Re: "Perfect"?

From: Rod Decker (
Date: Tue Nov 07 1995 - 07:30:19 EST

Eric commented that:

>...God has no purpose
>for miracles. Miracles in the Bible were never in one instance used strictly
>for someone's personal benefit...
>miracles were God's
>witness that the one teaching was truly from God...
>authority to do so. Jesus rebuked them and healed the man. Why? Not because
>he felt sorry for the man. But to show He had the authority from God to do
>what He did and say what He said. That's the only use that God's ever had of

Let's be a bit cautious here; I'm afraid we've a reductionist argument.
Must there be only ONE purpose for miracles? I doubt Dave Moore would
disagree that miracles did, indeed, authenticate God's messenger. Is there
some great problem with their also (intentionally) expressing compassion?
It seems that Mark 4:41 would qualify as a statement of compassionate

>I agree that if my child were sick, that a miracle would be pretty
>"useful" but I wouldn't expect God to perform a miracle. By the way, there is
>a difference between God's miraculous healing and God's providencial hand in
>matters (which I do believe), but that is perhaps a different subject.

If you don't expect it, then might it be considered grace if God were to
supernaturally intervean in such a situation? :)

Part of the question, esp. as you phrase it, is definitional. If we define
miracle as a supernatural intervention of God in history for revelational
purposes (and I think such a def. or one similar might be defensible), then
we might not describe instances of healing as miraculous--at least if
"revelational" is viewed in terms of special revelation. On the other hand,
do we lock God in a box and argue that he CANNOT intervean in instances of
physical malady? Or even, DOES NOT intervean?

I would certainly agree that God ought not to be viewed as a "cosmic
vending machine" from whom we can _demand_ miracles, etc. But do we pray
and expect anything by way of response other than a psychological boost? If
we do, then is God interveaning in a supernatural way? Does God accomplish
healing, whether directly or by indirect means, in response to prayer on
some occasions? Yes, God does work providentially, perhaps even most of the
time. But I'm not convinced that the universe is so neat and tidy as some
think (and I say that from a "cessationist" position!).

But perhaps we've wandered quite a ways from the meaning of "perfect"... :)
So I'll not pursue the matter further.


Rodney J. Decker Calvary Theological Seminary
Asst. Prof./NT 15800 Calvary Rd. Kansas City, Missouri 64147

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