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"The miracle stories in the New Testament suggest a God, who can do the logically impossible" - Discuss

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Carly Smart NT Re theology "The miracle stories in the New Testament suggest a God, who can do the logically impossible" When examining any part of the Gospel it is easy to perceive that miracles play a major part of Jesus' teaching and show the true authority of god. In this essay I will show whether or not miracles illustrate that god can do the logically impossible. In Vardys puzzle of God four definitions of miracles are outlined. David Hume believes a miracle is a transgression of the laws of nature brought about by God. The miracles in the New Testament all seem to fit this definition. God / Jesus acted and breached the normal understanding of natural law. Jesus' power to walk on water showed his mastery over the physical elements. In all four of the Gospels Jesus carry's out extraordinary tasks but can they be explained by science? The healing miracles such as casting out evil spirits and the curing of the ten lepers could possibly be accounted as people of that time did not have much knowledge of illness but Jesus may have had a better understanding of mental illness and other dieses. Jesus may have had extensive fishing knowledge, or it may have just been a coincidence that the catching of the fish took place. ...read more.


The concept that everything is possible for God is central to the purpose and writing of the Gospel. The issue in the entire miracle accounts mentioned is not that they are just of religious significance but that they go beyond this. Noticeably the writers of the Gospel see these events as having religious significance, but in outlining them they wish to go further than this. It seems that they are implicating that the God who does these actions can and has. Most Christians would reject Moore's belief that God is an agent who can bring about a miracle. Swinburne does not consider the above miracles to miracles at all and that god can do the logically impossible is unacceptable. For Swinburne, we are justified in taking an event as an infringement of natural law if it is inconsistent with our whole understanding. The miracle of turning the water into wine is a prime example of what Swinburne sees as a miracle and he considers that we should not have to revise our understanding of the natural laws based on one event. In difference John hick claims that miracles do not go against natural laws because we are unaware what these actual laws are. The fact they are rare does not mean that they are not part of natural law. ...read more.


He gives attention to the issues of the omnipotence of God and the omniscience of God. The predicament is that if we limit God through logic we limit the possible actions that God can do and the ability that God can do anything within the world. If we accept no limits then we justifiable ask questions about the purpose of evil and suffering and the role of God to hear prayers. Basically the debate returns to the discussion surrounding the very nature of God. For those who define God in such a way, the miracles of the New Testament may suggest that God can do the logically impossible. For them the power is within their definition that God can do such actions. For others the weakness lies in the rationality and logic of the definition. They consider it to be nonsense that God can do things that are in complete opposition to his very nature and in talking about such possibilities at all. This essay may have outlined the strengths and weakness of both positions yet the purpose of the gospels are not to make arguments on the nature of God. Vardy points out in his discussion on realism and anti- realism, that for the believers such issues do not affect there beliefs in God, as the God whom they believe did raise people from the dead also raised Jesus from the dead. ...read more.

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