On campus, it’s typical to hear someone claim that miracles do not and cannot happen. Maybe they claim that it’s irrational and unscientific to believe that the laws of nature can be bent to where a miracle occurs. We don’t see miracles happen in our everyday lives, so they can’t be real. But is this the truth? Can we believe in miracles?
First, we need to recognize the purpose and limitations of science. Science can only test and observe the natural world, the things that we can experience with the five senses. If there is no God, then the universe is all there is. If the universe is all there is, science can literally explain everything. However, even atheists recognize that we need more than science to make sense out of this life. Whereas science can answer the questions “what?” and “how?”, philosophy (among other fields) is equipped to answer the question “why?” Although atheists claim that the universe is all there is and that natural selection and the evolutionary process determine our fate, they still recognize humanity’s need for purpose, love, and our pursuit of transcendent beauty, pursuits that cannot be explained by science.
So, what do we do with these human pursuits that cannot be explained by science? This is where religion comes in. Isn’t it reasonable to recognize that all people long to live for something bigger than themselves and assume that there is a bigger purpose? Wouldn’t it actually be unscientific to recognize our longing for purpose and then assume (without investigation) that there can’t be one? To not search for answers for our need for purpose is to automatically assume that there are none.
In the same way, to deny the possibility of miracles is to assume that there is no God that exists outside the universe. Is that a legitimate assumption? We have already noted that humans have a need for transcendence that our natural world can’t satisfy. Scientists have also recognized parts of the natural world that science cannot explain. For example, since our universe is constantly expanding, we can rewind the clock to observe where our universe has been in the past. Astrophysicists have made astonishing discoveries by doing that, and yet cannot explain the first 10-60 of a second of our universe’s existence or how the expansion of the universe even began. Since we know that all matter and energy in the universe comes from something else, how do we explain the existence of everything without something (or someone) causing it? Christians believe that God is that cause.
Therefore, it makes sense to believe that God made the universe. That means that God has installed laws of nature, constants, and quantities into the fabric of our world that act as our universe’s “default” settings. Since God came up with these laws of nature, he has authority over them. They are under his control, which means that even if we never see a miracle with our own eyes, God has the ability and the right to bend the laws of nature for a short period of time to accomplish something that he wants to do.
Miracles happen when God bends the laws of nature to do what he wants to do. Miracles are unreasonable on if God doesn’t exist, but when we recognize that God has created the laws of nature and is powerful enough to change them whenever he wants, miracles are not only possible, they are expected. The Bible claims that God performed many miracles, including the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21-22), providing manna from heaven for the Israelites in the desert (Exodus 16:14-15), and the most notable of all, raising Jesus from the dead (Matthew 28:5-6).
For more, check out this video:
For a more in-depth look at the possibility of miracles, read this.
If you want to learn more about God’s existence, click here.
If you want to learn more about the miracle of the resurrection, click here.