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Miracles A Preliminary Study characters ê 104 Download ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ¼ C.S. Lewis Dity and wit to develop his argument At the same time he challenges the rationalists agnostics and deists on their own grounds and makes out an impressive case for the irrationality of their assumptio. Lewis is so brilliant

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Miracles A Preliminary Study

Miracles A Preliminary Study characters ê 104 Download ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ¼ C.S. Lewis 'The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation They say that God became Man Every other miracle prepares the way for this or results from this'Tis is the key statement of Professor Lew. My inveterate hatred of magazines began during my sopho year of college I was at a friend s apartment waiting for him to get out of the shower when I noticed a TIME magazine on his coffee table It had a big picture of Jesus on it with the headline What Do We Really Know About JesusAt the time I was an atheist or accurately an agnostic But I d spent uite a bit of time in class that year reading and discussing significant portions of the Old and New Testaments as well as translating parts of Matthew from the Greek I was interested to see what the world of thoughtful people in the modern world did really know about JesusI opened the magazine to the appropriate page Among a distracting array of pie graphs and extraneous graphics I was able to locate some actual text It began by stating that the writers had gathered together a group of the best minds experts in their fields to consider what in fact we really know about Jesus the historical figureThe very first thing we can really say according to this council of learned individuals is that we must dismiss the miracles recounted in the Bible I stopped and read this again I almost couldn t believe itIn the Bible Jesus mainly does two things he talks and he performs miracles The fact that he is doing extraordinary things in between the things he says seems to me anyway to be a necessary part of the story it gives his words authority The miracles are proof that he knows something about the world that we don t know Maybe the whole thing is made up words and miracles both This was vaguely my position at the time Considered in this way as literature you can say lots of interesting things about the characters and events created by the author just as you can say lots of interesting things about the characters and events in Don uixote When considering any literature however it is nonsense to discount the action all together and simply consider the dialogue You wouldn t read Moby Dick and skip all the descriptions of what happened and just read the dialogue Further when considering literature the actual historical events on which the piece is based mean next to nothing Moby Dick might have been based on a historical whaling ship or a real captain but who caresIf we consider the New Testament not as literature but as a historical document does it make any kind of sense to dismiss the miracles Did Jesus for example walk around saying things but not performing miracles And then later somebody just wrote the miracles in This is possible but if it is the person or people who recorded the events of the New Testament are completely unreliable If they added in whatever events they wanted why should we assume they kept strictly to the words Jesus said If therefore Jesus walked around saying things but not performing miracles we can have no idea what he said The words must be taken to be as made up as the miracles are which brings us back to considering it as literatureBut on what basis are the miracles dismissed Really People said that they saw them People were convinced by them some of them convinced enough to die Those two statements are historical fact Those two statements are in fact something that we really knowIt s true certainly that anyone may find the statements of these people unconvincing They are unconvincing because they do not fit into the framework of the world that we have in our minds Like it or not we are all dogmatists There are too many crazy claims in the world for any of us not to be If for example I told you that my neighbor drives a red Volvo you would probably believe me The fact that somebody drives a red Volvo fits into the world as you understand it If I told you as someone once tried to tell me that you could get rich teaching financial planning because all you would have to do would be to get 20 other people to teach financial planning and they would get 20 other people and so on you would hopefully not believe me Even if I offered you proof by taking you to a seminar where the first guy who started all this was standing up in front of everyone talking about how rich he was you still hopefully would not believe meMy point with these two examples is that in the first case no proof was offered except my statement and it was believable In the second place some actual proof was offered and it is still unbelievable Believability depends not so much on the proof offered but almost entirely on how you view the worldNow I m getting to the heart of what really infuriated me about this article The only reason to listen to experts is because we expect them to know something that we don t know ourselves They have spent time studying facts and in return for this we give them authority We take what they say as truth without looking for the proof ourselvesInsidiously these experts did exactly the opposite of what they were supposed to do They took my own dogma the dogma of our age that miracles can t happen they swallowed it whole and without uestion and then they vomited it back up to me the reader as some kind of established fact as something that we really know They used their authority to divorce me from the truth and responsibility of the fact that I was following a dogmaThe only thing they were experts in was what historical records show Besides in the matter of historical records the opinions of these people had no value than my own Historical records show as I said before that people said they saw these things and that people believed in them No historical records show that these things were made up What kind of people then would say As historians the first thing to start with is the dismissing of all the miraclesThe truthful thing to say would be Speaking strictly historically there is as much proof as we could reasonably expect for the events related in the New Testament and nothing to disprove them This does not of course constitute positive proof such extraordinary events really happenedStill I find it interesting to think about what constitutes proof of something In the mathematical world which is not real proof is a real thing It s the ironclad indisputable application of certain narrowly defined rules to certain narrowly defined objects I wonder however whether the word proof has any meaning in the real world Can anything in the real world be proven in the ironclad sense in which it can in mathematics Whatever your answer to this may be what then does that answer mean about how to proceed with people making outrageous claims such as those made by people claiming they ve seen miracles or UFOs or ghostsThis is a review of the book Miracles and you are probably wondering where the review is In fact you have just read it Everything I have discussed here is discussed in the book in much greater detail and obviously with much wisdom The book is a logical argument concerning the uestion Is the New Testament trueIt starts without asking you to believe anything and makes a series of logical steps which lead eventually to a belief in Christianity Well actually at one point the steps become illogical because as argued in the book there are some uestions that logic can t answer Before anybody gets too upset by uestions that logic can t answer I don t mean anything especially deep I mean uestions about experience I have a blue flower growing in my backyard Is that statement true or false Logic simply cannot tell you You have to come to my backyard and see Or you have to make a probable judgment based on what you know about me and about blue flowers That s what I meanAnyway the book winds up at an acceptance of Christianity and uses some of its space in the analyzing of some of the miracles attributed to Jesus Some of Mr Lewis s descriptions and interpretations of these miracles are heartbreakingly beautiful and I wish everybody could read them One passage I remember is the description of a man diving into the mud like a pearl diver and disappearing beneath the surface swimming down down down into the very heart of what can only be called the bottom of the earth and then gently slowly lifting with his whole body reascending with the whole weight of everything upon his back Every time I read and reread this passage it brought tears to my eyes A much sillier and less well written description of this same kind of action by the way can be found in that cheesy country song from the 1960 s Big John But the recurrence of similar themes found in the popular arts and religion both before and after the New Testament is discussed in the book as wellThis most certainly winds up at the Christian perspective and so in that way it is a Christian book On the other hand when I hear Christians speak generally they seem to take as accepted many things which many of their listeners don t seem to take as accepted For instance at a funeral the other day the preacher kept repeating that we can all take comfort in knowing that the deceased was with Jesus I would have been willing to bet that at least half the people in the room did not in fact believe that the deceased was with Jesus and so the preacher s words were empty More than that they seemed to be filled with silly promises that fell on deaf earsNow my point about this is that in my experience most Christians talk as if they are preaching to the choir when in fact they are not This is one of the annoying things about many Christians that I ve met Maybe they can t help it or never think of it but in any case that is not at all what goes on in Mr Lewis s book It is respectful of the idea of doubt and even of non belief it just asks the reader to follow through with the logical conseuences of whatever his position isI would be interested to know in light of this where in the book an atheist or an agnostic or a Jew or Buddhist or Muslim would begin to disagree with Mr Lewis I have my suspicions Probably most people would find the part about our innate belief in rationality itself to be a little dubious This part of the argument reminded me of nothing so much as Descartes famous statement I think therefore I amEven before I d read this book I d spent a long time thinking about that statement and what it actually means It s really complex and very deep and Descartes in the Meditations really doesn t do it enough justice I think he talks about it for 2 pages or somethingAnyway Mr Lewis s argument about rationality seems to be exactly the same kind of philosophical statement In both cases if you just read it and continue on you re not understanding what you ve read Maybe nobody can really understand it but the idea behind it seems to have a true bearing on the world around us and how we should react to it and interpret itFlipping through a collection of Peter Singer essays at a friend s house I came across a place where he mentioned this argument and referred to it as intellectual judo Needless to say it appeared to me to be Mr Singer who was engaging in intellectual judo with the added negativity of sneering dismissively while he did it But I will admit that neither author devotes the space to this uestion that it really deserves Maybe nobody couldAnyway I think all of us are lost in this world and for me anyway this beautiful and interesting book gave me some alternate interpretations of things that made a structured kind of sense I m certain that not everyone will be convinced by this book but I think anyone who reads it honestly can t help but gain respect for the Christian viewpoint than it sometimes seems to deserve based on the behavior of some of its adamant adherents

Download ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ¼ C.S. Lewis

Miracles A Preliminary Study characters ê 104 Download ✓ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ¼ C.S. Lewis Is's book He shows that a Christian must not only accept but rejoice in miracles as a testimony of the uniue personal involvement of God in his creation Professor Lewis employs his characteristic luci. This is a clear 5 star book I was flat out stunned by how wrong my prior expectations were for this book I imagined this to be a less formal discussion on what miracles meant to Christians and maybe why God uses them etcThis is a philosophy book It is the most intellectually challenging CS Lewis book I ve read and it is totally worth it This book uses logic and clear language to present a case for Divinity in general and the existence of the Supernatural It then describes how miracles are central to the Christian life anchoring the core of Christianity on the ResurrectionThis book addresses arguments I heretofore believed were very modern proving that there truly isn t much new under the sun He digs deep to address exactly what Naturalism is and why it is so pervasive in our culture and how reason must be engaged by our minds in a conscious way to overcome it If you have ever felt like you needed to have a lucid intellectual grasp of the philosophy involved in discussing the existence of God this is the perfect book for you

  • Paperback
  • 190
  • Miracles A Preliminary Study
  • C.S. Lewis
  • English
  • 11 February 2019
  • null