The word miracle is used somewhat promiscuously to describe everything from healing a paralytic to finding a parking space at the mall on the day before Christmas. So we begin our ten things we should all know about miracles with a definition.
Max Turner, a professor of New Testament at London Bible College, uses the term in the semi-technical sense of an event that combines the following traits:
it is an extraordinary or startling observable event; it cannot reasonably be explained in terms of human abilities or other known forces in the world; it is perceived as a direct act of God; and it is usually understood to have symbolic or sign value (e.g., pointing to God as redeemer and judge).
Part of the problem is that many Christians envision God as remote from the world, removed from any direct involvement in their lives on a daily basis. Yet there are numerous texts that assert God’s immediate involvement in everything from the growth of a blade of grass (Psalms 104) to the sustaining of our very lives (Acts 17; Colossians 1:17). For this reason we must reject the definition of a miracle as a direct intervention of God into the world. The phrase “intervention into” implies that God is outside the world and only occasionally intrudes in its affairs.
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