Saturday, 21 November 2015

Miracles - they don't have break a law of nature?

DOESN’T HAVE TO BREAK LAW OF NATURE – EVENTS THAT ARE 'LUCKY' OR CO-INCIDENCES CAN BE MIRACULOUS -     Holland – coincidences that do not break natural laws but have religious significance can sometimes be referred to as a miracle: “A coincidence can be taken religiously as a sign and called a miracle”.  Holland’s Example: Boy and express train.

He quotes a famous example where a child is stuck on a railway line in a pedal car. A train is coming, but the driver fails to see the child. However just in the nick of time the driver faints, his hand is taken off the lever and the brake is automatically activated. The train then stops in front of the child. There is no violation of nature, however for a religious person this may have religious significance and be thought of as a miracle.

JUST HAVE TO BE UNEXPECTED AND FORTUITOUS - Davies in ‘Thinking About God’ (1985) believes that a wider definition of miracle is now common.  He argues that miracles are “unexpected and fortuitous evens in the light of which we are disposed to give thanks to God”.  The word ‘fortuitous’ leaves open the possibility that the event is normal, but is perceived as showing the hand of God.  One of the miracle windows in Canterbury Cathedral illustrates such an event.  A man is buried alive in a tunnel and his workmates go for help.  In the meantime, his distant cries are heard by a passing traveller and he is saved.  In the background, a hand can be seen as emerging from a cloud, indicating that the event was a miracle.

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