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But as a description on Amazon.com says, while people are fascinated by stories of miracles, they aren't always sure which ones to believe.
In his new book on miracles, the description continues, veteran writer Tim Stafford “takes a careful look at miraculous events in our modern world--some hard to accept and others hard to deny--then places them in a historical and biblical context.
Along the way he explores questions about where and under what circumstances miracles occur today, and what role they should play in the lives of Christians.”
Stafford answered some questions about miracles for the ASSIST News Service. We asked him, “In the Bible, we read of so many miracles. Do you think we can see that kind of reality today?”
He said we believes we can, continuing “The witness of miracles has never really stopped, in all the years since Biblical times. It certainly continues today. In many parts of the world where the church is growing fast, miracles are a part of the story--especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America.”
Stafford said he doesn’t believe that miracles ceased after the New Testament was written. He said, “The written records of the early church record many experiences of miracles.”
ASSIST asked Stafford what he thought about the many miracles we heard of today reported worldwide. He said, “No doubt there are plenty of exaggerated accounts, but when you travel in places where the church is growing--especially in areas where there's very little concept of the Biblical God--you hear many, many stories of miracles. Unless you are predisposed to disbelieve in miracles, you have to be impressed.”
Stafford has an interesting answer about Jesus doing many miracles but criticizing the Pharisees for demanding them. He said, “The New Testament refers to miracles as "signs," which are meant to point to a larger reality. They are never an end in themselves; they lead people to see the Kingdom of God.”
He added, “That's the way Jesus operated. He did many miracles, but the Pharisees always wanted to see ‘just one more.’ They didn't want to see the Kingdom of God, which the miracles pointed toward.”
ASSIST asked Stafford what is a “semi-doubting believer” regarding miracles.
He said it is “somebody who believes in miracles in principle but who is skeptical in practice. They don't really have room in their lives to expect or hope for God's powerful works.”
We wanted to know what Stafford thought about people who say miracles are a violation of the laws of nature-like when Jesus turned water to wine, or walked on water. With that in mind, as science says that is impossible, ASSIST asked Stafford how modern scientific people can believe in miracles.
He said, “That's a bigger question than I can answer in a paragraph--you have to read my book. Let me just say that a miracle isn't in any way a violation of nature. How could it be, since God is the author of nature? He is free to work at any way he wants, at any time, in his wonderful creation. And he does. You can see him at work any time, any place, just by opening your eyes.”
Stafford concluded, “A miracle is not a violation of nature, it's God working in nature in highly unusual ways--in ways that surprise and startle us, and cause us to see something we might otherwise miss.”
Tim Stafford is an award-winning author, a regular contributor to Christianity Today
and Campus Life magazines, and co-editor of The Student Bible.
For more information go to www.amazon.com/Miracles-Journalist-Looks-Modern-Experiences/dp/076420937X
Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance
writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency
homeless shelter, http://www.joyjunction.org He has a master's degree in communication
from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola
University in Los Angeles. His newest book is "Homeless in the City."
Additional details on "Homeless in the City" are available at http://www.homelessinthecity.com. Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This review is the personal view of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries
or the Voice of One Online.