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Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern Day Experiences of God's Power Paperback – July 1, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Tim has taken on one of the most important and fascinating topics in the world and written with learning, honesty, faith, and grace.”
—John Ortberg, author and pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Back Cover

You Believe God Can Still Do Miracles, But How Do You Know Which Stories Are True?

A blind man suddenly sees. A lame man gets up and walks. A little boy is raised from the dead. You believe the biblical accounts that these miracles happened, but do you believe eye-witness reports that miracles still happen today? Between shady faith-healers, weeping madonnas, and gimmicks like holy land water, it's difficult--even foolish--to believe every miracle account we hear. So how do we discount the fakes without missing out on the real miracles in the process?

Award-winning journalist Tim Stafford shares captivating stories of modern-day miracles, wrestling over what is credible and what isn't. But more than that, he offers wisdom and insight to help you figure out the role miracles should play in your faith. Should you expect miracles? Ignore them? Pray for them? How active is God in the world today? And could he be more active in your own life?

Learn how to explore these questions with wisdom and honesty, growing your faith and hope along the way.

"Tim Stafford puts the right person at the center of miracle stories: not the charismatic leader through whom miracles come, nor the person who is healed, but God himself."
--David Neff, editor in chief, Christianity Today

"Veteran journalist Tim Stafford does best what good journalists do best: reports on the world of miracles with neither skepticism nor naivete but with clarity and reverent honesty. A remarkable achievement."
--Eugene H. Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.

"Do you want to believe in miracles but have been put off either by Christians who insist that every problem should be solved by a miracle, or by the skepticism of God's miraculous intervention in human experience? Then this is your book! As a journalist, Stafford squarely faces and differentiates between actual occurrences of miracles and disappointing non-occurrences; as a Christian, he makes a conscious effort to be faithful to God's revelation in Scripture. The result is a book that will instruct you on how to think biblically about issues relating to miracles. The summary statements in the last two chapters alone are worth the price of the book."
--Ajith Fernando, Teaching Director, Youth for Christ, Sri Lanka

"Tim Stafford puts the right person at the center of miracle stories: not the charismatic leader through whom miracles come, nor the person who is healed, but God himself. This book will help you see genuine miracles as part of God's way of telling his own story, and will teach you to listen for what God is saying through them."
--David Neff, Editor in Chief, Christianity Today

"Tim Stafford dives headfirst into this investigation of those special events we call miracles--signs and wonders that demonstrate God's supernatural power. Probing, clarifying, and speaking to skeptics and believers alike, Stafford is thoroughly convincing as he digs deep to comment on biblical and contemporary examples."
--Lucy Shaw, author, Breath for the Bones, What the Light Was Like

"Tim has taken one of the most important and fascinating topics in the world and written about it with honesty, faith, and grace. His look at miracles through history and across cultures is full of wisdom and longing. This book--if not actually miraculous itself--is at least providential."
--John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and author of Who Is This Man?

"When I started reading this fine book, I was what Tim Stafford labels a "Semi-Believing Doubter" on the subject of present-day miracles. I no longer wear that label. Miracles is a gripping--and convincing--account of how God continues to astonish us with signs of a power that will someday come into its fullness!"
--Richard J. Mouw, PhD, President and Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary

"There are journalists of miracles and there are guides to miracles. Tim Stafford is a sure guide to skeptics and believers alike, showing how contemporary Christians not only live in the miraculous stories of the Bible but also wrestle with what seems to be God's silence in these same pages."
--Amos Yong, J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology, Regent University School of Divinity

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076420937X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764209376
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,813,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion in the form of a review. I was not paid for this review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I was really excited when I saw that I would be getting this book to review because I thought it would be interesting to look through a journalists eye at miracles in the modern world. I've been reading through A Case for Christ and assumed that this book would be pretty similar. I have to admit that I was disappointed by this book, however. From the title, I was expecting a lot of examples of miracles in the modern day but instead there were only a handful spattered throughout the book. And while that's fine and one in particular was delved more into, the book never really went anywhere.

The author examined miracles in the Bible which doesn't really add much to modern day experiences. Coming from a Christian perspective, I've read about these and heard various people talk about them. There are plenty of books out there on Biblical miracles but I was expecting to be immersed in current miracles and recent stories. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of stories in there but none of them were really all that inspiring. In fact, that was pretty much the author's point: miracles still happen but we don't view them as miracles so much because we aren't personally affected by them. Fair enough, I suppose.

I was curious when I saw the fact that there was a chapter about whether or not scientists could believe in miracles but it too was disappointing. The chapter just kind of rambled around without really coming to any definite confusions, much like the rest of the books. Some of the points drawn struck me as logically inaccurate like everything is natural and supernatural at the same time.
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Format: Paperback
Recently, this topic has popped up with some personal relevance in my life. I now regularly recommend this book in conjunction with two others as my "triumvirate" of contemporary books on the Holy Spirit. Stafford, a journalist, offers a fabulous personal and historical look at the work of the Holy Spirit that fits perfectly with Francis Chan's Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit, a shepherd's pastoral look at the significance of the Holy Spirit's work in and for God's people and Jordan Seng's Miracle Work: A Down-to-Earth Guide for Supernatural People, a prophet's practical guide to expanding the work of the Holy Spirit in an individual's life.

As a sidenote, it's always interesting to see how people can interpret the same thing so radically differently. I did not perceive Stafford to be "trying more to convince people that miracles now a days [sic] don't exist", as one reviewer posted. In fact, considering that the book is built around the narrative of a personal friend who experienced a radical, inexplicable, undeniable miracle, I have a hard time understanding how that reviewer came to such a conclusion. I do think Stafford did an excellent job of honestly admitting an initial (healthy, in my opinion) skepticism and describing his journey of wrestling with the universal questions of what is authentic and how do we determine events as such. What makes this book even more invaluable is that it traces the historical path of miracles throughout history, which adds an important perspective that Chan's and Seng's books did not have the time to cover (and rightly so). I highly recommend all three!
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Format: Paperback
Miracles are one of the most vague and misunderstood phenomena among many today. On the one hand, there are those who call anything pretty much a miracle. Things like sunrise/sunset, natural events, unexpected results, or any ordinary thing that just happens. If everything is a miracle, then nothing is miracle. On the other hand, there are those who are utterly sceptical about everything, refusing to entertain any possibility of an unnatural circumstance. Like unexplained healing, incredible physical feats, or anything that defies common or normal understanding. If nothing is a miracle, then where is hope? Compounding the confusion is the presence of confused labeling. From vague definitions to misunderstood events and misreported interpretations, the need to explain the thinking surrounding miracles increases. Enters Tim Stafford with a reporter's view of modern day "miracles." This senior writer of the popular evangelical publication, Christianity Today gives us a first hand look at miracles from a layperson's perspective.

There has been a surge of books that talk about miraculous happenings, testimonies of how people has gone to heaven and back, and so on. This only adds to greater confusion and misunderstanding when individuals ask: "Why them and not me?"

Stafford has done us a favour by using this book as a focusing lens to help us adjust our blurred understanding of what miracles are. He uses his wide exposure as a journalist to talk to leaders, scholars, theologians, Church people, and to interview individuals, especially those who have gone through a miraculous experience.
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