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Featured The end of "magic"

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by mcarans, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Unnamed Guy

    Unnamed Guy Member

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    Yawn. Just another dingbat pretending to know something when he doesn't.

    If you don't believe something, it is nonsense by definition. Use of the word "magic" tips us off that this person does not know what he is talking about. God is the God of rightness, not a grumpy magician living in the sky and smiting people.
     
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  2. Blade

    Blade Veteran Supporter

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    Hmm ... end? I will agree when Christ came something.. one could look at as "stopped". Greater is HE that is in YOU then he thats in the world. Behold I give you power? ..and over ALL the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you. We have something he/it that holds back the lawless one.

    Yet when this restrainer is taken out of the way.. Satan this lawless one.. seems to be able to come out in the open and do UNREAL lying wonders NO ONE has ever seen. He took Christ to a MTN top.. dont see them walking. He show''d Christ the wonders of the world in a moments time. So .. to me as I read.. what WAS...is not right now. But SOMETHING that is here right now.. is taken out of the way..so what was will be again. So we see why most of the world will love him. He talks acts like a god.. does things no one can do.

    And so many right now..if they are there.. are going to what? Not believe based on what? Some STORY you read heard about? Haha.. man I have not to boast.. seen so many wonders from our Father. I dont doubt.. I just believe His word. Not man.

    So... need some verses to back this up.. unless I missed it..didnt see any
     
  3. Tone

    Tone Star Fish Radiant Supporter

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    Right:

    Romans 8:19-23
    "For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies."

    So nature is not natural in the way that it was before sin and death entered in. So, when Messiah did miracles, He restored what is natural...wholeness and life, from what is unnatural...fragmentation and death. So, anything we do today that does the same, can be considered miraculous. I wouldn't say "magical", because magic seeks to go another way...a lawless way and it is deceptive, because it is a trick of the mind and not a real benefit to the whole man/woman.
     
  4. Ing Bee

    Ing Bee Son of Encouragement Supporter

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    My main critique of your theory is that it seems to be driven more by limited, post-enlightenment assumption grounded in limited experience and knowledge rather than the biblical text, historic christian writings, and modern Christian experience.

    In John 14:10, Jesus said his followers would do "greater works" than he did. He said this in reference to Philips's disbelief about his identity as being one with the Father and offered as the "bare minimum" evidence his miraculous signs. Jesus predicted and increase, not a diminishment of miraculous signs after the resurrection, and this is what we see in Acts.

    As far as your assessment of "scale" and verifiability go, the signs of the apostles were quite public and verified even by enemies and pagans. In Acts 3-4, Peter and John are NOT punished because the miracle of giving full health to a 40-year old man born lame was too public! This had not happened in the time of the prophets!

    You also seem to assume that God should be "on tap", constantly giving spectacular signs. Even in the Old Testament accounts, only one tiny nomadic nation had Yahweh in their camp as a pillar of fire. He wasn't in China, or India, or North America. His signs are for a purpose, to point people to Himself. Based on your description, it seems to me that you are reading the Bible as a series of discreet events rather than as one coherent story with Yahweh as the central character.

    This Yahweh self-describes as the maker of heaven and earth, the author and sustainer of all life, the self-existing One who calls all else into being from nothing. He is also repeatedly portrayed as having a long-range plan that he is unfolding in his own time and in his own way. Your Reddit article presented God as somehow being weakened by Modern rationalism, as if it were His kryptonite.

    Finally, for a full, scholarly account of modern miracles, read Dr. Craig Keener's two-volume compendium Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts. Dr. Keener has compiled accounts that have been medically verified...and they fill two very thick volumes.

    I appreciate some of your thoughts on your Cruciformity page, but this particular article is founded on speculation, ignorance of the biblical narrative, and a cultural myopia. If your goal is to know this Yahweh, dig a little deeper. I recommend the Bible Project videos and podcasts. If you're not familiar with them, I think you'd really enjoy them.

    Peace
     
  5. Strong in Him

    Strong in Him I can do all things through Christ Supporter

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    1. First problem I have is with someone writing 'magic' and 'miracle' in the same article - sometimes same sentence - and acting as though they are interchangeable.
    Magic is associated with witchcraft and the occult and is forbidden by Scripture; miracles are acts of God, supernatural events which may occur when God acts in power. They are completely different.
    So I am not inclined to read an article that talks of "God's magic".
    2. There are many miracles in the NT. The first, and most obvious one, is that God himself came into his world and was born as a human baby.
    Jesus healed many during his ministry. He fed first 5,000 then 4,000 people, calmed the storm, walked on water, raised 3 people from the dead and was then himself raised. Not to mention becoming sin for us; making it possible for us to be reconciled to God and receive new life.
    3. Even if we counted them all up, assessed them and found that the OT has more, and more spectacular miracles - so what? Pharaoh, the Egyptians, the Israelites and the Pharisees all saw pretty amazing things; it didn't necessarily lead to belief or stop them grumbling and complaining against God.
    4. There are many miracles today. The miracle of new, spiritual life, being born again; miracles of healing, addictions reversed, dramatic changes in people's personalities etc. Again, these don't necessarily lead to faith - anyone who doesn't want to believe will find an alternative explanation.
     
  6. mcarans

    mcarans Active Member

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    If you are interested, I run a subreddit called r/cruciformity which you are welcome to join. The subreddit is about cruciform theology (that Jesus reveals perfectly the character and nature of God).
     
  7. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih Supporter

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    Paul Hiebert has something to say about this: The Flaw of the Excluded Middle

    the article is a great read but if you don't have the time here are some quotes I pulled out:

    "It should be apparent why many missionaries trained in the West had no answers to the problems of the middle level — they often did not even see it. When tribal people spoke of fear of evil spirits, they denied the existence of the spirits rather than claim the power of Christ over them. The result, as Newbigin has pointed out (1966) is that Western Christian missions have been one of the greatest secularizing forces in history"

    it concludes with something closer to the OP

    "In a new way I began to realize that true answers to prayer are those that bring the greatest glory to God, not those that satisfy my immediate desires. It is all too easy to make Christianity a new magic in which we as gods can make God do our bidding."

    I still recommend the read, especially if you are dealing with people who value this middle zone as an active force in life.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  8. Handmaid for Jesus

    Handmaid for Jesus You can't steal my joy Supporter

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    Do Christians today even desire to do miraculous works as the Lord Jesus and the Apostles?
     
  9. mcarans

    mcarans Active Member

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    Thank you! That article by Hiebert is a fascinating read. I'll probably post it on r/cruciformity at some point (or you are welcome to do so).
     
  10. Tropical Wilds

    Tropical Wilds Lord, beer me strength...

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    Well, I’m lucky enough to have been part of or have seen many miracles and magic. I think it’s there, people just have a hard time not taking such things for granted.
     
  11. Kaon

    Kaon Well-Known Member

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    People severely underestimate themselves. We allow other humans to do most all things for us in mind, body and spirit. So, I wouldn't see the average, or experienced Christian considering it possible for miracles to happen in this day. You have to break a faith threshold to believe in miracles, and see them; the Church doesn't teach sanctification and obedience because of faith, so most people will never see a miracle except for a rare occasion. These are supposed to be abundant, but you have to know how to be obedient, and have faith in Him for you to see, or exploit them. Otherwise, you would be a magician - exploiting nature for your will.

    When Moses hit the rock instead of speaking to it, he didn't follow directions (obedience) - but, got what he wanted (water, and a stop to the Hebrews' groaning). So, he was disciplined for it. Moses was not a "magician" like the other Egyptians who were summoned to compete against him because of His faith and obedience; He did everything He was told to do by his Father.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
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  12. Handmaid for Jesus

    Handmaid for Jesus You can't steal my joy Supporter

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    Would that the Church today could be so obedient.
     
  13. mcarans

    mcarans Active Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I've followed up with a question here about the types of miracles pre and post-Jesus: Why have the types of miracles changed pre-Jesus to post-Jesus?
     
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  14. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Differing definitions of the word "magic."
     
  15. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    I would say no, and that is unfortunate.
     
  16. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    A very poor source of material.
     
  17. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih Supporter

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    It's been around for a while and not exactly new material but happy you enjoyed it. Not that it's mine to give away but feel free to pass it on to whom you choose.
     
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