Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why doesn't God heal amputees?

Recently someone sent me a link to an atheist website and asked for my response. The website demanded to know, if God exists, why doesn’t he heal amputees?

Wow! I guess they’ve finally got us! The fact that God does not make missing limbs grow back must absolutely prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that God does not exist! I guess its time to close down our churches, hospitals, clinics, homeless shelters, pregnancy centers, schools, charities, youth programs, drug rehabilitation programs, orphanages, and mission agencies!

But wait! Not so fast. If God actually did a genuine miracle—let’s say, parting the Red Sea or raising a dead person back to life—would His failure to do other similar miracles constitute proof of his non-existence? To think so would be silly.

If God actually caused amputated arms and legs to grow back on occasion would the atheist then be convinced of God’s existence, or would s/he just dismiss the evidence as a genetic anomaly and pose some other hoop for God to jump though?

For example, the atheist might ask why God doesn’t enable people to walk on water today, or why doesn't He heal quadriplegics, or people whose heads have been removed by terrorists. The possible scenarios are limited only by the imagination of the atheist!

And when God doesn’t jump through their hoops like some kind of trained dog, atheists can then puff out their arrogant little chests and imagine that they’ve positively disproved God’s existence.

On the other hand, if Christians were to provide documented medical evidence of people who had scientifically been proven to have had serious diseases such as cancer which had just disappeared, would atheists believe then? Of course not! Atheists have remarkable faith that God does not exist, and absolutely no evidence will be allowed to threaten that faith.

The fact is that evidence of remarkable healing does exist--in fact there have been so many cases that doctors even have a word for it: “Spontaneous remissions.”

Although “spontaneous remissions” occur regularly, such things are always capable of multiple interpretations. When someone is diagnosed with a serious disease like cancer, and their church prays, and the cancer just disappears, Christians believe this may possibly be the work of God. Atheists are just as convinced that whatever happened, God is not involved. Both positions are matters of faith!

The fact is that Atheists are committed as a matter of faith, to the proposition that God does not exist and no amount of evidence will be allowed to stand against their faith.

It was the same way in Jesus’ day. Jesus enemies said his “miracles” were done by the power of Satan or through sorcery (we have no record of anyone denying that he did such amazing works). Others thought he did such things by the power of God, saying, “no one has ever done stuff like this before!”

According to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, the letters of Peter, an editor of Josephus, the writer of Hebrews, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus and other ancient writers, Jesus did come back from the dead! In fact, early Christians were so convinced of this fact they were willing to suffer torture and death. But atheists won’t believe unless they see an amputated limb restored!

It is important to note that the atheist’s question seems to assume that our faith is based on reports of healings or miracles happening today or throughout history. This is a false assumption. Although I am convinced that God heals today--that would be hard for me to deny since I was once miraculously healed--I am personally very skeptical of the many healing and miracle stories I hear.

My faith is not based on such stories. It is based, rather, on the historical evidence that the earliest Christians were absolutely convinced that Jesus had 1) fulfilled Old Testament prophecies, 2) did signs and wonders that no one had ever done before—something his enemies tried to explain away but never even attempted to deny and 3) was seen, touched and actually even ate with people after his death.

Early Christians were so convinced of these facts that they were willing to suffer imprisonment and horrible deaths for it. This is confirmed by various historical criteria, for example, through independent attestation of multiple sources and by the fact that Christianity, unlike any other early messianic movement of the time, did not die out after it’s “messiah” died. Further, I’ve read probably thousands of pages of skeptical, counter-arguments and find none of them to be convincing. In fact, I’ve published and refuted several of them.

This evidence does not constitute absolute proof, of course, but absolute proof does not exist for any religion including atheism.

The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God. God often provides evidence or traces of his existence but for whatever reason, he never “proves” his existence. There is always a leap of faith. But it is no more of a leap of faith than believing that the universe exploded into existence all by itself.

It is quite illogical for anything to exist at all, in other words, it is illogical to think that something just popped out of nothing—but the universe exists!

That doesn’t prove that God, or the gods, created it, of course (after all, where did God come from)? But the idea that that the universe just sprang into existence by all by itself is so illogical that it ought to alert us to the fact that there just might possibly be more to this universe than materialism, or atheism would suggest.

And belief in God takes much less faith than believing that micro-organism more complicated than modern laptop computers—developed and evolved all by themselves!

Atheists have an enormous amount of faith in the power of science to prove there is no God. There is no doubt that science has done some remarkable things, but we’ve come a long way from the time when Darwin might have imagined “the simple cell” filled with some kind of simple protoplasm.

We now know that even the simplest living micro-organisms are more complicated than the laptop sitting on my desk—and evolutionists believe these micro-organisms appeared on this planet shortly (in evolutionary terms) after the appearance of water on earth.

Even if you believe in macro-evolution and natural selection and the tooth fairy, there simply was not enough time for so many incredibly complicated organisms to have developed so soon all by themselves. It is scientifically impossible! But atheists would rather believe the impossible, than believe in a God to whom they would be accountable.

I started reading a huge book on cell biology (a cell biologist recommended it to me saying that it was like the “Bible” of cell biology). I found it humorous how often the authors had to admit that they had no clue how or why so many of the cell’s basic functions actually work.

Science has taken enormous strides since Darwin, but it seems like the more we learn, the farther we are from having a solution—at least from having an atheist solution. But atheists have enormous faith that we will some day find out--even though the more we learn, the farther away we seem to be from finding a solution.

If there is one person in the world who should have an answer to this question, it might have been Francis Crick, an atheist and Nobel Prize winning geneticist. His solution: Panspermia, i.e. life originated somewhere else in the universe and was deposited as spores here on earth!

Why would a Nobel Prize winning geneticist--someone who knew more about the basis "stuff" of life than just about anyone else on the planet--propose such a far-out theory?

Could it be because he knew that there was no possible scenario in which life could have developed on earth all by itself so he had to move the problem to another place in space where the conditions for life to have developed must have been different (and where it can't be studied)? Let’s be honest. This is not science. It is faith.

Atheists like to imagine that they have science on their side. But all science is based on philosophical assumptions and presuppositions. The atheist who doesn’t know this is simply ignorant of the facts.

It is a choice of faith whether to believe that life on this planet came into being and evolved all by itself, or under the guidance of God, but failure to recognize that faith is involved in both cases is simply ignorance—often willful ignorance. As for me, I just don’t have as much faith as the atheist.

Anyway, getting back to the original topic, according to the Gospel of John, Jesus did heal an amputee. Peter cut off some guy’s ear and Jesus put it back on. But atheists just dismiss this as fiction. Nothing can be allowed to stand against their atheist faith.

42 comments:

Jason said...

It is astounding how much faith they put in science. Its essentially their god.

CJ said...

It's sad that all you did was read the title to the webpage and proceed to comment on only that. If you had read at least the part about why that question is so important you may have understood the question and not made a fool of yourself. Ah, but reading that stuff is blasphemous isn't it. Dangerous to your "faith", too. Can't have that. Can't read anything that makes you think instead of just having faith. Having faith is so easy. You have no responsiblilities. Blame the bad stuff on the devil and the good stuff on god. What a wonderfully easy way to go through life......with blinders on.

If you'd look at your bible you will find that none of the gospels agree on anything pertinent. The stories of Jesus' birth and supposed resurrection differ quite a bit. Yet, that doesn't bother you, does it? Add to that the fact that they were written decades after Jesus supposedly died. Add to that the fact that there were more gospels written that are not included in the bible because they differ so much that it would be blatantly obvious to anyone that nothing in the bible could be trusted.

The important thing about science is it's ability to say, "I don't know". With your religion you can't say that. You are so certain everything the bible says is 100% true that you can't look at anything outside it because it goes against what you want to believe.

Your evidence for Jesus' existence being that early christians were willing to suffer torture & death holds no merit in that today's muslims are so convinced their god is real they are willing to die for him now, centuries after Mohammed's death.

Your disdain for science is really funny, too. You are willing to use it when it pleases you (your computer being a product of science) yet when it goes against your "faith" you quickly discard it as being full of flaws.

I say to you if you are so skeptical of science go live in a hut in the woods with no electricity, no car, no computer, etc. Then you will have at least a little veracity when it comes to your hatred of science.

Dennis said...

CJ,

First, I did not just read the title. I actually read the arguments. I just chose to respond to this particular argument because someone had asked me about it.

Second, I've read hundreds, if not thousands of pages of stuff that attacks my faith. I've found it to be very unconvincing and in fact, some of it has actually strengthened my faith. Your hateful personal attacks against me, by the way, do not do much to support your case.

Third, you wrote, "If you'd look at your bible you will find that none of the gospels agree on anything pertinent."

Your assertion is simply factually in error. I would invite anyone to check out a synopsis of the Gospels at their local library. You will find that there is a significant amount of agreement. In fact, one of the biggest controversies surrounding the Gospels is how to account for so much agreement (its called the Synoptic Problem).

Fourth, you wrote, "The stories of Jesus' birth and supposed resurrection differ quite a bit."

Yet they agree on a core of essential information. Read any four articles on the assassination of John F. Kennedy you will find that they differ quite a bit too-probably much more than the Gospels. I doubt that you would be skeptical of the JFK assassination just because the various accounts differ.

Fifth, you wrote, "Add to that the fact that they were written decades after Jesus supposedly died."

Yep, anywhere from 20 to 70 years, depending on the scholar and the particular Gospel. But the Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius were over 100 years removed from Augustus--do you disbelieve them too?

In fact, almost everything we know about Alexander the Great comes from 400 years after he lived! Do you not believe in Alexander the Great? Or is your skepticism limited to Jesus? If so, why is that?

Sixth, you wrote, "Add to that the fact that there were more gospels written that are not included in the bible."

Yes, you're right. I've read them. They were written from about 100 to 300 years after the time of Jesus. Since you were so skeptical about the biblical Gospels because they were written so late, it is puzzling why you would give any credence at all to gospels that were written so much later.

Anyone who wants to know more about these "lost" Gospels should click the link to Gnosticism in the left column of my blog.

Seventh, you wrote, "You are so certain everything the bible says is 100% true that you can't look at anything outside it because it goes against what you want to believe."

Do you mean like atheists who don't want to believe in a God and therefore refuse to look at the scientific evidence that proves atheism is not a viable option? (Did you know that such evidence existed)?

Eighth, you wrote, "Your disdain for science is really funny, too. You are willing to use it when it pleases you (your computer being a product of science) yet when it goes against your "faith" you quickly discard it as being full of flaws."

CJ, I don't hate science and I wasn't "disdaining" science. The evidence I referred to isn't mine. It comes from Ph.D. scientist from MIT! Does his opinion not count because it doesn't agree with you? That doesn't sound very scientific.

Thanks for your response.

Blazi said...

This is actually very biased. Not all atheists are so closed up and don't listen to anything religious people say. I am an atheist. You brought up some good points. And I read them through and, although you didn't manage to "convert" me, I do see things a little differently.

Personally, if God brought a dead person back to life, I would drop my atheism right there and start going to church again. But here you are saying that all atheists would just dismiss that as something else.


You also said "Atheists have remarkable faith that God does not exist, and absolutely no evidence will be allowed to threaten that faith."
We could say the same thing about most of you --"Most Christians have remarkable faith that God exists, and absolutely no evidence would be allowed to threaten that faith." Notice how I said "many" and didn't clump you all together in a biased sweeping generalization.

In future posts on anything, it always bothers less people to add words like "many" "most" "some" or "a few" in front of things like that. This post pissed me off a good bit because I am not like this, and here you are saying all atheists are.

Have a good day, then.
~~Blazi

Dennis said...

Blazi,

Thank you for your thoughtful response, and you're right about the fact that I should have qualified my response with "some" or "many." I apologize for the offense.

I am very interested in your thoughts on the link I included to the article on cell biology.

Dennis

Blazi said...

Thank you very much for remaining civil with me, apologizing sincerely and not exploding, like some of the other people I have talked to about topics like this. :)

I did look at the link, but unfortunately science never was my best subject and I tried to read through it a few times but I don't think I understood what it was saying, and I don't want to make a comment on it only to find out I'd gotten all the information I had said wrong.

On a side note, though, your blog interests me quite a bit. :) Though I don't agree with all of your beliefs, it's refreshing to find someone on the Internet who can remain civil and logical when presenting and defending their beliefs, and keeps their blog and responses active! I'll be a repeat commenter, you can count on that. :)

Dennis said...

Blazi, welcome aboard. Its good to have you.

Steven said...

Dennis, I'm not sure you understand the significance of the question. The question “why doesn’t god heal amputees” speaks to delusional propensity of humans to attribute supernatural explanations when some element of ambiguity exists. A religious person diagnosed with cancer and then cured will attribute the cure to the grace of god. That same person quickly forgets the various treatments, medical staff, hospital stays and years of hard work and scientific research that actually did the curing.
With amputees, no ambiguity exists. Humans, with the aid of science, cannot yet heal amputees; therefore the imaginary gods cannot heal amputees. One day mankind will probably be able to heal amputees and the imaginary god will get the credit. If imaginary god could do this now…before the knowledge is possessed by humans, it would be much to move the god (whichever one of the so very many) significantly away from the realm of the imaginary.
This is unlikely to happen though. God can only cure things that mankind or the natural process of the body can cure. He can take and does take most of the credit. Not a bad deal for god.

Dennis said...

Steven,

First, I actually agree with you about humanity's propensity to attribute unusual events to the divine. In most cases I am quite skeptical of such projections.

On the other hand, there have been thousands of documented cases in which people have been healed "spontaneously" of some pretty amazing things--sometimes ordinarily incurable things...often seemingly in direct response to prayer and at the utter amazement of the doctors! To simply dismiss all of these cases as some kind of scientific anomalies is no less faith than attributing such things to the divine.

Besides, just imagine for a moment that I produced a verified example of an amputee whose limb had grown back in response to prayer. Do you honestly think for a moment that atheists would suddenly proclaim, "Yes, there is a God after all!"?

Of course not. They would simply dismiss the evidence as some kind of trick, illusion or genetic anomaly...anything to avoid the conclusion that there is a God.

Atheism rests on faith no less than religion. In fact, I don't have enough faith to be an atheist :-)

nathan_brake said...

There is a difference. Not both rest on faith. Atheist rest on the reliance that study and research can explain these "cures" to duplicate them or understand them. The believer trusts that it was God with no further evidence to see if it was or not because, I think, they want to believe it was God. One requires a blind faith with no objectivity, they are NOT the same. The amputee question is showing that certain healing don't happen while the Bible says that God can do anything and most people don't expect amputees to be healed...and why is that? The natural world shows us that our bodies do not regenerate limbs and observations have explained this while defining God around this remains hectic.

You can say that the Gospels agree, but what Gospels and what variations? Mark 16:9 is the original ending of the earliest and most reliable manuscripts of Mark, so, should we trust the added ressurection? You can not lump all the Gospels together as a single story, as soon as you do that you say something NONE of them say. What day did Jesus die on? What lineage of Jesus is correct? How many people/angels were in the tomb? Was Jesus in pain and agony on the cross, or was he fine, forgiving people? The details matter because what would it take for you to agree with me and yourself? It wouldn't be possible, we may be talking about the same subject, but we are not in agreement.

Dennis said...
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Dennis said...

Nathan wrote, “Atheist rest on the reliance that study and research can explain these "cures" to duplicate them or understand them.”

In other words, while atheism has no natural explanation for these cures it rests on the “reliance” that science will someday, somehow find a natural explanation. That is faith, my friend--pure and simple.

But I think you’re right that in many cases the believer wants to believe his or her medically unexplainable healing was from God. It is also true, however, that many atheists desperately want such medically unexplainable healings to NOT be from any kind of god. The believer has faith that it is from God. The Atheist has faith that science will someday find a natural explanation. Both beliefs are faith.

When I was a teenager I once had a really bad case of mono. My doctor did blood tests and scientifically confirmed that it was mono. He said that in my case it would be six weeks before I was well enough to function normally. It would be six months, he said, before I had all my strength back.

That weekend my parents invited the “elders” of my church to pray for me and anoint me with oil (James 5:14). The following Monday I was back in school and feeling great! My girlfriend, however, was absent so at lunch-time I ran non-stop to her house (about a mile away) to see her (that was in the day before cell phones). My doctor had no explanation. He said he had never seen anyone recover that quickly before.

I believe my recovery was a direct response to prayer. Atheists, of course, could come up with all kinds of possible explanations. Perhaps the story is a lie (but if I were going to lie, I would make up a story about being healed from cancer or something). Perhaps the lab messed up on the blood tests (and I just appeared to have mono symptoms???) Perhaps the doctor was a quack. ANYTHING to avoid the conclusion that God was involved.

If we are brutally honest with ourselves we will admit that we really don’t know why or how this happened. The doctor certainly had no medical or scientific explanation for it (and I have no reason to believe he was a man of faith).

You may be right in thinking that I want this to be God’s answer to prayer but I am just as convinced that atheists want it to be anything but an answer to prayer.

Even though there was no medical or scientific explanation for it, atheists have faith that there must be a natural explanation.

There are thousands of stories like this—and many of them are about much more serious illnesses, like Cancer. I have an entire book in my library on “spontaneous remissions” (as doctors like to call them) for which there is no known natural explanation. Christians have faith that many of these cases are divine intervention. Atheists have amazing faith that all such stories—-every single one of them—-absolutely, positively must have a natural explanation. In both cases, we are talking about faith.

My response is too long for one comment box. I'll continue below.

Dennis said...

Now about the Gospels:

You’re right that Mark 16:9-20 is not in the most ancient manuscripts, but that is really beside the point. The resurrection of Jesus is not dependent on Mark 16:9-20. That the author of Mark knew of and believed in the resurrection of Jesus is clear from Mark 8:31 and 16:6—and these passages are not in dispute.

Regarding the variations in the Gospels, you wrote that “you cannot lump all the Gospels together as a single story, as soon as you do that you say something NONE of them say.” That’s true to some extent if you’re talking about a harmony of the Gospels, but it is not true when we are simply talking about areas of agreement.

For example, the Gospels agree that Jesus was a teacher, a prophet, a miracle worker, the Jewish Messiah, Savior and Son of God. They agree that he taught love and demonstrated compassion. They all agree that he made very provocative claims about himself and called people to repent and follow him. They all agree that he was crucified by Pontius Pilate and the Romans because of demands by Jewish leaders. The Gospels agree that Jesus came back to life on the first day of the week, that the tomb was first found to be empty by some women, and that he appeared alive physically to some women and to his disciples.

To dismiss all of this agreement simply because there are some minor variations in the story is like saying 9/11 didn’t happen because there are variations and even discrepancies in the story as originally told by CNN, MSNBC, Fox and the New York Times!

There are discrepancies in the stories told by Roman historians-—yet no one assumes their stories are completely unreliable. In fact, there are even discrepancies between the story told by Josephus in his Antiquities and later in Wars of the Jews! Yet no one throws Josephus out as a historical witness.

Those who assume that the Gospel accounts are fundamentally unreliable simply because they think they can find minor discrepancies in the accounts are themselves very inconsistent. Such people apply a standard to the Gospels that they do not apply to other history, or to news reports or to any other information they receive. At the risk of sounding judgmental, it sounds to me like they are desperately looking for reasons NOT to believe.

Each Gospel writer re-tells the story of Jesus from their own perspective sometimes quoting from an earlier Gospel, usually telling the story in their own words, often adding information that an early Gospel didn’t mention (scholars who assume that all such added information must be fabricated may be examples of people who do not want the Gospels to be reliable).

Dennis said...

You then asked a number of questions:

“What day did Jesus die on?” Virtually all scholars agree that Jesus died on Friday (only a tiny handful of fundamentalists think it was Thursday). But what difference does it make, really? It doesn’t affect the core of the story. This sounds like an objection by someone who just doesn’t want the Gospels to be true.

“What lineage of Jesus is correct?” Why assume that one must be incorrect? How do you know that one Gospel was not tracing the lineage of Jesus through Mary and another through Joseph? The fact is that we really don’t know. Many (not all) believers are willing to give the Gospel writers the benefit of the doubt. Some unbelievers assume the accounts must be in conflict. My guess is that some unbelievers are looking for excuses not to believe.

“How many people/angels were in the tomb?” If I tell the story of a traffic accident and focus on one or two particular people, that does not mean others weren’t there also. Just because a particular gospel focuses on Mary Magdalene, for example, and doesn’t mention other women who were present, does not make the story unreliable. This is the kind of imaginary “contradiction” that deconstructionists use, which make me think they are desperately looking for excuses to not belief the Gospel story.

“Was Jesus in pain and agony on the cross, or was he fine, forgiving people?” I’m not sure I understand the question. Are you suggesting that if Jesus were really in agony on the cross, he wouldn’t have forgiven people? Jesus’ example of forgiving in the face of severe pain and suffering has been repeated over and over again by sincere Christians who truly desire to follow Jesus. There is no contradiction. The idea that Jesus did not really suffer when was on the cross was a heresy that didn’t arise for a 150-200 years or so after Jesus’ time. There was no doubt by the earliest Christians that Jesus truly suffered on that cross—just like everyone else who was crucified.

You wrote, “The details matter…” Your right, details can matter. If for example, one Gospel writer had said Jesus died of a natural death and another said he was crucified, that would be very significant. If one Gospel said he died in Jerusalem and other that he died in Rome and another that would be significant. But the Gospel writers agree on the core story about Jesus.

The fact that some people allege that the Gospels disagree on minor details is irrelevant to the historical reliability of the story as a whole. Even eyewitnesses to a traffic accident often give contradictory accounts of minor details.

If minor contradictions and disagreements between authors completely destroys credibility, then we might as well admit that we know nothing at all about history or news or anything else for that matter.

Even if there were major, irreconcilable differences between the Gospel accounts, that would only prove that one or more accounts was inaccurate. It would not prove that all accounts were inaccurate.

For example, 2,000 years from now if the only history on 9/11 that survived was 1) a CNN report on how the twin towers came down after being struck by planes in a terrorist attack against America, and 2) a conspiracy theory report alleging that the U.S. government brought down the towers in a controlled implosion, future historians would have to judge between the two accounts but they would be wrong if they concluded that since the two accounts disagreed, 9/11 didn’t happen at all.

The fact that so many Gospel critics are so eager to jump from minor disagreements to alleging that none of the Gospels can be trusted at all, seems to point toward an attitude that is looking for excuses to not believe.

I’m not necessarily saying this is true of you, by the way. I don’t know you. But I read a lot of Bible critics and I am genuinely convinced that many of them are just desperately looking for excuses not to believe.

Anyway, I appreciate your response. Thanks for disagreeing agreeably.

Dennis said...
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StOoPiD_MoNkEy said...

Dennis,

Although a year late, I am going to put my two cents in.

1. When talking about faith and miracles, you are correct. Most atheist (including myself) will make the first assumption that it was natural or scientific in nature. It is good to see that at least you understand the difference between miracles and divine precedence. Here is the problem with your point of view. You are taking the bare minimal of information and taking it for immediate proof of divine intervention. There are many times when doctors initailly do not understand diagnosis, symptoms or unmedicated cures. Did you know that certain types of herpes can actually cause a cancer tumor to go into remission? My question do you would be this. How many tests did they do after your mono was cleared with 1-2 days? What were the test results? Has there been a repeated case? There is something called zero point in quantum physics. Same approach to research. Trace something back to it's zero point or origin and you will have the answer. Just because we as humans may not be able to do this does not mean it's supernatural in nature. 2,000 years ago the plague was thought of as a disease from god to move at his whim. If you use your methodolgy of not having an answer we would still be in the middle ages. Yes back then, they were ignorant. Now we know exactly what the plauge is and even from where it more or less orginates, science! Science has a proven track record for unraveling mysterys. Steady but surely. It's not faith that atheist have, it's more about that proven track record that has lifted humanity from the dark ages of crusades to smart phones and almost instant connectivity with one another. Plus, you keeps stating that there have been a multitude of "miracles" that have been happening. Outstanding! Links or reference please. Thank you. Feel free to post them here or better yet, email me. I would be very happy to lookt at them with an open mind.

Dennis said...

Mr. MoNkEy:

Blogspot puts a limit on the number of words I can use in response so I will have to respond in more than one post:

You wrote, “It is good to see that at least you understand the difference between miracles and divine precedence.”

Did you mean “divine providence?” You’re right. Most Christians do not understand the difference between miracles and divine providence.

Technically speaking, miracles are the perceived breaking of natural laws—like walking on water or turning water into wine. Divine providence is suspected when something non-miraculous and yet highly unlikely happens just at the right time (often in response to prayer).

For example, their is an old story of a Christian named George Mueller who once ran and orphanage in England and ran out of food for the children. He reportedly sat down with the children and gave thanks for a meal which he did not have and could not provide.

Just then a knock came at the door—someone donating food (apparently their truck broke down and they didn’t want to food to spoil).

If this actually occurred (I like to think that it did), it was certainly not miraculous (no natural laws were broken—Mr. Mueller did not turn a rock into bread or anything) but it may have been divine providence (on the other hand, it could have been pure coincidence).

At any rate, you are perceptive to recognize the difference between miracles and divine providence.

You wrote, “You are taking the bare minimal of information and taking it for immediate proof of divine intervention.”

No, actually, I’m really not. I’ve make it clear in my above discussions that I am really quite skeptical of many miraculous healing claims and even if I were to become convinced that a miracle actually happened, I do not automatically jump to the conclusion that it “proves” that God exists or that God even did it.

I understand that there are almost always multiple ways of interpreting events. I do object, however, to a view that would automatically exclude any possibility of the miraculous.

So while events that can be interpreted as miraculous do not “prove” God’s existence, I think they may be seen as possible evidence supporting the thesis that God exists.

For example, as I pointed out in my first post, no one seemed to dispute the fact that Jesus did amazing feats. Some interpreted these as sorcery. Some as evidence for demon possession. Some believed these actions were evidence that God was at work.

The Gospel of John, in particular, sometimes records this controversy without declaring who is right. It is almost as if the author is dropping the controversy in the readers lap requiring each reader to draw his or her own conclusion.

Dennis said...
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Dennis said...

You wrote, “You are taking the bare minimal of information and taking it for immediate proof of divine intervention.”

No, actually, I’m really not. I’ve make it clear in my above discussions that I am really quite skeptical of many miraculous healing claims and even if I were to become convinced that a miracle actually happened, I do not automatically jump to the conclusion that it “proves” that God exists or that God even did it.

I understand that there are almost always multiple ways of interpreting events. I do object, however, to a view that would automatically exclude any possibility of the miraculous.

So while events that can be interpreted as miraculous do not “prove” God’s existence, I think they may be seen as possible evidence supporting the thesis that God exists.

For example, as I pointed out in my first post, no one seemed to dispute the fact that Jesus did amazing feats. Some interpreted these as sorcery. Some as evidence for demon possession. Some believed these actions were evidence that God was at work.

The Gospel of John, in particular, sometimes records this controversy without declaring who is right. It is almost as if the author is dropping the controversy in the readers lap requiring each reader to draw his or her own conclusion.

Dennis said...

You asked, “How many tests did they do after your mono was cleared with 1-2 days? What were the test results? Has there been a repeated case?”

No, no further tests. No repeated cases. Lab tests confirmed it was mono. The following week there was absolutely no evidence or lingering effects of mono. That’s all I’ve got.

I suspect this was the result of prayer (note, I said “suspect”. I’m not saying this proves anything). I’m fully aware that others will look for other explanations—faulty lab tests, faulty memory, a lying witness, a genetic anomaly results in phenomenal recovery from mono, or whatever.

The point is that science confirmed the presence of a disease that should take months to fully recover—and the disease was apparently gone shortly after prayer. I have faith to suspect that God was involved. You may have faith to suspect that natural causes were involved.

The bottom line is that neither of us know for sure. Both of our interpretations involve faith.

After your discussion of the plague, you made the point that “Science has a proven track record for unraveling mysterys.”

That is certainly true. And yet, for all our scientific advances, apparently miraculous healings still happen that--as I mentioned above--science even has a name for it: “spontaneous remissions.”

Christians suspect that some (not all) cases of these “spontaneous remissions” may be the grace of God. Atheists have faith that natural causes will some day be found.

I have no doubt that in many of these cases natural causes may be found, but to exclude even the possibility of divine intervention is not science—it is faith.

Dennis said...

You wrote, “you keeps stating that there have been a multitude of "miracles" that have been happening. Outstanding! Links or reference please.”

I would refer you to a book entitled, "Spontaneous Remission; An annotated bibliography" by Brendan O’Regan and Caryle Hirshberg, 1993.

The book was published by an organization that calls itself the Institute of Noetic Sciences. I don’t know much about the organization except that they are apparently into mind-body connections and even psychic research. I am highly skeptical about the credibility of the organization but it is interesting that the authors would seem to agree with you, i.e. they believe (faith) that there must always be natural reasons for spontaneous remissions (in other words, this is not even a Christian book, must less a Christian apologetics book).

Nevertheless, they cite over 1,300 cases (700 pages!) of documented cases of “spontaneous remissions” from normally life-threatening diseases.

Thanks for your post!

C.J. said...

Dennis,
How did I personally attack you and what was so hateful about it? I didn't call you names, call you stupid or talk about your mother. Also, when you use someone else's evidence then it's your's also by default.
It is not in error to say that the gospels don't agree. They don't. Look at who and how many people went to JC's tomb and found it empty. Also, look at how many people saw JC after the resurrection. The point is this, if the bible is truly the inspired word of god then it should be perfect. There should be no disagreement whatsoever. Your assertation that it's remarkable that it is so close is of no consequence. It should agree completely. If it doesn't then it's not the inspired word of a perfect god for a perfect god can be nothing less than perfect. So, if there are differences in the gospels then it means it's not the inspired word of god and not worthy of anyone's time.

Dennis said...

CJ,

I’m puzzled by your response. I looked back over all discussions on this post and unless I’m missing something, I never accused you of being hateful or of attacking me personally.

On the topic of the gospels not agreeing, I think I made my point pretty clearly above. I’ll let other readers decide.

Then you wrote, “if the bible is the inspired word of god then it should be completely perfect.” Perfect by whose standards? Yours?

If God chose to make His story known through the work of ordinary human beings who were using their own sources, backgrounds, culture, vocabulary, etc.--who are you to say that God could not or would not choose to do such a thing?

Four Gospel writers told the story of Jesus in their own vocabulary, grammar and style, with each writer choosing which stories to tell in order to make his own theological point, and each often telling the stories in their own words (though two of them probably rely on the first and sometimes repeat the earlier story word-for-word).

Who are you to say that God would never do this? Why should I take your word for it? By what standard have you determined that your view is right?

Your argument is called a “straw man.” You arbitrarily set up your own standard for what you think God should be like and then you huff and puff and imagine that you’ve blown your little straw man down.

Don’t stop here. You could imagine all kinds of straw men. You could imagine that if there was a God, he would be a god of Infinite Tolerance, and since the God of the Bible is not tolerant, he must not exist.

Or you could imagine that if there is a God, he would never take anyone’s life but since people die, there must not be a god.

Or you could imagine that if Jesus was really God, he would have healed everyone in the world, but since he didn’t, he must not have been God. The possibilities are endless.

Unfortunately for you, God doesn’t play by your rules (or anyone else’s, for that matter)--and this observation is quite relevant, by the way, to the original topic of this post.

C.J. said...

Dennis,

Let me quote you. "Second, I've read hundreds, if not thousands of pages of stuff that attacks my faith. I've found it to be very unconvincing and in fact, some of it has actually strengthened my faith. Your hateful personal attacks against me, by the way, do not do much to support your case."

So, yes, you did say it. It was in response to my first post.

Second, you're saying god is not perfect? If a being is omnipotent and omniscient I don't see how they can be anything less than perfect. If your god is not perfect then why all the worship?

Dennis said...

On your first point, I went back and read my response more carefully and I stand corrected. I had apparently interpreted the following statements you made as hateful, personal attacks:

“you may have understood the question and not made a fool of yourself.”

“Can't read anything that makes you think”

“What a wonderfully easy way to go through life......with blinders on.”

“go live in a hut in the woods with no electricity, no car, no computer, etc. Then you will have at least a little veracity when it comes to your hatred of science.”

Silly me.

Regarding your second point, I never said God is not perfect. My point was, who are you to declare that a perfect God cannot possibly make Himself known through imperfect people?

Let's suppose, for example that God revealed Himself to you in bodily form and spent all night telling you about the mysteries of His interaction in human history. He charges you with the responsibility of telling others.

You do this faithfully but since you are only human, you can't remember everything word for word so you have to summarize the stories you were told in your own words.

I may have reasons for being skeptical about whether God had truly spoken to you, but it would be silly for me to conclude that since God is perfect, he couldn't possibly have revealed himself to someone who couldn't remember His message word-for-word and had to summarize the content.

You seem to be arguing that if God didn't dictate the Bible word-for-word, it must not be inspired. No respected Christian theologian believes the Bible was verbally dictated word-for-word. The Bible itself doesn't support such a notion (see for example, Luke 1:1-4).

C.J. said...

Dennis,

Your continuing to say that you read the whole article in the first place. I contend that, yes, if you continue to assert that spontaneous remission for say cancer or HIV is evidence for god then you refuse to accept the lack of spontaneous regeneration of limbs as evidence that there is no god. You continue to use anecdotal evidence as proof for your god. It would seem that if your god is capable of curing cancer then it should also be able to regenerate lost limbs. Also, since Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, etc. all claim miracle cures the same as Christians then you would have to give credence to their god, too. So, when you continue to dodge the issue by listing anecdote after anecdote then, yes, you are a fool because you take me for one. You may not come right out and say it but by constantly pointing out the same tired stories as evidence and ignoring what would be blatant evidence for him you fall right into the trap laid for you by the question asked (Why doesn't god heal amputees?)
Also, when you assault one area of science because it doesn't agree with your faith yet continue to make use of all other areas of science then because it pleases you then, I'm sorry, that makes you a hypocrite. All areas of science rely on the same methodology and therefore carry the same weight when it comes to their veracity. For example, modern medicine relies heavily on evolutionary concepts. Some of the cures brought to you by today's medical research are directly derived from evolutionary theory. Unless you are a christian that believes in evolution then you are a hypocrite when you benefit from evolutionary theory. If you are a christian that believes in evolution then you have no need for Jesus for if there was no Adam and Eve in the garden creating original sin then there is no need for JC to save us since it would be possible to save ourselves by merely following the commandments.

C.J. said...

(Continued)


The point with the vast differences in the gospels is this. If there is a god and he is by all intents and purposes perfect then how can he allow errors in his "word". If your god is not perfect then he is not god.
In fact your reference to Luke 1:1-4 seems to be in direct contradiction of what you are saying. "so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."
Notice the word "certainty". Here are the dictionary.com definitions:

1. the state of being certain.
2.
something certain; an assured fact.
—Idiom
3.
for / ofa certainty, certainly; without a doubt: I suspect it, but I don't know it for a certainty.

If the witnesses to the resurrection of JC were in a court of law and they all told those vastly differing stories I'm sure a jury would find it difficult to come to the conclusion that the event had happened at all.

Don't you find it inherently unfair that your god will subject a person to hell for all eternity for not believing in him yet give a serial killer / rapist / child molester eternal life for believing? You must know that in Islamic countries conversion to another religion is punishable by death. Therefore you have to realize that the number of chistian missionaries in those countries is very low. That means that many Muslims may hear about JC but are given no real info about him or opportunity to convert. So, all these people are going to hell by your standards. It was very easy for you to be a christian ( I am assuming you've grown up in the west or at least were raised by christians. If I am wrong, please forgive me). So, your path to eternal life was easy where a muslims is difficult or non-existent.

I know I've been rambling a tad so forgive me, please. I will close for now and await your answers.

Dennis said...

CJ wrote, “if you continue to assert that spontaneous remission for say cancer or HIV is evidence for god then you refuse to accept the lack of spontaneous regeneration of limbs as evidence that there is no god.”

What’s the problem? If someone claimed to be a prophet of God and then walked on water to demonstrate it, would you honestly tell them they because they didn’t cause an amputated limb to grow back, they must be a fraud? You may still doubt that the man was a prophet of God on other grounds (not everyone who does miracles is necessarily from God), but to deny that he was a prophet of God simply because he did not meet your demands would be pretty silly.

CJ wrote, “You continue to use anecdotal evidence as proof for your god. It would seem that if your god is capable of curing cancer then it should also be able to regenerate lost limbs.”

I have no doubt that He is capable but for whatever reason, I just don’t have any examples to give you. I’m sure He is “capable” of healing Down Syndrome too, but I don’t have any examples of that either. But you should keep that in mind in case some Christian every does come up with an example of someone who had a limb grow back in response to prayer because then you could just argue that God doesn’t exist because he has never healed someone with Down Syndrome (anything to keep your atheism intact).

Dennis said...

CJ wrote, “Also, since Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, etc. all claim miracle cures the same as Christians then you would have to give credence to their god, too.”

I do not think miracles alone are proof that someone is from God (false prophets may do miracles too). I think all miracle claims should be evaluated carefully. I would not automatically dismiss a miracle claim just because the one who did the miracle was not a Christian. But unlike most atheists, I would not dismiss a miracle claim regardless of the evidence.

CJ wrote, “So, when you continue to dodge the issue by listing anecdote after anecdote then, yes, you are a fool because you take me for one.”
I do not take you or a fool.

CJ wrote, “Also, when you assault one area of science because it doesn't agree with your faith yet continue to make use of all other areas of science then because it pleases you then, I'm sorry, that makes you a hypocrite.”

When scientists disagree with each other—when scientists accept some scientific theories and not others—does that make them hypocrites also?

CJ wrote, “All areas of science rely on the same methodology”

You need to brush up on your science. The fact is that not all scientific methodology is the same.

For example, the scientific methodology you might use to determine the effects of a certain chemical on cancer cells, might be significantly different that the methodology you would use to determine the evolutionary path of a particular monkey.

CJ wrote, “For example, modern medicine relies heavily on evolutionary concepts.”

CJ, do you even know any scientists personally? A cell biologist who was once one of my colleagues told me that most lab scientists quietly and meticulously go about their work which has little or nothing to do with evolutionary theory. Most really don’t give evolutionary theory much thought. It is just not relevant to their day-to-day work as scientists. The same is true with most modern medical experiments.

Dennis said...

CJ wrote, “Some of the cures brought to you by today's medical research are directly derived from evolutionary theory.”

Really? Give me some examples.

CJ wrote, “The point with the vast differences in the gospels is this.”

Vast differences? A “vast difference” would be if one Gospel said Jesus was Jewish and another one said he was Roman; or if one Gospel said he died of natural causes and another one said he was crucified. There are no such “vast differences” in the Gospels.

CJ wrote, “If there is a god and he is by all intents and purposes perfect then how can he allow errors in his "word". If your god is not perfect then he is not god.”
Perfect by whose standards? Yours? I think this conversation is about at its end—we’re just going around in circles now.

CJ wrote, “In fact your reference to Luke 1:1-4 seems to be in direct contradiction of what you are saying. "so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."Notice the word "certainty". Here are the dictionary.com definitions…”

Your dictionary.com definitions are useless. Luke did not write in English, he wrote in Greek. Besides, I’m “certain” that on 9/11/2001 the twin towers were brought down by an act of terrorism—even though I the stories by ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, New York Times and others all had various discrepancies and contradictions.

Even if there were minor discrepancies and contradictions in the Gospels that would not, by itself, place the major story in doubt any more than minor discrepancies place 9/11 in doubt

CJ wrote, “If the witnesses to the resurrection of JC were in a court of law and they all told those vastly differing stories I'm sure a jury would find it difficult to come to the conclusion that the event had happened at all.”

On the contrary, if the witnesses in court told exactly the same story with no variation, the jury may conclude that witnesses had conspired to tell the same story.

I find it interesting that for decades critics have attacked the Gospels (especially Matthew and Luke) as unreliable because they are so similar to Mark that they must have copied from Mark. On the other hand, there are other critics who attack the Gospels because of the differences. So the Gospels are attacked because they are so similar and they are attacked because they are so different. It almost looks like critics are just looking for excuses to criticize or to not believe.

Dennis said...

CJ wrote, “Some of the cures brought to you by today's medical research are directly derived from evolutionary theory.”

Really? Give me some examples.

CJ wrote, “The point with the vast differences in the gospels is this.”

Vast differences? A “vast difference” would be if one Gospel said Jesus was Jewish and another one said he was Roman; or if one Gospel said he died of natural causes and another one said he was crucified. There are no such “vast differences” in the Gospels.

CJ wrote, “If there is a god and he is by all intents and purposes perfect then how can he allow errors in his "word". If your god is not perfect then he is not god.”
Perfect by whose standards? Yours? I think this conversation is about at its end—we’re just going around in circles now.

CJ wrote, “In fact your reference to Luke 1:1-4 seems to be in direct contradiction of what you are saying. "so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."Notice the word "certainty". Here are the dictionary.com definitions…”

Your dictionary.com definitions are useless. Luke did not write in English, he wrote in Greek. Besides, I’m “certain” that on 9/11/2001 the twin towers were brought down by an act of terrorism—even though I the stories by ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, New York Times and others all had various discrepancies and contradictions.

Even if there were minor discrepancies and contradictions in the Gospels that would not, by itself, place the major story in doubt any more than minor discrepancies place 9/11 in doubt.

Dennis said...

CJ wrote, “If the witnesses to the resurrection of JC were in a court of law and they all told those vastly differing stories I'm sure a jury would find it difficult to come to the conclusion that the event had happened at all.”

On the contrary, if the witnesses in court told exactly the same story with no variation, the jury may conclude that witnesses had conspired to tell the same story.

I find it interesting that for decades critics have attacked the Gospels (especially Matthew and Luke) as unreliable because they are so similar to Mark that they must have copied from Mark. On the other hand, there are other critics who attack the Gospels because of the differences.

So the Gospels are attacked because they are so similar and they are attacked because they are so different. It almost looks like critics are just looking for excuses to criticize or to not believe.

Dennis said...

CJ wrote, “Don't you find it inherently unfair that your god will subject a person to hell for all eternity for not believing in him yet give a serial killer / rapist / child molester eternal life for believing?”

You’re absolutely right—it’s not fair. If God were fair, we would all fall under His judgment for all of the ungodly things we have thought or done or for the things we should have done that we neglected. The Bible teaches that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and that there is none righteous, no not one! All of us have essentially flipped the bird to God by saying we will NOT live our lives God’s way! We will do it our way.

And yet, God, in his amazing grace, became human, lived in the hell-hole of life that our sin created so that he could rescue out of it those who would humble themselves before him by repenting of their sin and accepting Him as Lord and Savior. Those who refuse the amazing grace of God—those who continue to flip the finger to Him by their unrepentant arrogance—are apparently worse in God’s eyes than the even evil people who honestly and sincerely repent (But even sincere repentance, by the way, does not necessarily remove consequences in this life).

You may think that God should accept all the “good” people and reject all the “evil” people—but if so, you place yourself on the side of the “evil” people by arrogantly thinking of yourself as better than others (like the story Jesus told of the Pharisee in the temple who looked down his nose on the “sinner” saying “I thank God that I am not like this sinner, I fast twice a week…etc.)”

Besides all this, God apparently judges sin differently than you do. Jesus said, that the people living in cities visited by Jesus would receive more severe judgment even than Sodom and Gomorrah (Mt 10:15; 11:23-24). This is not because those people were more evil than the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, but because “to whom much is given much is required.”

God apparently judges more severely those who have greater knowledge, or have greater opportunity for knowledge. Since I am a pastor and Bible professor, God may very well judge my sin—even what most people might consider small sins—even more severely than the sins of a prostitute or drug pusher or thief who has never been presented with the Gospel. I suspect this is one reason Jesus was so harsh on hypocritical religious leaders but generally compassionate toward other “sinners”. It may very well be that people like me—whom most people would describe as a “boy scout”—need God’s grace even more than others whom most Americans would think of as evil.

In fact, someone who deliberately and cynically seeks to attack and undermine the faith of others may need God’s grace even more than a mentally ill serial killer or child molester does. You look at outward appearance. God looks at the heart—and in God’s eyes, prideful arrogance—a “holier than thou” attitude—is no doubt at the top of the list of sins God hates.

Dennis said...

CJ wrote, “You must know that in Islamic countries conversion to another religion is punishable by death. Therefore you have to realize that the number of chistian missionaries in those countries is very low. That means that many Muslims may hear about JC but are given no real info about him or opportunity to convert. So, all these people are going to hell by your standards.”

Actually, I am convinced, based in large part on Romans one, that God will judge people by the “light” they have received. When a headhunter from Iran Jaya stands before the judgment seat of God, they question will not necessarily be “did you believe in Jesus.” The question will be about how they responded to whatever God has made known to them. Some Christians believe that some of these “pagans” have responded in faith and will be saved because of Christ’s atonement. Other Christians believe that if they respond positively to what God has show to them, He will send a missionary (or his Word, or a revelation) to lead them to Christ (there are stories out of the Muslim world of Muslims getting saved because they have seen a vision of Jesus revealing himself to them. I don’t know if these stories are true of not but I’ve heard such stories from several independent sources).

Lisa said...

This has nothing to do with amputees but everything to do with why God answers some prayers and not others. I always found it ridiculous that people claim God answers prayers over football games and meaningless things like that but fails to spare the lives of sick children.

I my case, my whole adult life I've asked God for my soulmate. I've done all I can humanly do to find this person. But day after day God rejects my prayers. I've always wondered if the fundies who despise homosexuals can answer me why did God give that person (who is sinful in your Bible) a partner but repeatedly ignore the prayers of one of HIs children. I've yet to get an answer on that one.

THe problem is that if God is answering prayers it is in a willy-nilly fashion at best. Tim Tebow's team wins the big game because he and his fans prayed. I go without a husband because???

Of course the standard reply will be the mysteries of God, or God's plan or some such thing that doesn't answer the question.

You piece is a good effort but as someone else said, until humans figure out how to heal amputees, God will never be able to answer that prayer.

Dennis said...

Lisa,

First, the issue has nothing to do with “fundies” despising homosexuals (I question the salvation of people who ‘despise homosexuals”). But the Bible—every Bible—clearly condemns the practice of sex with people of the same sex, just like it condemns adultery and sex with close relatives, etc. You are assuming, therefore, that God must have given homosexuals their same-sex partners even though such practice is absolutely condemned in the Bible (I know there are attempts to twist the Bible to justify sex with people of the same sex—I’ve studied such claims in great detail, in the original Hebrew and Greek. These attempts are all smoke and mirrors, deceptions and dishonesty).

Second, I certainly agree with you about the nonsense of praying for meaningless things like which team will win a football game. I suspect that most people who even pray for such things have an entirely warped view of God, the Bible and Christianity. They seem to think that God is some kind of a cosmic vending machine, Santa Claus or genie who exists just to grant our every wish (and when he doesn’t grant their wish, they sometimes use his lack of response as an excuse to continue on in their sinful rebellion against him (how could God possibly answer the prayers of fans on both sides of a football game that their team would win?).

Genuine Christianity is not about what God will do for us. It is about us submitting to him as the absolute Creator-King of the universe—and of our life! More specifically, it involves repentance and faith:

Repentance involves an agreement with the biblical teaching that you have rebelled and sinned against a holy God--and that there is absolutely nothing you can do to fix the rift your sins have caused between you and God. This acknowledgement, coupled with a heart-felt sorrow over the horribleness of your sin, and a genuine desire to stop sinning, is called repentance.

Faith involves an agreement with the biblical teaching that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is your only hope of being made right with God, coupled with a heart response of loving devotion/commitment to Jesus Christ above all else. We call this faith. It inevitably results in a desire to live a life that is pleasing to God.

This kind of faith—saving faith—does not demand that God provide any more evidence other than that which he has already provided in the Bible. It does not rebel against him when he does not provide a soul mate for us, or heal a broken relationship or an amputee, or run the world the way we think it ought to be run.

The kinds of responses genuine faith might give are “Jesus lived his entire life without a soul mate—why should I be any different? Jesus lived an entirely righteous life and still suffered mocking, torment and persecution—why should I expect different? The Bible promises that God will give his people perfect bodies, will wipe away every tear, and that our present sufferings will not even compare with the glory God has in store for us. Who am I to demand of the Creator-King that he MUST do it NOW or I will not believe?

This doesn’t mean we can’t pray for a soul mate or for physical or emotional healing, but it does mean we don’t rebel against God when the answer is no.

God has provided sufficient evidence to justify a response of faith. To those who are in rebellion against God, no amount of evidence will ever be enough.

Thanks for a good post.

Dennis said...

"On the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, a twenty-one-month old boy named Ade Lewis had his left index finger amputated in an accident in May 1986. the nail was ripped off, and the tip and part of the bone were severed. To the mother's horror, no accessible medical facilities had the requisite resources to sew it back on. Father Ralph DiOrio, a figure in the Catholic healing ministry, prayed and urged them to give glory to God. the mother testified that not only the nail but also the rest of the finger grew back quickly until it was almost as long as his right index finger" (Keener, Craig. Miracles. Volume One, Grand Rapids : Baker, 2011, 353.

Dennis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dennis said...

"a woman who had had her fingers partly amputated on one hand was healed of cancer. The fingers grew back after prayer, and 'finger-nails are also forming" (Craig Keener. Miracles. Volume 2. Grand Rapids : Baker, 705).

Footnote #358 adds "This amazed the neighbors, who knew she had had fingers missing"

Dennis said...

"Rumph,"Signs", 131-136 cites a much more recent case of an adult's partly amputated finger gradually growing back after prayer and dreams about restoration, even though this is medically impossible by natural means" (Craig Keener. "Miracles" Volume 2. Grand Rapids. Baker, 2011, 705; As his sources, Keener cites Jane Rumph, "Signs and Wonders in America Today. Ann Arbor, MI : Vine Books, 2003).

Dennis said...

"A Western minister reports a case in Ghana of a leg severed beneath the knee miraculously growing back. An eyewitness who prayed for a twelve-year old boy in Bogota, Columbia, with a deformed hand reports seeing the half-inch fingers all grow out to three inches over the course of an hour and a half of prayer...Another source reports that a partially severed limb grew out instantly." (Craig Keener, "Miracles" Volume 2. Grand Rapids : Baker, 2011, 706).

Dennis said...

"Some skeptics about healing argue 9beyone the evidence) that almost anything can be psychosomatic, whereas clearly organic restorations of limbs are never reported. Certainly there are not many such reports (including in the Bible), but hey do appear occasionally; in one extraordinary report,for example, a leg severed beneath the knee grew back" (Craig Keener. Miracles. Volume 2. Grand Rapids : Baker, 2011, 747.