Friday, November 13, 2015

Explaining Away Miracles


Explaining Away Miracles
I thought in this postmodern era, we were done with trying to find scientific rationales for biblical miracles, but this article in Slate says the genre is alive and well. And as this author retorts, the attempt itself assumes a false view of the world, which is countered by the more biblical understanding: "Reported miracles in Scripture are critically important passages that remind us of a desperately needed truth: there is no natural world." And this: "Our God can work miracles. He does things we cannot explain. He does things that make us uncomfortable."
 
What the Other Gospels Tell Us About Jesus
It's no secret that the early church had access to more gospels than Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And a common narrative goes like this:
[T]he earliest centuries of the faith (before Constantine) were marked by sprawling diversity and creativity, and many schools of thought contested freely. But the democratic, egalitarian, and Spirit-filled Jesus movement then atrophied into the repressive, bureaucratic Catholic Church of the Middle Ages. The narrow orthodoxies of a monolithic church replaced the effervescent "many Christianities" of the earliest centuries.
To this, historian Philip Jenkins says hogwash. And his book, The Many Faces of Christ: The Thousand-Year Story of the Survival and Influence of the Lost Gospels reveals that for better or worse, these other gospels stayed in circulation for centuries—and for better or worse, shaped the faith of early Christians. What is more remarkable, in light of the many choices available, is "the wisdom of the church and the wisdom of God" which kept coming back to "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, four awesome and inspiring narratives whose treasures are inexhaustible." So says Wheaton professor Amy Peeler in her review of Jenkins' latest book.
 
New Zealand Is Awesome Times 26
And definitely not to be confused with Australia, as a few New Zealand fans of The Galli Report kindly pointed out last week! I mistakenly said the moon rise video was shot in THAT OTHER COUNTRY. My bad. No excuses.
So this slide show is in part (only in part) an apology, but more I wanted to showcase some incredible photography of the handiwork of God and man in the land of the Kiwi.
 
Friday the 13th Trivia
The superstitions surrounding this infamous day (called paraskevidekatriaphobia!) are said to have some Christian connections. Doubtful, but nonetheless interesting.
 
Grace and peace,
 
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor, Christianity Today

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