Miracles – Chapter Summaries - Chapters 8 & 9
Chapters 8 & 9 Nature’s laws are understood in different ways by different people. Some people believe that the laws of Nature are necessary truths, and then they conclude that this makes miracles impossible - not so. Even if natural laws are necessary truths, the conclusion that miracles are impossible does not follow that reasoning. The laws of physics dictate what will happen when the cue-ball collides with velocity against the 8-ball, but they do not say whether or not someone will reach in and interfere. Miracles do not need to break these laws—God can interfere in accordance or compliment with the laws of Nature. For instance, the Immaculate Conception; God could make a spermatozoon in a virgin’s body, but then the laws of nature would take over. A miraculous conception leads to a normal pregnancy and delivery. Miracles do not break laws: they feed new information into history and create fresh starts. They are not interlocked with the natural past, but they are interlocked into the natural future. As such, miracles do not violate natural laws, but they do produce something in Nature that she could never produce herself if she were left free from the interference of someone outside.
An atheist would be repulsed by the idea that Nature was made by something outside of herself. It would seem to reduce the world to a prop or stage scenery. Yet when we realize that Nature is a creature, we are freed from trying to see her as the absolute end all and be all. Freed from those constraints we can begin to truly take all of nature with her good points and with her bad points. Most Christians believe (or at least should believe) that Nature is flawed, yet she still retains her character, instincts and flavor. But only Christians fully committed to including the supernaturalist idea are really able to see Nature for what she truly is, because they have the proper perspective and distance from her. They know that Nature is not the ultimate reality (God is), and therefore can allow Nature to stand in both her beauty and ugliness. Nature herself will be redeemed in the end according to the design and plan of God, but she will still be recognizably just as God intended - herself.