How to respond to these arguments against the miracles of Jesus?

(Paraphrased because I don’t have the exact quotes in front of me.)
Belief in miracles should offend not just those who hold to a materialistic view of the universe, but also those who hold to a spiritual one as they see the laws of nature as reflecting of a superior intelligence that is able to foresee all possible outcomes and has no occasion to break the laws which he himself created.

There are various ancient historians with credentials at least equal to those of the evangelist who atribute miracles to various Roman emperors or other figures. Why should we believe the evangelists’ claims of Jesus performing miracles when we do not believe the miracle claims of these other figures?

These “laws” are orderly ways in which God has made the universe run. There’s no “breaking” involved if God occasionally chooses to do things otherwise. Also, miracles are generally a response to something broken in creation. So really, the question resolves itself (as most difficult questions about theism do) into a subset of the problem of evil.

There are various ancient historians with credentials at least equal to those of the evangelist who atribute miracles to various Roman emperors or other figures. Why should we believe the evangelists’ claims of Jesus performing miracles when we do not believe the miracle claims of these other figures?

Who’s to say “we” don’t? Why would we necessarily reject miracle claims on behalf of pagan figures? For early Christians, such miracles were demonic. Those of us with a somewhat gentler view of paganism would not necessarily see that as the only option. It would depend on the person performing the miracle and the end the miracle served. But there are always three possibilities for any alleged miracle: it may be divine, it may be demonic, or it may not be a miracle at all. Depending on one’s view of paganism, at least two and maybe all three of these options are always open. This is simply a straw-man argument (like the atheist canard that “all theists are atheists about everyone else’s gods,” which is utter nonsense).

Edwin

One could say the same regards Moses when he went up to Pharaoh and asked him to let his people go and that God was with him and went he threw down his walking stick it became a snake, but Pharaoh’s pastors (for a want of a better word) did the same with there walking sticks, one was by God and the others by demonic power.

Satan gives you a lot of power to do his evil.

Msgr. Knox said this very thing happens- that you attend a party where you spend half the night trying to convince someone of the existence of miracles, only to then spend the other half the night arguing that miracles are not ridiculously common.

See his book “In Soft Garments” for the refutation, but it boils down to this - that Christian miracles are ALWAYS in a religious context and obviously intended to edify the faith. “Miracles” of other groups are never such.

God, as the supreme Creator of this entire universe, made the rules and bends them whenever he feels like it! He can, literally, do anything! He doesn’t need to worry if people are “offended” by his actions, don’t understand or believe, or not.

The miracles are true, and “The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

Wow, that person thinks he’s smarter than God! What arrogance! Oh, my gosh!

Ask that person if he made the universe! Quote Job Chapter 38, entire Chapter!old.usccb.org/nab/bible/job/job38.htm

Frank Sheed was once confronted by a heckler who said he could make a better universe. Sheed urged him to make a rabbit for starters, “just to inspire confidence.”

Edwin

I’ve reached the point were I believe that the spiritual world interacts with the material at a fundamental level such that random events on the quantum level can actually be manipulated in such a way that miraculous events occur at the “macro” level. Thus physical laws are not contravened, but the basic physical laws at the lowest level are set up in such a way as to be an acceptor of the inputs of the spiritual world.

peace
steve

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