I have been given the opportunity to do some reviews on some books from a few different publishers. Some of them do not quite fit into the focus I have for Living Infuzion, but obviously have some good information. Here are some of my perspectives on some pretty good books! Enjoy!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Miracles - A Book by Tim Stafford

“Miracles” By Tim Stafford is an in depth, journalistic analysis of the idea of miracles.  Tim Stafford is a journalist, so he takes things with the natural skepticism that comes with that occupation.  He leads with a story of a young man that he knows, that has had a healing take place that appears to have no explanation except that it is a miracle from God.  The author goes through a few of these anecdotes from different places.  He notes some who have gone to be prayed for, but have not been healed.  He notes some that have been disappointed by the way they were prayed for in a healing service, only to be discouraged when they are declared healed for the crowd, but are not healed.  He notes some of the claims from some ministries of healings, but that there is no way to follow up with some of the stories.

Stafford also digs into the Bible and goes through some analysis of miracles from the Old Testament, and some from the life of Jesus, and then some from the book of Acts.  He notes how there is a point in the book of Acts where there are no more miracles described, but he also notes that some who would say the gifts are not for today, that the Bible says that when we see face to face the risen Lord for ourselves, that THEN the gifts will pass away.

One of the points noted in the book is that there are miracles in the Bible, and there are miracles claimed to have happened today.  What about all of the stuff that went on between the Bible and today?  Were there still Christians living all through history?  What can we learn from them?  In this section he goes on to try to help with being a bit of a skeptic when it comes to history.  There are several miracles mentioned all throughout church history, but can the testimony be supported by other sources?  Or is this just something that is the stuff of legends?

As someone that grew up in the Pentecostal tradition, it was interesting to see this issue from the perspective of someone familiar with the charismatic/Pentecostal church, but that is more of a person looking into denomination, and that has occasionally participated in the services.  I found his observations interesting.  He takes it from the Pentecostal movement at its roots at Azusa Street, to the Pentecostal movement across America, to the Pentecostal movement as it is across the world.  Very interesting section.

He closes out the book examining some questions about science and miracles how the two are compatible.

When evaluating miracles, he notes, that it is not just the Christian faith that claims to have miracles either, so those should not be the end all and be all of where God is.  The real focus must remain on Jesus Christ, and his work at the cross.

This was a very thoughtful read.  I recommend it.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

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