Miracles: When Faith Contradicts Reason

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Miracles: When Faith Contradicts Reason

When the term "miracle" comes to mind, the average person doesn’t quite know what to say. After all, a miracle is something unexplained that is looked upon in awe. Webster’s Universal Dictionary defines a miracle as:

. "an extraordinary event attributed to the supernatural; an unusual or astounding

event." 1

In today’s society, though, everyone has their own definition of astounding. Perhaps some people contribute certain events to the supernatural while others do not. So in today’s times, Webster’s New World Dictionary provides a clearer meaning of a miracle:

. "an event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific laws." 2

In other words, it is a gap between faith and scientific reasoning. In modern medicine, a miracle is described as any occurrence where a higher power, God, for example, takes over and intervenes benevolently in the fate of the patient.3 The doctor, along with everyone else, can only marvel. As a generality, it can be said that miracles are modern examples of the continuing contradiction between faith and reason.

When People Lose Hope in Modern Medicine

At a certain point during a person’s illness, a doctor will say that there is just no more that can be done. Modern medicine, scientific technology, and healing techniques have done all they can, but tragically, the fate of the person looks grim, and death is rapidly approaching. It is then that people will hope for a miracle. Terri McFaddin, a minister, expresses the feelings of those seriously ill when saying that "We are living in desperate times where people are going to believe in things they can’t see because they can’t trust the things they can see. Miracles happen where natural resources end. One will walk into the realm of miracles when all natural resources have been exhausted." 4 When scientific reasoning and human knowledge have failed people and no cure can be found, that is when people will turn to their faith and hope for a miracle. They grip hope that is beyond reason and logic.5 Praise and worship leader Ron Kenoly says that more people are realizing that to be helped with the great problems they face, they need to go beyond the limits of reason and the abilities of man.6 Today the largest percentages of Americans in a decade profess the existence of God and miracles, according to a poll commissioned by the Pew Research Center.

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