Yes, I do believe in miracles. But the "supernatural"? Different Story.

The category of supernatural has been used and abused in more charismatic Christian circles. This is because they are relying on an atheist category from the field of philosophy, or shall I say, a tenet of atheist theology. It’s true. How so?

For some back ground, in my Philosophy of Religion course in Undergrad, the category of supernatural first came from thinkers like David Hume. Miracles as supernatural, according to the Enlightenment world view, were acts of God breaking the laws of nature. God, according to both detractors and apologists of Christianity, essentially lived as this Watchmaker observing us in another realm. As Peter Leithart correctly notes, the hypothesis of the “supernatural” requires a belief in nature as “autonomous and independent of God, [working in] a closed system of cause and effect.”

Jesus does not “violate” creation, since he is after all the Creator, sustainer, the Word of Creation; rather, as Leithart says, Jesus liberates creation for its potential in the purposes of the kingdom of God. Postmodern, Trinitarian and relational theologies should work to affirm this understanding of the miraculous over and against the traditional, modernist notion.

0 thoughts on “Yes, I do believe in miracles. But the "supernatural"? Different Story.

  1. Allen O. Green

    Well if we are going to be stickler about certain terminology that is borrowed from philosophical sources, why are we not trying to rid ourselves of the “omnis” and redefining the Trinity in biblical language? Personally, I think all of “Christian” theological terminology needs to be redefined; there is too much philosophical corruption present. In addition, you quote Peter Leithart who states “Jesus liberates creation for its potential in the purposes of the kingdom of God.” Are you implying that inanimate creation is held captive in some fashion?

    Reply
  2. Jim / Random Arrow

    ~
    Rod, please help. Please review. And please criticize.

    I’m trying to work up a professional bio to answer questions I’m sometimes asked. I’ve asked Peter Kirk and John Hobbins for criticism. Would you please have a look and criticize? The blogging format feels weird.

    http://randomarrow.blogspot.com/2011/08/professional-bio-little-bit.html

    Rod, see especially the part – “Can we ever use ‘canon’ for anything practical? Like practical judgments? Real-life case judgments? Or is ‘canon’ just a bunch of hifalutin academic banter? Is ‘canon’ just the realm of sermonizing dogmatists? Can canon have any practical use? Other than canon law as an excuse to kill aboriginal Indians?”

    Thanks,

    Jim

    I will be back to comment on this post regarding miracles! You heretic :)!

    Reply
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