17 July 2006

What makes it a miracle?

So as we were studying/translating the story in 1 Kings 17 about Elijah bringing the woman's son back to life we talked about some of the differences in the translations of this passage. Before you read this - know that I am not a fan of the labels "conservative" and "liberal" - This rant is a little explanation of why I think that having an agenda or allegiance to an agenda outside of serving God (to the best of your current knowledge and ability) can be very counter productive.

The Hebrew used literally means to say that the boy's "breath left him" which is a Hebrew (and English) euphemism for dying. Our professor pointed out that some "liberal" translations translated it as "breath left him" and some more conservative translations will translate this as "died".

Here is where it gets interesting - many "conservatives" will want to say that this was a "Miracle" that the boy was dead and Elijah raised him from the dead. While some "liberals" would say that Elijah JUST used some method of CPR to revive the boy. Both of these ideas seem to miss the point by a long shot.

The "liberal" seems to say that God can only do things that we can scientifically explain, and the "conservative" side seems to think that God can only act miraculously in ways that we cannot explain.

Both sides would seem to take God out of the MIRACLE of physical birth. Because we can explain it. The sperm and the egg meet in the Fallopian tube, and incubate in the womb... But the problem is that we still don't understand everything about how one cell becomes a brain cell, and another goes to your knee cap.

Who are we to say where God is and isn't? God made up the rules that science struggles to put into mathematic equations. If we make God confine to our current knowledge of the physical world then we are taking away his domain, and if we say that he can only work in the parts that we don't understand, then we are doing the same thing.

CPR is a miracle, it is a reproducible way to bring some one BACK FROM THE DEAD. Think that CPR would have worked 5000 years ago - it requires no technology, no electricity - only an intimate knowledge of the workings of the human creature. Just because we figured out how to do it, doesn't mean that it is any less miraculous.

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