Friday, January 23, 2015

Miracles by Eric Metaxas

The idea that there is a God who loves us and intervenes in our lives is a staggering concept, Metaxas reminds us. Miracles do happen today, he says, and he provides a number of stories to support his claim. The stories are anecdotal. You'll not find any doctor's certified statements in this book. No photographs of limbs missing and then restored. What you will find are personal stories, encouraging to Christians but probably discounted by atheists.

Many think we live in a purely materialistic universe. Christians believe a supernatural being exists and that He, on occasion, invades our materialistic existence. Miracles are possible.

Metaxas argues that potential miracles must be examined with the greatest possible rigor. He recognizes the issue that a miracle may happen to one person yet not to another in the same situation. He admits he doesn't know how prayers for miracles really work.

He reviews and defends miracles in the Bible. He then looks at contemporary miracles, beginning with his own conversion and that of others. He recounts stories of people who had visions and angelic encounters. Some stories are as simple as finding lost keys while others are as life changing as visiting heaven.

This book is a great encouragement for those who believe in miracles. All of the stories Metaxas tells are ones he personally guarantees as true. For Christians, this is a faith building book.

For those who do not already believe in miracles, this book may be seen as just another collection of stories to be explained away as coincidence, fatigue, or something else. With the recent recanting of a visit to heaven story, these personal anecdotes have practically no value in “proving” miracles happen. Since Metaxas has included no footnotes, there is no way to further investigate quoted material, restricting attempts to validate stories.

Eric Metaxas is the New York Times bestselling author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and the acclaimed Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery. After graduating from Yale with an English degree, he wrote humor in the New York Times and The Atlantic and was a writer for Rabbit Ears Productions and Veggie Tales. He is founder and host of Socrates in the City, and a senior fellow and lecturer at large at the King's College in New York City, where he lives with his wife and daughter. You can find out more at www.ericmetaxas.com.

Dutton, 336 pages.
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