7. The evidence for miraculous healing

September 23rd, 2019

The plot thickens!

So far in this series, I have presented 6 reasons to believe that a theistic explanation of the universe and humanity makes more sense than a naturalistic explanation. Each reason increases the probability that there is a God. But is that God a personal being, as most of the world’s monotheistic religions say, or just an impersonal, distant force?

This post is the first of several that examine human experiences that are claimed to show a personal and caring God at work in the world. So we ask, does divine healing occur and thus add extra evidence that God truly is?

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What would it take to convince you that a healing miracle had occurred?

July 6th, 2019

It’s not uncommon to come across stories of people being miraculously healed. They are some of the most popular pages on this site, and there’s no shortage of them on the internet.

I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing that some people want to feel re-assured God is really there, and some are perhaps looking for hope for their own healing. And then of course there are those who don’t believe healing can occur and want to debunk the stories.

So I wonder what evidence you would need to believe someone was miraculously healed?

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Ache, angst and aspiration

June 18th, 2019

Do you ever find yourself waking up at night for no reason, and taking some time to finally fall asleep again?

And if you do, what do you think about? Do you focus on emptying your mind so you can fall asleep again? Or maybe you go through your plans for the coming day?

Or does this time make you feel reflective and a little negative? Do you feel a little ‘life ache’, a vague sense of your own shortcomings, or an apprehension about life or the future?

Or perhaps you have similar feelings about life and self at other times you are alone? Or maybe after finishing a good novel, watching a thoughtful film, or listening to a piece of evocative music?

All this is certainly familiar territory to me, and to many people apparently.

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Experiencing God?

April 9th, 2018

Many people claim to have experienced God directly in some way. They claim to have seen a vision, or received divine healing, or they have had some deep spiritual experience, or God has turned their lives around in some way. They come from different religions, even from no religion and atheism. Sometimes the experience changes their lives completely, sometimes not so much.

The interesting question, of course, is whether God is really the origin of their experience, or not. If so, then life takes on a different meaning. But even if these experiences have natural causes, they are still of great interest to psychologists.

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“I don’t set much store by signs and wonders, but ….”

November 12th, 2017

Aussie novelist Tim Winton is without doubt my favourite writer. I especially love That Eye the Sky, a novel of a family that is put under pressure by a serious car accident, and finds relief in unexpected places. It has been made into a film and two stage plays.

And it turns out that so much of the storyline is taken from real events when Tim was just a boy, something that was maybe miraculous, and which made a deep impression on him and his whole family

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Strong evidence of God?

July 31st, 2017

What would be strong evidence for God?

Some look outwards to the universe or inwards to ourselves, and argue that God is the most plausible explanation for the beginning and the design of the universe, or for human consciousness, freewill, rationality and ethical sense. Others point to Jesus, the man who was God, his miracles, claims and resurrection.

But I would guess that most people would like to have a personal revelation – God appearing to them or healing them in some irrefutably miraculous way.

And I can’t help feeling that Jackie Pullinger offers food for thought for these people.

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Do healing miracles prove God exists?

June 11th, 2017

Which side are you on?

The idea of divine healing is a polarising one. Non-believers are generally fairly suspicious, feeling healing is against medical science. Many christians are highly supportive of the idea that God heals today, and quite possibly have a personal story of healing to tell. But other christians are made of sterner stuff, having, they believe, good doctrinal reasons to say that God doesn’t work that way today.

And no-one wants to be conned, especially not by a white-suited televangelist with a big house and maybe even a private jet.

I am midway between the polarised christian views, believing healing is possible but wanting to see good evidence before I will accept any particular claim. My investigations have so far revealed what I regard as some good cumulative evidence, summarised in the links below.

I have been reading about some new evidence lately, so it seemed a good time to review the state of play on healing.

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Making sense of God

April 7th, 2017

Tim Keller is well known these days. A Reformed pastor who is hip. An insightful commentator and a successful writer of books for christians.

Eight years ago he published The Reason for God, a thoughtful book of what we might term “soft apologetics” – that is, he didn’t try to present strong arguments for the existence of God and the truth of Jesus, but rather suggested ideas that would give readers answers to questions and reasons to believe, without being too “pushy”. I remember thinking at the time that it was good, but probably would only convince those who were already questioning their unbelief.

Now he’s produced a follow up which in a sense prepares the way for The Reason for God.

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The what and why of belief in Jesus

June 21st, 2016

It is good, every now and again, to reflect on what we believe and why, and to review if there is any reason to change our minds. I think it is good, too, for a blog author to remind their readers of what the blog is all about.

So here’s my summary – what I believe, why I believe it, and why I have this website. I hope you find it helpful.

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