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Miracles : 2 Volumes: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts Kindle Edition
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From the Inside Flap
"Seldom does a book take one's breath away, but Keener's magisterial Miracles is such a book. It is an extremely sophisticated, completely thorough treatment of its subject matter and, in my opinion, it is now the best text available on the topic. The uniqueness of Keener's treatment lies in his location of the biblical miracles in the trajectory of ongoing, documented miracles in the name of Jesus and His kingdom throughout church history, up to and including the present. From now on, no one who deals with the credibility of biblical miracles can do so responsibly without interacting with this book."
--J. P. Moreland, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
"An exhaustive treatment of the subject, encompassing a range of sources from antiquity to contemporary times, from the Bible to modern Africa. It brilliantly serves not only biblical scholars but also--equally important--mission thinkers and practitioners."
--Wonsuk Ma, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies
"From the very beginning of the modern approach to the Gospels, the question of miracles brought controversy. Over the last few centuries, most historical-critical scholars have dismissed them out of hand. However, in recent years, the tide has turned for a growing number of Gospel scholars. It is within this context that Craig Keener's new two-volume work can be fully appreciated. Those familiar with Keener's past volumes will not be surprised by the remarkable level of scholarship in this work. The depth and breadth of research is stunning. The interdisciplinary synthesis is as careful as it is brilliant. The arguments are evenhanded and nuanced. In short, this work takes scholarship on miracles to a new level of sophistication and depth. A truly amazing set of books."
--Paul Rhodes Eddy, Bethel University
"This book is the kind of performance that reviewers of opera like to call 'bravura' or 'virtuoso' and that philosophers call a tour de force. After putting it down, I'm standing up, clapping, and shouting, 'Bravo! Bravo!'"
--Leonard Sweet, Drew University; George Fox University
"Craig Keener has produced an impressive work that is meticulously researched, ambitious in historic and geographic scope, and relevant to current cultural concerns. Keener's bold exploration of the plausibility of past and present miracle claims should provoke interest--and debate--among a wide range of readers."
--Candy Gunther Brown, Indiana University --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B007KOI2PY
- Publisher : Baker Academic; Pck edition (November 1, 2011)
- Publication date : November 1, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 4075 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 2121 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #567,590 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Keener devotes several chapters to David Hume's classic rejection of miracles. Hume lived 1711-1776. Hume declared that a miracle is a violation of the law of nature. Keener demonstrates logically that Hume's argument categorically dismissed anyone who contradicted his premise. Thus, his argument was not valid. This section gets a little philosophical and tedious.
But then Keener, who was once an atheist himself, asks whether there is any firsthand evidence to support the possibility of miracles. Of course the logic is that if one such account is truly miraculous then the liberal, modernist, Enlightenment presupposition against miracles has been refuted. Keen collected 400 pages of such evidence across the span of history and from all over the world.
Keener closed the first volume with 13 pages of accounts of the blind healed, 13 pages of the lame walking, and 43 pages of accounts of the dead raised to life. Page after page after page of such accounts can get a little monotonous until you start realizing what this means in terms of changed lives, apologetics, church growth, prayer, and a worldview of faith and hope. He has academically buried the classic liberal position and the classic Calvinist cessationist position by simply cataloging the evidence. Neither Craig, nor his African wife identify themselves as Pentecostal, in the classic sense of having spoken in tongues. Without embracing the extremes and excesses of historic Pentecostalism, it must be given credit for breaking the mindset of Western rationalism and making a supernatural worldview legitimate.
Keener opens volume two by anticipating all of the possible alternate explanations which could be given to the documented “miracles.” After allowing for the possibility of psychosomatic healing, the placebo effect, as well as outright fraud, none of these explanations are sufficient to cover hundreds of millions of people who have claimed to have witnessed a miracle. It would be reductionistic to claim that every case of the miraculous can be sufficiently explained in naturalistic terms. While some physicians would rather claim that they misdiagnosed the case rather than to admit a miraculous healing had occurred, if that is the case, there have been enough cases of “misdiagnosis” to warrant an investigation of such prevalent misdiagnosis within the medical community!
Finally, Keener shares twenty-two accounts of miracles that he has witnessed or which was reported to him by a trusted friend. Although I have not met Dr. Keener, I am happy to share two of those respected friends with him. Keener set up a grid:
• a description of the healing claim
• how do I know the witness?
• psychosomatic element possible?
• how frequent are such events normally?
• supernatural explanation seems more plausible than not?
His conclusion in every instance was that if miracles were not categorically ruled out as a legitimate possibility, that the most logical explanation was that it was miraculous.
In the interest of full disclosure, I confess that I believed in the possibility of miracles prior to reading this book. I do not identify myself as Pentecostal, having never spoken in tongues. I do not identify myself as Calvinist, while affirming the authority and inerrancy of Scripture (along with Keener).
In 1961 I contracted spinal meningitis and was in a coma for six days. I was placed in the isolation ward of Providence Hospital in Kansas City. My parents were told that I would be an invalid for the rest of my life and that they would need to be trained on how to care for me.
My grandfather got up in the middle of the night and drove to my pastor’s home. Dr. Dale Yocum, my pastor, had a masters degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD from the University of Kansas. He and my grandfather received divine assurance that God would heal me. The next day I sat up in bed and word spread through the hospital that a miracle had occurred. I went home five days later. That account was published in two denominational magazines and in Conformed to Christ which my pastor published in 1962. That was 54 years ago and I have lived a normal life. Needless to say, I have never been swayed by the arguments of David Hume nor of cessationist Calvinists. But I am happy that Keener has laid both theories to rest with this massive research project.
He believes that God mostly gives healing miracles to people
in areas where there is no medical help. I cannot argue with him.
Top reviews from other countries
Keener deals comprehensively with the kind of philosophical constructs which tell us (in the West) that 'miracles can't happen', and shows why they are based on flawed presuppositions. This is helpful for Christians who come up repeatedly against the various byproducts of naturalism within science and culture.
A substantial part of this work is also given over to show how the 'miracles don't happen' line of argument used by modern atheists is based upon nothing more than whim. Since this does appear now to be a central dogma of the new atheists, Keener deals at great length with the documented examples of miracles across all continents. It was for me quite a refreshing surprise to see just how well documented such phenomena have been within the 20th and 21st century, and the very nature of the miracles themselves put them well beyond the usual 'psychosomatic' dismissal that one hears so regularly from sceptics.
Overall, an academically rigorous treatment of the subject, extremely well documented. A very welcome resource for anyone seeking to understand the subject, and particularly for those challenged by the strident claims of the modern sceptics.
And, extremely readable too!
I have been reading this book to my dad and we both really enjoy it.
Now I have experienced people who have died that were not healed so I do not believe that every time we pray that miracles happen all, but i do believe that they can happen especially (my own experience) for the right reasons (bring someone to God, increase faith, etc).