The Greatest Miracle

Do you ever think about miracles? I tend to ponder miracles during Easter and Christmas. To quote Al Michaels from the final moments of the unlikely USA Olympic hockey gold-medal victory over the USSR in 1980, “Do you believe in miracles?”

In his book Miracles , author C.S. Lewis discusses cultural misconceptions about the existence of miracles. Lewis claims that we have an inclination to speak as if the “laws of nature” were causal, when they actually describe what happens in the physical world based on empirical evidence. As a result, ignorance of the laws of nature (or “science”) has nothing to do with belief in miracles. Rather, knowledge of science is essential to identify those rare occasions when a supernatural force intervenes to supersede nature. If you don’t understand the rules, you’ll never recognize an exception!

The real question, it seems, is whether one believes the laws of nature completely define reality (naturalism) or that there also a spiritual realm. It’s important to note this choice is a-priori, a presupposition, unable to be proven. Since science is based on inductive logic (empirical evidence/observations), it can never prove anything definitively. Anyone who so claims misunderstands science. No matter how many times you observe the same result, there is always a chance the next one will differ. Emphatic calls for “proof” of miracles are not helpful - they simply represent doubling down on naturalistic presuppositions. Miracles, by definition, are exceptions to natural laws. (Or are they? If God is part of reality, perhaps miracles are, in some sense, expected.)

To me, the incarnation is the greatest and most amazing miracle. That God would become a human being! If that’s true, it’s easy to accept healings, resurrection, or a fish swallowing a man for three days. The God of all creation loves us so much that He humbled Himself to become like us, even to death on a cross. Three days later He rose and appeared to over 500 witnesses before ascending into heaven 40 days later. In Jesus, we live. But, none of it happens without the incarnation.

Of one thing I am sure. If you presuppose naturalism, you will never witness a miracle. Your worldview, the eyeglasses though which you see the world, will not permit it.

Praise God for the miracle of the incarnation.

Merry Christmas!
Jeff Marx