Order-of-Nature Miracles & Specific-Point Miracles

Peter E. Payne

Session 1B, 11:00am, Room 112

Download: Podcast, Slides, Paper (with additional details)

Abstract

Science is able to explain nearly all aspect of the natural world, from the smallest to the largest scale. Many conclude from this that God either does not exist or does nothing (the deist god). But all that the success of science actaully tells us is that we live in a universe that is exquisitely ordered, a universe where God does not need to do miracles on a regular or periodic basis to sustain the world as we observe it. In short, there do not appear to be “gaps” in the order of nature that God would need miraculously to fill. But (a) it is not surprising that an all-powerful and all-knowing God would create such a universe. (b) An absence of order-of-nature miracles does not give one good reason to assume that God never does miracles at specific times for specific purposes. The success of science is mute with respect to the possibility of specific-point miracles. And (c) all the miracles of the Bible (the possible exception of the creation event) are specific-point miracles.

Bio

I have BA in philosophy from Stanford and an MA + Ph.D. in philosophy from Claremont Graduate School. I served 21 years with IVCF in California and later in Michigan, the latter with IV’s grad/faculty ministry. In 2007 I left IV staff and moved to California. My wife and I started the Grad Christian Fellowship at UCSC in 2007, which we continue to assist to the present. We give a month each year to serve the IFES Christian student movements in Europe.

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