Some Examples of the Supernatural
do these examples tell us?
THE CLAIMED PROBLEM: There
are also accounts of the sun standing still (Joshua 10:13); the parting of a sea
(Exodus 14:21-22); iron floating (II Kings 6:5-6); the suns shadow going
back ten degrees (II Kings 20:9-11); a witch bringing the ghost of Samuel back
from the dead (I Samuel 28:3-15); disembodied fingers writing on a wall (Daniel
5:5); a man living for three days and nights in the belly of a fish (Jonah 1:17);
people walking on water (Matthew 14:26-29); a virgin impregnated by God (Matthew
1:20); a pool of water that can cure ailments of those who dip in it (John 5:2-4);
and angels and demons influencing earthly affairs (e.g., Acts 5:19; Luke 11:24-26).
kept the examples from the previous page together so we can look at all of the
humanist examples at one time. The point of listing these seems to be given in
the next paragraph the humanist writes:
biblical myths support the belief, which has been held by primitive and illiterate
people throughout history, that supernatural beings frequently and arbitrarily
intervene in this world.
He defines the "miracles"
on the above list as myths, without any evidence to support that assertion. He
uses a propaganda technique called "stereotyping" -- likening Christians
to primitive and illiterate people -- to make the belief in miracles seem repugnant.
But that's propaganda, not proof. All the humanist offers is an assertion that
none of these happened. Why? Because they violate "the laws of nature. As
shown on the previous
page, since people limit the observable data to what they define as "natural"
the definition of "the laws of nature" is circular and thus flawed and
no proof at all.
So, what do we have here? Do any of the events on
the above lists cause us problems in understanding the universe around us?
of these events happened during one of the five major historical periods when
God was working supernaturally: creation (including Adam and Eve's time in the
garden), Noah's flood, the time of Moses and Joshua, the time of Elijah and Elisha,
and the time of Christ and the apostles. God was doing something special and unique
during those very limited times. They are not going to be happening today. We
can take them off the list.
While Satan cannot do supernatural miracles,
he can do things that appear miraculous. Several of the items on the humanist
list are not from God, but are from Satan or demons (or angels). An example is
the talking snake (Genesis 3:4-5), which was Satan taking on the form of a snake.
Satan and demons can assume the forms of living things, most often humans. This
is not a supernatural miracle from God, but it is something we have to deal with
There is one event on the list that probably is not miraculous,
"a pool of water that can cure ailments of those who dip in it (John 5:2-4)."
The part of scripture describing this (John 5:3b-4) is not included in the oldest
manuscripts and appears to have been added later. It is not certain whether it
describes what people believed or that an angel actually stirred the water. In
most translations this addition is placed in brackets so we know it was not part
of the original. Since it has no impact on any doctrine or teaching, translators
have left it in scripture.
What is left?
All of these took place in rare, very special circumstances,
and are not normal. Each took place for an important reason. Do any of these
impact our understanding of the world or science? No. Do we expect any of these
to happen today? No.
We could look at each one of these and determine God's
reasons for doing them, but that's not the point. The point is that humanists
claim believing in miracles means we believe "supernatural
beings frequently and arbitrarily intervene in this world" and that
simply is not true.
few pages back I quoted Dr. James Hannam discussing history, Christianity,
and science. We saw that believing in God (and miracles) did not interfere with
the work of Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, or James Clerk Maxwell. We could also
add many others, such as Gregor Mendel, Isaac Newton, and William Thomson Kelvin.
They all believed in God and miracles, and made major contributions to our scientific
knowledge... because of their belief in God.
God does not frequently intervene
in this world supernaturally. He enters the world supernaturally on very rare
occasions. So this part of the humanist claim is false.
God does not arbitrarily
intervene in the world. His supernatural intervention only takes place in very
special circumstances to address a specific situation. It is never arbitrary.
So this part of the humanist claim is false.
The humanist claims concerning the supernatural are false.
have more to say on this: When examined in
the light of experience and reason, the Bibles claims about supernatural
occurrences do not warrant belief. Our experience is that the natural world operates
according to principles of regularity which are never violated. We also
know from experience that many people are often mistaken or dishonest. Thus, its
far more likely the Bible writers either erred or lied than the laws of nature
So, were the Bible writers mistaken or liars? Click