R. C. Sproul on Miracles

Some of the theological topics Jeannie and I have enjoyed pondering together have to do with miracles and Cessationism vs. Continuationism. Neither of us have spent great lengths of time studying these topics, so our opinions are probably best kept to ourselves. But I recently came across this post by R. C. Sproul which, I think, at the very least clearly frames the issues at stake from the cessationist point of view.

First, he differentiates between miracles and the supernatural in general.

All miracles are supernatural, but not all supernatural acts are miracles.

With this view, God does still act supernaturally today, but not in miracles, which he defines as “an extraordinary work in the external perceivable world against the laws of nature, by the immediate power of God.”

Second, he says this distinction is important because miracles are specifically for the purpose of authenticating revelation.

If a non-agent of revelation can perform a miracle, then a miracle cannot authenticate or certify a bona fide agent of revelation. Which would mean that the New Testament’s claim to be carrying the authority of God Himself, because God has certified Christ and the Apostles by miracles, would be a false claim and a false argument.

So basically Sproul’s argument is this: The miracles performed by Christ and the Apostles validate the authority of the Bible. Therefore, if anyone and his uncle can still perform miracles today, this method of establishing authority doesn’t actually prove anything.

This assumes, of course, that agents of revelation are no longer with us. So this line of reasoning definitely ties the two together.

It’s a lot for a bear of Very Little Brain to process. What do y’all think?

What I’ve Learned About Wisconsin

Wisconsin was always one of those states I knew about, but never really thought about. It was “somewhere up there near the big lakes.” But then I met Jeannie, and found that Wisconsin was actually more or less interesting. Now I’ve spent so much time in “The Badger State” – and since I’m working here for several weeks – I thought I’d write about some of the things I’ve learned.

Associations

You know that “association game”? The one where someone says a word and you’re supposed to say the first thing that comes to mind? Well, before I knew Wisconsin my associations would have looked something like this:

Cheese, Packers, Beer

Now that I have family here, I obviously associate Wisconsin mostly with them. But my generic list has changed in other ways, too. Now it would look something like this:

Hockey, Hunting, Cold, More Hockey, More Hunting, Cheese, More Hockey, Packers, Beer

The Cold

  • At 15 °F, a “chewy” granola bar… isn’t.
  • At -20 °F, if you toss hot water in the air it will asplode…. supposedly.
  • My Southern California friends might be amused to learn that automatic car washes here are enclosed and heated. Ever think about that?
  • You haven’t really experienced iced coffee until you’ve left your cup o’ joe in the car overnight.

It’s Friendly!

Southern hospitality gets all the attention. But from my experience it can’t even compete with the northern Midwest. The people here are the kind you’d love to have as a neighbor.

The Accent

That stereotypical half-Canadian, half-Midwestern, half Scandinavian accent? Yeah, that’s what people here really sound like. It’s the hardest American accent for me to imitate, but it’s surprisingly easy to slip into it after spending a little time here. It’s all about the “oo” sound. But there’s no “eh?” here. That’s further north and west. Don’t you know. (Just kidding. That’s further north and west too.)

So there you have it. Some of the things I’ve learned about Wisconsin.