3

  • Exodus 4:1-5

  • John 20:30-31

    Biblical miracles were intended to conduct, not to compel, humans to faith.

  • Luke 16:31

    Fact does not force faith, but faith cannot be divorced from fact.*

Famous objectors david hume
Famous Objectors: David Hume

Miracles cannot occur. Here’s why:

  • A miracle is a supposed event that is contrary to the laws of nature

  • Everything that happens occurs within nature

  • So nothing that happens can be contrary to the laws of nature

  • Hence, miracles cannot occur

    Key assumption: Empiricism

    Corollary assumption: Naturalism

Famous objectors antony flew
Famous Objectors: Antony Flew

A miracle is of value only if it can be identified

  • Christians assume God’s existence in order to identify miracles that confirm God’s existence

  • This is a circular argument

  • There is no definition of miracle that is adequate to identify an occurrence as being a miracle

    Key assumption: Only Christians resort to “properly basic beliefs”

Can miracles be ruled out of existence
Can Miracles be ruled out of existence?

Once identified adequately, it would be impossible to rule them out of existence.

Here’s why:

It’s impossible to prove a universal negative proposition.

To demonstrate “No S is P” requires the objector to be

  • Omniscient

  • Omnipresent

  • Eternal

History s greatest miracle
History’s Greatest Miracle?

The conception of Jesus

  • No male gamete

  • No sin nature

  • Radical alteration of conditions of life for the Son

History s greatest miracle2
History’s Greatest Miracle

He claimed it would happen

  • Matthew 16:21

    People saw it happen

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

    His resurrected body was experienced by the disciples

  • 1 John 1:1-3

History s greatest miracle3
History’s Greatest Miracle

History shows that the witnesses suffered for what they knew to be the truth about the miracle

  • The soldiers

  • The disciples

    In the spirit of Jerry McGuire, the new sect could have been stopped dead in its tracks by one thing:

  • “Show me the dead body”

  • But the skeptics could not show them the dead body: Matthew 27:62-66, Acts 2:23-24