Thursday, May 17, 2007


I'm tired of hearing people talk about miracles that are mundane and ordinary. Unless it's something that defies all reason, like parting the Red Sea, it's not a miracle, it's just good luck.

biblically, miracles often require some measure of obedience: Naaman has to take seven baths in the Jordan River to be cured of leprosy, Moses has to throw a handful of dust into the air for gnats to appear; and so on -- but miracles properly speaking reflect a break with science as we know it, and are not a "little bit extra to put us over the top."

Real miracles are in short supply, as are clear and undeniable answers to prayer, and I don't fault anyone for disbelieving stories of them. I've heard unprovable stories of healings and such from the missions field (and a host of frauds from snakes like H*nn), but most often the term "miracle" is misused by Christians as a synonym for fortuitous coincidence.

As a wordsmith, I maintain that it cheapens the word "miracle" to use it for any incident where God may have put his thumb on the scale and tilted probability to favor one person or another, just as it cheapens the word "hero" to use it to describe someone just because he plays basketball well or thinks he's hot stuff for being a popular singer or rap artist. True heroes remain measures of character and not just of accomplishment, and true miracles beggar explanation.

No comments: