The Lack Of Miracles In Miracles

Roosh

Cardinal
Orthodox
Originally posted on RooshV.com

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Like with G.K. Chesterton, I have hit my limit with C.S. Lewis. The latest book of his that I read, Miracles, continues on the pattern of obtuse, philosophically-styled writing that comes from a heterodox position. He has brought many people to God, I’m certain, but for the simple faith I strive for, I prefer the directness of Orthodoxy as taught by the Saints and Holy Elders. That said, here are a few profitable passages from Lewis’ book Miracles.

The nature of miracles​

If God annihilates or creates or deflects a unit of matter He has created a new situation at that point. Immediately all Nature domiciles this new situation, makes it at home in her realm, adapts all other events to it. It finds itself conforming to all the laws. If God creates a miraculous spermatozoon in the body of a virgin, it does not proceed to break any laws. The laws at once take it over. Nature is ready. Pregnancy follows, according to all the normal laws, and nine months later a child is born. We see every day that physical nature is not in the lead incommoded by the daily inrush of event from biological nature or from psychological nature. If events come from beyond Nature altogether, she will be no more incommoded by them.

[…]

A miracle is emphatically not an event without cause or without results. Its cause is the activity of God: its results follow according to Natural law. In the forward direction (i.e. during the time which follows its occurrence) it is interlocked with all Nature just like any other event. Its peculiarity is that it is not in that way interlocked backwards, interlocked with the previous history of Nature.

If you are not in the Orthodox Church, you may be wondering why God has stopped performing miracles. They were so common in the Bible, yet today they are hardly seen. In reality, miracles are constantly occurring, but within His Church. If you are outside His Church, you may never see miracles, and be tempted by Satan to pursue charismatic and mediumistic experiences to satisfy your craving for the spiritual. That said, one should not pursue miracles, since it is the weakest way to build faith, but instead let God show you His presence when He deems it necessary for you.

The Resurrection​

The Resurrection is the central theme in every Christian sermon reported in the Acts. The Resurrection, and its consequences, were the ‘gospel’ or good news which the Christians brought: what we call the ‘gospels’, the narrative of Our Lord’s life and death, were composed later for the benefit of those who had already accepted the gospel. They were in no sense the basic of Christianity: they were written for those already converted. The miracle of the Resurrection, and the theology of that miracle, comes first: the biography comes later as a comment on it. Nothing could be more unhistorical than to pick out selected sayings of Christ from the gospels and to regard those as the datum and the rest of the New Testament as a construction upon it. The first fact in the history of Christendom is a number of people who say they have seen the Resurrection. If they had died without making anyone else believe this ‘gospel’ no gospels would ever have been written.

Why pray?​

When we are praying about the result, say, of a battle or a medical consultation the thought will often cross our minds that (if only we knew it) the event is already decided one way or the other. I believe this to be no good reason for ceasing our prayers. The event certainly has been decided—in a sense it was decided ‘before all worlds’. But one of the things taken into account in deciding it, and therefore one of the things that really cause it to happen, may be this very prayer that we are not offering.

[…]

When the event you prayed for occurs your prayer has always contributed to it. When the opposite event occurs your prayer has never been ignored; it has been considered and refused, for your ultimate good and the good of the whole universe.

According to Orthodox priest Thomas Hopko, God’s foreknowledge accounted for our prayers before He made the world. The less prayer you perform, the worse your outcomes will be (for your soul) and the harder it will be to endure those outcomes. Consider that praying for a specific person was heard by God before He created the world, and will thus impact that person during the course of their lifetime. It’s up to Him to decide what we will go through in response to prayer, but I have no doubt that prayer helps me to get through trials without sacrificing my faith.

For a 300-page book, the above were all the gems that I could identify. C.S. Lewis is an important figure in Christendom, but I will have to go elsewhere for spiritual counsel. I don’t think you would suffer loss if you skip on his book Miracles.

Learn More: Miracles by C.S. Lewis
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For a 300-page book, the above were all the gems that I could identify. C.S. Lewis is an important figure in Christendom, but I will have to go elsewhere for spiritual counsel. I don’t think you would suffer loss if you skip on his book Miracles.

Lewis is probably best recommended for high school Protestants, imho. He's an easy gateway to theological discussions in a way which appeals to an overly philosophical youth. Like you've identified he also sometimes has things worth considering but he's operating from a modern framework and those concerns. He spends way too much time trying to reconcile issues I think you or I got over by 20 yo.

I would recommend his book on grief for older folks, which I think Roosh has also read and recommended and possibly The Screwtape Letters.
 

Godward

Robin
I actually find Lewis’s soteriology to be remarkably Orthodox, which is strange given he was an Anglican.

I saw on the final page of “Two Paths” that Protecting Veil will be publishing a book on the theology of C.S. Lewis and the Church Fathers, written by Herman A. Middleton, so that book might be of interest.

Classical Protestantism is much closer to Orthodoxy than it is to Rome, so it’s not too surprising really.

But the peculiar thing is: was he really a Classical Protestant (and what is Classical Protestantism)? C.S. Lewis was not a Calvinist, and not very Lutheran either, but an Anglo-Catholic (Anglican High Church). So I would say that he was definitely orthodox with a lowercase O.
 
If one doesn't pray God doesn't know what the Prayer you might have otherwise prayed. And if you do pray God already knows what prayer you have already Prayed.

God knows because events have already happened. If Judas actually came to repentance and didn't commit suicide then prophecy would have been different in the first place.

Ask and you shall receive. Don't ask and don't receive.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
If one doesn't pray God doesn't know what the Prayer you might have otherwise prayed. And if you do pray God already knows what prayer you have already Prayed.

God knows because events have already happened. If Judas actually came to repentance and didn't commit suicide then prophecy would have been different in the first place.

Ask and you shall receive. Don't ask and don't receive.

This is a bit confusing. Are you suggesting the God operates within, and is constrained by, time?
 
This is a bit confusing. Are you suggesting the God operates within, and is constrained by, time?

If a timeline never came to pass does God know?

That is considering the reality of free will and the potential paths forward that people can take and the butterfly effects thereof which ripple through reality.

And then there is the If X then Y scenarios that God talks about in regards to the actions of people in the Old Testament suggesting different possible timelines when they went down different paths if they did choose to be faithful to God.

If Adam never fell. Then a different timeline and subsequent prophecies will exist for example.
 
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I saw on the final page of “Two Paths” that Protecting Veil will be publishing a book on the theology of C.S. Lewis and the Church Fathers, written by Herman A. Middleton, so that book might be of interest.



But the peculiar thing is: was he really a Classical Protestant (and what is Classical Protestantism)? C.S. Lewis was not a Calvinist, and not very Lutheran either, but an Anglo-Catholic (Anglican High Church). So I would say that he was definitely orthodox with a lowercase O.

C.S Lewis is pretty much identical with my current Protestant views. He was a great influence in the early years of my faith.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
If a timeline never came to pass does God know?

That is considering the reality of free will and the potential paths forward that people can take and the butterfly effects thereof which ripple through reality.

And then there is the If X then Y scenarios that God talks about in regards to the actions of people in the Old Testament suggesting different possible timelines when they went down different paths if they did choose to be faithful to God.

If Adam never fell. Then a different timeline and subsequent prophecies will exist for example.

God created time, so the idea that a timeline can come to pass without God knowing about it makes no sense.

Free will and foreknowledge of events are different categories. If I know, for instance, that tomorrow you will travel to Melbourne, then my foreknowledge does nothing to destroy your free will.
 
God created time, so the idea that a timeline can come to pass without God knowing about it makes no sense.

Free will and foreknowledge of events are different categories. If I know, for instance, that tomorrow you will travel to Melbourne, then my foreknowledge does nothing to destroy your free will.

Do you believe that God is presiding over multiple timelines? Scenarios where Judas didn't choose to commit suicide and repent for example.

As for the latter paragraph. I am not objecting to that argument since I am already Molinist. I'd say that God's foreknowledge is because of the exercise of free will.

If you didn't choose to repent and actually willfully rejected the Gospel for example then God's foreknowledge would have been different than the current scenario.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
Do you believe that God is presiding over multiple timelines? Scenarios where Judas didn't choose to commit suicide and repent for example.

As for the latter paragraph. I am not objecting to that argument since I am already Molinist. I'd say that God's foreknowledge is because of the exercise of free will.

If you didn't choose to repent and actually willfully rejected the Gospel for example then God's foreknowledge would have been different than the current scenario.

There is no such thing as multiple timelines. The Multiverse is an atheist fabrication, since atheists cannot contend with the fine-tuning of the universe.

There is only one timeline, and one God who created it.
 
There is no such thing as multiple timelines. The Multiverse is an atheist fabrication, since atheists cannot contend with the fine-tuning of the universe.

There is only one timeline, and one God who created it.

There is only one timeline. And it is shaped by human free will as much as by God therefore. Whatever we end up doing God ends up adapting.

Even the foreknowledge of God is dependent on our Free Will as much as his own Will.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Pelican
Orthodox
There is only one timeline. And it is shaped by human free will as much as by God therefore. Whatever we end up doing God ends up adapting.

Even the foreknowledge of God is dependent on our Free Will as much as his own Will.
God's foreknowledge is independent of our Free Will, because God exists outside of time and space.

Anyway, this discussion is getting too philosophical. We should probably discuss on another thread.
 

Lamkins

Woodpecker
Woman
First, I appreciate us ladies being included in these threads. Second, I found the passage below to be quite helpful. As I’m sure all believers do if they’re being honest I’m questioning the point of prayer if God is going to do what He wants anyway. Hubby and I were just discussing things being preordained yesterday regarding the moral/political free fall of America we are seeing. I was wondering if we did absolutely nothing or if we marched in the streets, would the end result be exactly the same?? Whatever that result is…..

When we are praying about the result, say, of a battle or a medical consultation the thought will often cross our minds that (if only we knew it) the event is already decided one way or the other. I believe this to be no good reason for ceasing our prayers. The event certainly has been decided—in a sense it was decided ‘before all worlds’. But one of the things taken into account in deciding it, and therefore one of the things that really cause it to happen, may be this very prayer that we are not offering.

[…]

When the event you prayed for occurs your prayer has always contributed to it. When the opposite event occurs your prayer has never been ignored; it has been considered and refused, for your ultimate good and the good of the whole universe.
 
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