That was the note that I wrote myself a few days ago, though work and the quotidian plethora of social responsibilities has kept me from being able to put thoughts into pixels in this matter. To put a blunt point on it, I will here address a question beloved both by skeptics who mistake philosophical materialism for a valid apprehension of reality, and by Christians who are desperate to be liked by those people, namely, “Does God still heal in Jesus’ name today?”
In his discourse about miracles in An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Scottish philosopher David Hume argued that no one should believe in accounts of miraculous events because…brace yourself … no one ever sees them. Furthermore, nothing that goes beyond the scope of “common human experience” should be believed. The logical contradictions inherent in Hume’s thinking do not seem to have mattered to him. One rather needs a sense of common human experience in order to discern what events depart from that common course of human experience, ergo one would not be able to know a miracle from an everyday occurrence if miracles were everyday occurrences. Now, if miracles are the experience of some significant set of humans, they have to be treated as belonging to “common” if not everyday human experience. If it is the case, that not “no one” but multiple hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions or people report that they have experienced miraculous events, then Hume’s argument fails. And that is exactly the case. Over the course of centuries there have been recorded hundreds of hundred of millions of accounts of the miraculous written down by credible witnesses. I use the term “credible witnesses” here because Hume devotes a considerable length of text to impugning the intelligence and character of people, especially religious people, who make claims about miraculous events. Hume’s essential argument is entirely one based on the prejudiced presumption that only those who think like he did, have a dispassionately objective point of view.
Really? Did the man have a mirror? Did he know that he was a mortal man given to error and mistake? The man was willing to impugn the intelligence, discernment and honesty of anyone whose view of miracles differed from his own, so, seemingly, on basis of his prose, those two questions have to be answered in the negative. Again, based on his writings, humility and self-knowledge (that Socratic virtue) were foreign to Hume and are foreign to his modern disciples. Of course, he was capable of error and prejudice, as he aptly demonstrated in that essay. The fact is, credible accounts of miracles, healings, and even resurrections from the dead, are legion upon legion, and come from doctors, lawyers, farmers, university professors, bricklayers, truck drivers, in short, persons from all echelons of society, all ages, all ethnicities and most if not all religions. Just sticking with my own religion here, there are thousands upon thousands of accounts of miraculous healings, supernatural impartations of knowledge, and other such events from places like Lourdes, Medjugorje, Redding (California), Kansas City, Austin, Augsburg, Lüdenscheid, Frankfurt, Helmond and Hamburg, many of them recent and backed up with another line of evidence that the supposed objective Mr. Hume completely neglected: Physical records, i.e. x-rays, MRI results, blood test results, now-disused wheelchairs, and with those, people who can say, and do, “my test results said ‘death’ and Jesus said ‘life’,” holding up the medical documentation to back up that claim. Claims do not get more empirically, objectively verifiable than that. Thus, the claim that “miracles don’t happen” or the slightly less pointed claim that “miracles don’t happen today”, is not one that is supportable empirically or objectively.
In my case, I have written before about my own personal experiences with Jesus’ supernatural working, with the power of the Holy Spirit. See for example, this entry:
Or this one, in which I write about a miraculous healing I experienced in 2016 (about ¾ of the way through):
To put the matter succinctly, I have experienced real leading from the Holy Spirit and real healing in the name of Jesus in my own life, experienced with my own senses in real time, with, in the case of the healing, medical documentary evidence to back up that claim. And I have personal knowledge of scores of other actions of God in the lives of friends and acquaintances. Like…the man who got a prophetic word about three women on the edge of child-bearing age, each getting pregnant and each having a daughter, when each one of them thought she was done having children. And those three girls are now about 12 years old. That was in Texas, by the way, and this knowledge is first-hand, not second-hand. So, yes God heals in Jesus’ name today, clearly, and works in the lives of His people to this day.
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