archiebw's version from 2016-06-14 21:45


Question Answer
What is a frequent Biblical example of a miracle?Jesus healing people.
What is a modern example of a miracle?Statues of Nandi in Hindu temples drinking milk.
Where in the Bible did the saga of the Red Sea occur?Exodus 13.
What three qualities of God are revealed when he performs miracles?Omnipotence, omnibenevolence and immanence.
Who believes a miracle to be 'an event caused by God' and who believes it to be 'a violation of the laws of nature' respectively?St. Thomas Aquinas, and David Hume.
From what Latin word does 'miracle' come, and what does it mean?'Miraculum' and 'an object of wonder'.
By whom was Aquinas influenced in his definition of a miracle?Aristotle.
What further point would many Christians today add to Aquinas's definition?A miracle reveals something about God to people.
What does God do to the Amorites, in which part of the Bible, and what is the most remarkable thing he does after this?Throw hailstones down on them, Joshua 10, and make the sun stand still.
Why might it be inaccurate to see the miracles of the Bible as violating natural laws?The stories, particularly those from the Jewish Scriptures, come from a culture lacking any idea about the laws of nature.
What are two cases of miracles relating to Jesus that do not fall under his acts of healing?His birth and death and resurrection.
What is a fundamental difference between the miracles of God in the Old and New Testaments?In the Old Testament, God performs miracles in support of Israel whereas in the New Testament he acts through Jesus to ensure all people are saved.
What assumption underlies the discussion of God being biased?His actions fit with humans ideas of rationality.
Who explores the problem of God being arbitrary and in which work?Maurice Wiles, and 'God's Actions in the World'
What, in brief, are the three responses to the problem of evil?If God intervened continually we would not be able to learn, not enough positive events are attributed to God, and the miracles in the Bible are myths but still convey important ideas.


Question Answer
What is a case study of the view that 'not enough positive events are attributed to God'?The tsunami which struck South East Asia in 2004, and the fact people survived by drifting on pieces of rubbish.
Which German theologian suggested all miracles are myths?Rudolf Bultmann.
How could one draw a parallel between the Biblical and current scientific way of understanding the world?One could say they are merely both systems which shape people's thoughts about the world.
Who most famously argues against the reality of miracles, and in which work?David Hume, and 'An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding'
What is Hume's conclusion to his argument of 'lack of probability' for miracles?It is more likely that the report of a miracle happening is incorrect than the laws of nature have been violated.
Why does Hume suggest reports of miracles inevitably occur?Gossiping is part of human nature.
To whom does Hume say miracles are only purported to happen, and what is a trend he notices throughout history?Ignorant and barbarous people, and as a nation becomes better educated accounts of miracles start to lessen.
What are the three aspects of Hume's practical argument against miracles?There is a lack of convincing testimony from educated people, miracles only seem to happen among ignorant and barbarous people, and there are miracles which contradict in the religion they purport to validate.


Question Answer
Is Hume's argument inductive or deductive?Inductive
What was nature of reports of miracles at the time Hume was writing?They only stemmed from word of mouth.
What is an example of a miracle which Hume would do well to argue against, and who was a witness who might fit within Hume's idea of 'educated people'?'Our Lady of Zeitoun', and President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
What does Hume's argument against miracles not cover, which manifests as a weakness?Whether a person who believes they have experienced a miracle should doubt the evidence of their experience.
What two points about natural laws does Swinburne emphasise distinct from Hume, and what laws in particular does he underline?They are generalisations and also corrigible, and quantum laws.
How does Swinburne criticise Hume's practical argument against miracles?He questions how you define when people are educated, what counts as 'ignorant and barbarous', and says just because miracles are claimed by different religions does not mean they cancel each other out.
What does Swinburne say are four types of evidence that determine a miracle has occurred?Memories, testimony, physical traces and understanding of modern science.
What is Swinburne's 'main argument' for interpreting events of the past? Accept as many sources of evidence as possible.
What are Swinburne's 'subsidiary arguments' for interpreting events in the past?The sources of evidence should be consistent, the value placed upon a source should rely on 'empirical reliability', and one is to avoid rejecting possibly relevant sources without good reason.


Question Answer
Who is a person cured at Lourdes, and from what did she suffer?Jeanne Fretel, and tuberculosis.
What is the contingency definition of miracles?That miracles are signs from God.
What two things about the Bible back up the contingency definition of miracles?The word 'miracle' or any translation of it is never used, and what would today be considered miracles are carried out by many Biblical characters.
Who believes in the contigency definition of miracles?Paul Tillich.
What does the story R.F. Holland uses to explain his idea of a miracle involve?A child on train tracks and a fainting train driver.
What are Paul Tillich's three characteristics of miracles?They are astonishing but do not have to violate the laws of nature, they reveal something about the 'mystery of being' i.e. God, and this revelation causes an overwhelming of ecstasy.
What are two arguments against R.F. Holland and Paul Tillich?There is no real way to prove a person alleging to have experienced a miracle really did rather than it being a product of their mind, and God in the Bible does violate the laws of nature, rendering the action in addition to the sign important.
Who believes creation was the only miracle that ever took place, and God's sole activity at the moment is to sustain the Earth?Maurice Wiles.
What is a word meaning 'biased', and who uses it?'Partisan' and Maurice Wiles.
Who sees the idea of miracles as undermining the free will defense of the problem of evil?Maurice Wiles.
Who says God acts with rather than against human freedom?Keith Ward.
Who rejects that miracles are partisan, as what does he see them, and how could one criticise this view?Keith Ward, contributing to our love and knowledge of God, and he is assuming knowledge of God's purposes.
Who says Wiles's view of miracles fails to account for the possibility of answers to prayer?John Polkinghorne.
Who refers to Wiles's belief in limitation of what can be accepted as a miracle as 'minimalist'?John Polkinghorne.
Which physicist and priest contributes to the discussion?John Polkinghorne.
What are the six reasons miracles might be significant for religious believers?They support God's existence, they show God's providence (protective care), they show Jesus is from God, they are signs of God's continuous activity in the world, they show prayers are answered and Christianity is based on the miracle of resurrection.
What are the two types of providence, and what do they mean?'General providence', the goodness of creation, and 'special providence', God acting in the world on a particular occasion.
With which views would David Hume be familiar, and what replaced these?Isaac Newton's views on the laws of physics, and Einstein's law of general relativity.
Who argues that miracles are often perpetuated by people who seek publicity or are deluded?Peter Atkins.
What are the points Richard Dawkins puts against miracles?One would expect people to have great coincidences and attach special significance to them, and examples from places such as Lourdes can be explained by the placebo effect.
What are two arguments against the view that God only acts through people, and who gives these?Life that can think about what it does has only existed for a few million years, and working through people is working through nature because humans are part of nature, and John Polkinghorne.
What analogy is made for God suspending his own laws of nature, who makes it, and in what book?A parent making an exception to a rule he has taught as a law, Richard Swinburne, and 'Is There a God?'


Question Answer
What modern theory challenges the idea of natural laws?Quantum physics.
Who has a teleological approach to miracles?Paul Tillich.
What is an alleged miracle which is problematic to defend for Christians?Jimmy Savile's mother claiming that the two-year-old Savile was miraculously healed from a fatal illness due to an intercession by the nun Margaret Sinclair.