Tag Archives: Miracles

Miracles. Why Not? James Beverley Encourages us to Believe

It’s James Beverley week on the Faith Today blog,  featuring some of our favourite columns from a writer who has informed and challenged Faith Today readers for years. We have a copy of Mormon Crisis: Anatomy of a Failing Religion to give away to two blog readers. Would you like a copy?

by James A. Beverley

Few people in history can match David Hume (1711–1776) for creating doubt about the possibility of miracles. Hume, raised in a strict Scottish Presbyterian home, lost his Christian faith courtesy of the scepticism that swept Western philosophy after the Reformation.

David Hume’s basic argument was that it’s foolish to believe in miracles since it’s always more reasonable to adopt skeptical explanations or non-supernatural theories.
David Hume’s basic argument was that it’s foolish to believe in miracles since it’s always more reasonable to adopt skeptical explanations or non-supernatural theories.

The conflicts of that era, especially those between Catholics and Protestants over doctrinal truth, led not only to loss of life (most famously in the Thirty Years War, 1618–1648) but loss of certainty about church authority, proper scriptural interpretation, the way of salvation, the nature of God, and the reality of miracles.

Hume touched a major nerve in the tiny 20-page chapter on miracles he wrote in his 1748 book Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding –articles and books written in response numbered in the hundreds. Why? Well, not because of his clarity of thought or coherence, as critics continue to point out.
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