Tuesday, 2 August 2011


From Leithart:

In the modern view, miracles, if believed at all, are the paradigmatic “supernatural” events.  Verhey suggests that we should think of miracles “not as violations of nature but as the eschatological fulfillment, completion, and perfection of nature.  In these works of power the creation itself is being made new, not violated.  In these works of power the Word that was present at the creation summons nature to its own perfection.”   When Jesus exorcises a demon, he does not violate nature but liberates it and brings it to fulfillment.  When he calms the storm, He is bringing the sea to eschatological peace.  And by healing He brings damaged human beings to their restoration: “The healing miracles of Jesus demonstrate that God’s cause is life, not death, that God’s cause is human flourishing, including the human flourishing we call health, not disease. . . . And the nature miracles make it plain that God’s cause is the blessing upon nature that calms the waters of chaos and restores nature itself to what God intends.”
God is not identified with natural processes, nor with supernatural miraculous processes.  In miracles, we have warrant for altering nature, but altering it in the direction of God’s kingdom, to serve His purposes.  Altering nature to heal, Verhey says, is consistent with Jesus’ purposes, as is altering nature to bring freedom and blessing to the poor.  These works are “supernatural” not in the modern sense, but in the sense that by God’s work in His people, He is bringing creation to its telos.

1 comment:

Glen said...

Yes I've been thinking for a while that we imagine a double decker universe with miracles being God-stuff crashing down from above. Actually it's a case of old creation <=> new creation on a timeline. And miracles are the inbreaking of new creation into the old (from right to left, not from top-down).