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In Defense of Miracles: A Comprehensive Case for God's Action in History Paperback – March 27, 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The common arguments against the possibility of miracles are presented along with Chrsitian responses in the book In Defense of Miracles. Editors R. Dougles Geivett and Gary R. Habermas have compiled some of the best apologists in the Evangelical fold to respond to the challenge. . . Provides a good overview of the issues and Christian responses to attacks on the miracles of the Christian Faith. It makes a solid reference for Christians seeking to respond to challenges on the matter of miracles by unbelievers. (Christian Book Reviews (christianbookreviews.net), September 16, 2008)

"This useful volume is an impressive display of the best sort of intellectual work now emerging in the evangelical world." (First Things)

About the Author

R. Douglas Geivett is professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, in La Mirada, California. His previous books include Evil and the Evidence for God (Temple University Press) and (coedited with Brendan Sweetman) Contemporary Perspectives on Religious Epistemology (Oxford University Press).

Gary R. Habermas (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is Distinguished Research Professor and chair of the department of philosophy and theology at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He is the author, coauthor or editor of twenty-seven books including Resurrected? An Atheist & Deist Dialogue (with A. Flew), The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (with M. Licona), The Risen Jesus & Future Hope, The Resurrection: Heart of New Testament Doctrine and The Resurrection: Heart of the Christian Life.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (March 27, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830815287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830815289
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Aptly named "A Comprehensive Case," this book builds from the foundational issues and works its way up to the crowning miracle of Christendom -- the resurrection of Jesus. However, if you are looking for explorations of modern miracles or similar evidence, this is not the book you want.

It is to the editors credit that their first chapter is given to two who deny the possibility of miracles (and/or their detection). Taking David Hume's infamous chapter, "On Miracles," as the opening salvo, In Defense adequately sets the stage for the debate. Hume's arguments continue today in full force. They have by no means lost their influence. But lest you think these Christian apologists are setting up an outdated strawman, another section is given to contemporary atheist philosopher Anthony Flew to voice his comments on Hume as well as miracles.

With the opposition in place, four Christian writers begin making the philosophical case for the possibility that miracles exist and can be detected. A section on defining miracles is a welcome narrowing of the issue. Then Norman Geisler persuasively takes Hume and Flew head on and Francis Beckwith wrestles with the possibility of detecting miracles in history. The closing chapter in this section deals with "Recognizing a Miracle" and is also helpful in narrowing the issue.

The next set of chapters provides additional philosophical justification for believing in the possibility of miracles as well as their detection, including an aggressive assault on metaphysical naturalism by Ronald Nash and a brief argument for the existence of God. The main goal of this chapter is to establish the existence of a God who can and is inclined to act in human history. In other words, a God who does miracles.
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Format: Paperback
A number of the best Evangelical philosophers have worked together to produce a fine series of essays on the philosophical issues of miracles. Undoubtedly the strongest feature of this book is that the reader will walk away knowing the most important issues that are in play in a philosophical analysis of miracles. Despite the fact that each author writes an essay on each issue, I found that most of them only begin to scratch the surface. For example, one essay is a defense of the existence of God and another is a refutation of naturalism, both of which by the limits of lengths of the essays will be unconvincing to those who are not already convinced the author is correct. Many of the other essays (though, not all of them) have this exact same problem. Of course, this does not mean these chapters of worthless. Rather, they merely are the initial framing of arguments and ideas that deserve further exploration and study. After getting a basic grip of the issues, readers can pursue further details in more depth in academic journals or book-length works. Be that as it is, this book is commendable for containing so much information in so little space. I know of no other book that covers so much ground in specifying what the basic philosophical issues are on miracles. Some of the work is a little too quick, but even when the articles have weak arguments, I think they lay out the crucial issues for the topic. So, as a basic introduction to the philosophical problems of miracles, this is a great book. But as a convincing case that some miracles have occurred, I suspect some people may rightfully judge that some of the arguments are specious.
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Format: Paperback
This is the finest presentation about the reality and possibility of miracles I have ever read. By miracles I do not mean your favorite football team pulling out a victory by a last second pass, or a near miss accident, or a remarkably quick healing of an illness. A real miracle is a violation or suspension of the natural laws of science. Some liberal theologians believe that God would be wrong to do this. Most agnostics and atheists as well as modernists do not believe in miracles at all. The miracles done by Jesus, as documented in the New Testament are often explained away by people with small faith and anti-supernatural agendas. For the rest of the review please visit it at CriticalReviews.com, an AMAZON Associate...
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By A Customer on November 26, 1997
Format: Paperback
The co-editors of "In Defense of Miracles" have brought together a team of relevant scholars to argue for the actuality of miracles and the historicity of God's work in the world as reported in the Bible. Not only do the authors set forth their case, but have also allowed for two well known critics of miracles, David Hume, and Anthony Flew, to state their case. This book will engage the reader in a critical review of the facts and assist one in having greater epistemic justification for their beliefs concerning miracles and their relevance in this world.
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Format: Paperback
This is a well-composed defense of miracles which makes arguments that need to be addressed. However, it suffers from three major faults: with the exception of the long-dead Hume, who could not benefit from the advances in historical method of the past two centuries, none of the contributors are historians. Considering how crucial historical method is to the issue, the complete absence of contributions by experienced historians leaves much to be criticized. As a result, the Christians fail to adequately account for the historical context within which ancient Christian literature was written. Related to this is a lack of serious contact with scientific literature relating to hallucination and other relevant aspects of human psychology. Last but not least, at no point are actual miracle-accounts from the modern and middle ages ever addressed in any detail. Since this is what I expected the book to cover, I was disappointed to find it lacking. Nevertheless, the book contains a virtual treasure of bibliographical notes. Although this device is used by the authors to cite each other's works ad nausium, even this makes the book an essential reference, even for secularists. This is the very best that contemporary Christian apologetics can offer, and it martials the works and arguments of all the leading Christian scholars today. I will soon compose a more comprehensive critical review online, a link to which will be found on the Secular Web.
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