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Dense, complex and worth the read.I have been trying to finish this book for a long time Finally I brought it with me on a train and read it to the end The arguments and flow of logic are good but you really have to concentrate as you read to follow Lewis s thought process at points.I am curious what individuals who aren t Christian would think of this book Anybody want to tell me I am trying to read through Lewis s Canon which is extremely fluid in places, not quite as canonized as Shakespeare This book is pure Lewis He takes a subject and logically works his way through it We do not always understand what he is saying but he says it so well we do not care.I always feel sad while reading Lewis that he is dead and not sitting across from me at the Bird and the Baby. READ EPUB ⚐ Miracles: A Preliminary Study ☢ Best Ebook, Miracles A Preliminary Study By C.S Lewis This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book Miracles A Preliminary Study, Essay By C.S Lewis Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please Read And Make A Refission For You This is a clear 5 star book I was flat out stunned by how wrong my prior expectations were for this book I imagined this to be a less formal discussion on what miracles meant to Christians and maybe why God uses them, etc.This is a philosophy book It is the most intellectually challenging CS Lewis book I ve read and it is totally worth it This book uses logic and clear language to present a case for Divinity in general and the existence of the Supernatural It then describes how miracles are central to the Christian life, anchoring the core of Christianity on the Resurrection.This book addresses arguments I heretofore believed were very modern, proving that there truly isn t much new under the sun He digs deep to address exactly what Naturalism is, and why it is so pervasive in our culture, and how reason must be engaged by our minds in a conscious way to overcome it If you have ever felt like you needed to have a lucid, intellectual grasp of the philosophy involved in discussing the existence of God, this is the perfect book for you. Miracle has become a dirty word in modern society People generally view miracles as being, by their very definition, things that cannot possibly occur therefore, anyone who argues for their existence is demonstrably an idiot In this book, though, Lewis argues that miracles are only impossible so long as people consider Nature to encompass the entirety of all existence He then capably demonstrates that Nature actually doesn t, thereby opening up an extensive range of fascinating possibility Lewis argues that miracles likely operate on a different set of natural laws than what we are able to experience with our five senses He also shows that not all miracles are equally absurd some such as the ones performed in the New Testament fit snuggly inside a greater narrative and provide a basis for certain historical events that otherwise might remain inexplicable. Miracles is dense so than any Lewis book we ve read this term The entire book is a somewhat stealth exercise in Lewis presuppositional apologetic By that I mean not that Lewis argues with the non Christian from some imaginary set of shared presuppositions, but that he deftly dismantles the non Christian s presuppositions, leaving him standing there, naked, ashamed, and in desperate need of the Gospel And he does it all before the non Christian knows what s happened.It s kind of like one giant narratio, in that way In each chapter, Lewis, with unimpeachable logic, writes in such a way as to get non Christians to nod emphatically along with him until, all of a sudden, they are blindsided with a consequent truth A truth that they d really rather not accept You ll find no straw manning here Lewis is a defector from the non Christian camp and knows all their movements.All you will find are clearly presented truths that, I m sure, have left many readers confronted, bewildered, with the inescapable glory of God s greatest miracle the incarnation Here s hoping many a soul found it convincing enough to do something about it. Excellent Went through it again in March of 2016 Richer each time. I thoroughly enjoyed this I admit I was skeptical of the book at first, simply because I am not that interested in the philosophical debate on whether miracles happen or not, and because Lewis can be unpractically heady sometimes But the book was much than this.The best way I know how to describe the book is to say that it is very similar to the apologetic works of Francis Schaeffer yet philosophical and I would say less clear than Schaeffer His insights, critiques, and reasonings about presuppositions, naturalism, Nature, pantheism, the human spirit rationality, and all make it sound like you re reading a Francis Schaeffer book although, since Lewis wrote this first, I now realize how much Schaeffer might have relied upon Lewis But I love Francis Schaeffer s apologetic books I think he s spot on And so, I loved this book It wasn t easy, but I ate it up.So what is the book about Well honestly, not mainly miracles Sure, his thesis is that miracles happen especially the large ones in Christianity Incarnation, Resurrection particularly But in order to prove this, he spends the vast majority of his time not on miracles themselves, but instead on Nature I capitalize only because Lewis did , Naturalism, Pantheism, Man, and God The proof of miracles only comes when one logically and truly thinks about these things It is of a corollary than the center.Time does not permit me to detail so many of the arguments made But if I had to insufficiently summarize his main arguments, it would be as follows He begins by addressing presuppositions He really wants people to not just deny miracles because of a blind Naturalistic presupposition, or other presuppositions If you ve read Schaeffer, do you see how this is Schaeffer like From this, he shows that there cannot only be Nature This means Naturalism, which is just another form of Pantheism, or Everythingism, cannot be true He proves this by mainly talking about us as humans, Reason, and Morality He has a brilliant and I mean brilliant extended argument about how Morality proves this on pages 55 60 And he argues similarly from human Reason, showing that it is either from Another, or it cannot be trusted since it is just randomly risen from the Everything.From here, he argues that since Reasoning and Morality have clearly been invasions into Nature meaning, they come from outside, from Another , then can there be other things from this Other that come in, namely, miracles Then he spends a chapter answering some weak and non credible arguments people give in response to all this This is excellent.Then he takes time to talk about who God is and must be From here, his biggest argument for why miracles must be is not that they are unnatural, but rather that they are part of the totality that God created In this way, yes, they are super natural above Nature, from God , but they are not like random outbursts of God in the world Rather, their existence was always intentional and is just as natural therefore as Nature itself.He says it this way, miracles have occurred because they are the very thing this universal story is about They are not exceptions however rarely they occur not irrelevancies They are precisely those chapters in this great story on which the plot turns Death and Resurrection are what they story is about 157 Or to say it simpler, it isn t helpful to think nature is what truly is, and miracles are random disjunctive outbursts of God Rather, God who is the God of Nature, as Lewis points out over and over always intended on these miracles, and the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of Christ always were central in this God created nature.Then Lewis has a long chapter on the Incarnation, which was probably my least favorite chapter in the book Still some insights, but long and a tad confusing.But he finally ends by addressing Jesus miracles This was brilliant First, he says that in all Christ s miracles alike the incarnate God does suddenly and locally something that God has done or will do in general Each miracle writes for us in small letters something that God has already written, or will write, in letters almost too large to be noticed, across the whole canvas of Nature They focus at a particular point either God s actual, or His future, operations on the universe 219 This is exactly what Jesus miracles were.But he explains Jesus miracles even further, separating them into two categories miracles of the Old Creation in one chapter, and miracles of the New Creation in another The Old Creation miracles focus on what the God of Nature has already done on a larger scale 229 , meaning, in this Nature Creation For example, when Jesus stops the storm, God already is stopping creating storms everyday Or when Jesus is born of a virgin God already is the one who gives conception everyday, albeit he usually except in this one instance uses male sperm Or, God is always the one in control of the process of turning grapes water into wine Jesus just does it suddenly Or, God is always the one who heals anything that gets broken or fixed Yes, we use medicine and our bodies do it, but God is the one doing it really So when Jesus heals, he is doing something God does everyday, just, as Lewis said, suddenly and locally Brilliant stuff, isn t it.But the miracles of the New Creation show us something of the New Creation, or New Nature for the world, that is coming This is true of when Jesus, and then even Peter, walks on water This is not done now in this Nature But this New Creation is esspecially obvious in the Resurrection and Ascension Lewis spends a while on these, and he does so by focusing on the resurrected body of Christ mainly He shows that Jesus body almost defies what we can imagine Why Because it isn t of this Nature Isn t a merely physical body But it also isn t a ghost or anything just spiritual , meaning, non material It is Supernatural or another Nature It gives us a foretaste of what will be in the New Creation, or again, the New Nature.Then in the Epilogue, he once again goes back to presuppositions He begs that if you want to look further into the miracles of Christ, read the New Testament He warns that if you go to modern scholars, they might mean well, but they often are so influenced by their Naturalistic presuppositions that they don t see clearly.Then finally in the Epilogue he talks about being careful to not just drift back into your habitual outlook 270 And I loved this ending, because he s right He argues that the arguments for God, non Naturalism, and therefore miracles is so strong, and that you probably are agreeing with him because of it, but once you put the book down, realize the room your in, go back to the real world , you ll be tempted to simply go back to what is your habitual outlook on life which, because of the air we breathe in our culture we live in right now, is Naturalism So he says to watch out.Then in the first appendix, he helpfully shows what we mean by the word spirit he comes up with four definitions, all of which are used and are different and how the Regenerate spirt is of a totally different thing altogether it is part of this New Creation, and it changes everything about someone, not just their soul, spirit, or psychology, but all of them So would I recommend the book It matters If you love Schaeffer, apologetics, thinking about who God is, who we are, why we are the way we are, and what is to come, then absolutely, It is brilliant Confusing at times, yes, but brilliant But if you re looking for something devotional, or something to simply prove the possibility of miracles, then stay away You won t find that here But you will find something great, substantial, and thought changing I am so so glad I read it, and I ll definitely read it again, Lord willing. My inveterate hatred of magazines began during my sopho year of college I was at a friend s apartment, waiting for him to get out of the shower, when I noticed a TIME magazine on his coffee table It had a big picture of Jesus on it, with the headline What Do We Really Know About Jesus At the time I was an atheist or, accurately, an agnostic But I d spent quite a bit of time in class that year reading and discussing significant portions of the Old and New Testaments, as well as translating parts of Matthew from the Greek I was interested to see what the world of thoughtful people in the modern world did really know about Jesus.I opened the magazine to the appropriate page Among a distracting array of pie graphs and extraneous graphics, I was able to locate some actual text It began by stating that the writers had gathered together a group of the best minds, experts in their fields, to consider what, in fact, we really know about Jesus, the historical figure.The very first thing we can really say, according to this council of learned individuals, is that we must dismiss the miracles recounted in the Bible I stopped and read this again I almost couldn t believe it.In the Bible, Jesus mainly does two things he talks, and he performs miracles The fact that he is doing extraordinary things in between the things he says seems, to me anyway, to be a necessary part of the story it gives his words authority The miracles are proof that he knows something about the world that we don t know Maybe the whole thing is made up, words and miracles both This was vaguely my position at the time Considered in this way, as literature, you can say lots of interesting things about the characters and events created by the author, just as you can say lots of interesting things about the characters and events in Don Quixote When considering any literature, however, it is nonsense to discount the action all together and simply consider the dialogue You wouldn t read Moby Dick and skip all the descriptions of what happened and just read the dialogue Further, when considering literature, the actual historical events on which the piece is based mean next to nothing Moby Dick might have been based on a historical whaling ship, or a real captain, but who cares If we consider the New Testament not as literature, but as a historical document, does it make any kind of sense to dismiss the miracles Did Jesus, for example, walk around saying things, but not performing miracles And then, later, somebody just wrote the miracles in This is possible, but if it is, the person or people who recorded the events of the New Testament are completely unreliable If they added in whatever events they wanted, why should we assume they kept strictly to the words Jesus said If, therefore, Jesus walked around saying things but not performing miracles, we can have no idea what he said The words must be taken to be as made up as the miracles are, which brings us back to considering it as literature.But on what basis are the miracles dismissed Really People said that they saw them People were convinced by them, some of them convinced enough to die Those two statements are historical fact Those two statements are, in fact, something that we really know.It s true, certainly, that anyone may find the statements of these people unconvincing They are unconvincing because they do not fit into the framework of the world that we have in our minds Like it or not, we are all dogmatists There are too many crazy claims in the world for any of us not to be If, for example, I told you that my neighbor drives a red Volvo, you would probably believe me The fact that somebody drives a red Volvo fits into the world as you understand it If I told you as someone once tried to tell me that you could get rich teaching financial planning, because all you would have to do would be to get 20 other people to teach financial planning, and they would get 20 other people, and so on, you would hopefully not believe me Even if I offered you proof, by taking you to a seminar where the first guy who started all this was standing up in front of everyone talking about how rich he was, you still hopefully would not believe me.My point with these two examples is that in the first case no proof was offered except my statement, and it was believable In the second place some actual proof was offered, and it is still unbelievable Believability depends, not so much on the proof offered, but almost entirely on how you view the world.Now I m getting to the heart of what really infuriated me about this article The only reason to listen to experts is because we expect them to know something that we don t know ourselves They have spent time studying facts, and in return for this we give them authority We take what they say as truth without looking for the proof ourselves.Insidiously, these experts did exactly the opposite of what they were supposed to do They took my own dogma, the dogma of our age, that miracles can t happen, they swallowed it whole and without question, and then they vomited it back up to me, the reader, as some kind of established fact, as something that we really know They used their authority to divorce me from the truth and responsibility of the fact that I was following a dogma.The only thing they were experts in was what historical records show Besides in the matter of historical records, the opinions of these people had no value than my own Historical records show, as I said before, that people said they saw these things and that people believed in them No historical records show that these things were made up What kind of people, then, would say As historians, the first thing to start with is the dismissing of all the miracles The truthful thing to say would be Speaking strictly historically, there is as much proof as we could reasonably expect for the events related in the New Testament, and nothing to disprove them This does not, of course, constitute positive proof such extraordinary events really happened Still, I find it interesting to think about what constitutes proof of something In the mathematical world, which is not real, proof is a real thing It s the ironclad, indisputable application of certain narrowly defined rules to certain narrowly defined objects I wonder, however, whether the word proof has any meaning in the real world Can anything in the real world be proven in the ironclad sense in which it can in mathematics Whatever your answer to this may be, what then does that answer mean about how to proceed with people making outrageous claims, such as those made by people claiming they ve seen miracles, or UFOs, or ghosts This is a review of the book Miracles, and you are probably wondering where the review is In fact, you have just read it Everything I have discussed here is discussed in the book, in much greater detail and obviously with much wisdom The book is a logical argument concerning the question Is the New Testament true It starts without asking you to believe anything and makes a series of logical steps which lead, eventually, to a belief in Christianity Well, actually, at one point the steps become illogical because, as argued in the book, there are some questions that logic can t answer Before anybody gets too upset, by questions that logic can t answer I don t mean anything especially deep, I mean questions about experience I have a blue flower growing in my backyard Is that statement true or false Logic simply cannot tell you You have to come to my backyard and see Or, you have to make a probable judgment based on what you know about me, and about blue flowers That s what I mean.Anyway, the book winds up at an acceptance of Christianity, and uses some of its space in the analyzing of some of the miracles attributed to Jesus Some of Mr Lewis s descriptions and interpretations of these miracles are heartbreakingly beautiful, and I wish everybody could read them One passage I remember is the description of a man diving into the mud, like a pearl diver, and disappearing beneath the surface, swimming down down down, into the very heart of what can only be called the bottom of the earth, and then gently, slowly, lifting with his whole body, reascending with the whole weight of everything upon his back Every time I read and reread this passage it brought tears to my eyes A much sillier and less well written description of this same kind of action, by the way, can be found in that cheesy country song from the 1960 s Big John But the recurrence of similar themes found in the popular arts and religion, both before and after the New Testament, is discussed in the book as well.This most certainly winds up at the Christian perspective, and so in that way it is a Christian book On the other hand, when I hear Christians speak generally they seem to take as accepted many things which many of their listeners don t seem to take as accepted For instance, at a funeral the other day the preacher kept repeating that we can all take comfort in knowing that the deceased was with Jesus I would have been willing to bet that at least half the people in the room did not, in fact, believe that the deceased was with Jesus, and so the preacher s words were empty More than that, they seemed to be filled with silly promises that fell on deaf ears.Now, my point about this is that, in my experience, most Christians talk as if they are preaching to the choir, when in fact they are not This is one of the annoying things about many Christians that I ve met Maybe they can t help it, or never think of it, but in any case that is not at all what goes on in Mr Lewis s book It is respectful of the idea of doubt, and even of non belief it just asks the reader to follow through with the logical consequences of whatever his position is.I would be interested to know, in light of this, where in the book an atheist or an agnostic or a Jew or Buddhist or Muslim would begin to disagree with Mr Lewis I have my suspicions Probably most people would find the part about our innate belief in rationality itself to be a little dubious This part of the argument reminded me of nothing so much as Descartes famous statement I think, therefore I am Even before I d read this book, I d spent a long time thinking about that statement and what it actually means It s really complex and very deep, and Descartes, in the Meditations, really doesn t do it enough justice I think he talks about it for 2 pages or something.Anyway, Mr Lewis s argument about rationality seems to be exactly the same kind of philosophical statement In both cases, if you just read it and continue on, you re not understanding what you ve read Maybe nobody can really understand it, but the idea behind it seems to have a true bearing on the world around us, and how we should react to it and interpret it.Flipping through a collection of Peter Singer essays at a friend s house, I came across a place where he mentioned this argument and referred to it as intellectual judo Needless to say, it appeared to me to be Mr Singer who was engaging in intellectual judo, with the added negativity of sneering dismissively while he did it But I will admit that neither author devotes the space to this question that it really deserves Maybe nobody could.Anyway, I think all of us are lost in this world and, for me anyway, this beautiful and interesting book gave me some alternate interpretations of things that made a structured kind of sense I m certain that not everyone will be convinced by this book, but I think anyone who reads it honestly can t help but gain respect for the Christian viewpoint than it sometimes seems to deserve based on the behavior of some of its adamant adherents. I must admit that I think I did not fully understand what this book was trying to tell me However, I am happy to say that I gave this book a chance I read each word slowly and carefully even if I had engaging fiction books in my currently reading folder You see, I earlier read and liked his two later works, A Grief Observed 1961 and Mere Christianity 1957 before reading this earlier book that was first published in 1947 So, I invited some members of our book club to read this with me They agreed and our discussions are in this thread Notice that we were all having a problem reading the book so either we Filipinos are not matched to Professor Lewis s intellectual level or we just did not have the academic training to understand all his philosophical arguments.If I may compare, Grief and Christianity are easier to understand because they delve into feelings and emotions rather than philosophy and reasons If the two books appeal to the reader s heart, Miracles appeals to one s brain particularly the first two thirds of the book In these parts, he talks about Naturalism and Supernaturalism The first one means that nothing exists apart from Nature but the later one means that there are other forces outside nature Then he associates Miracle by saying that there are two ideas where miracles are said to happen either by deviating from the natural flow of events naturalism or by other forces that affect Nature Ask me why are these important to Miracle and I will answer you that I do not know.Then he moves to differentiate Pantheism and Theism Pantheism is the view that the Universe Nature or God divinity are identical A pantheist does not believe in personal God Theism, on the other hand, believes in the existence of One God as it is a doctrine concerning the nature of monotheistic God and God s relationship to the universe Being an Christian apologist a person who makes a defense in speech or writing of a belief, idea, etc , naturally, Lewis says that miracles cannot co exist with Pantheism although untrained minds would easily fall prey that Universe Nature and God are one Ask me why this is important to Miracle and I will answer you that I do not know.Then in the last third of the book, Lewis talks about Old and New Creations I think he coined these terms that mean those miracles that happened in the Old Testament Old Creations and New Testaments New Creations Being true to his credential as a Christian apologist, he of course defends that all miracles mentioned in the Bible are indeed miracles He suggest for non believers to read the actual passages in the Bible starting with those in the New Testament before reading the works of the scholars that deal with those miracles Ask me why this is important to understand Miracle and I will answer you that I do not know.What I know really is what I believed since many years ago believing in Miracles is through the heart You don t need proofs to believe That s why even if I appreciate the intellectual arguments presented convincingly by the beloved Oxford professor in this book, for me, there is nothing new Miracles happen They are God s works and they are His signs for us that He hasn t forgotten us He wants us to feel His Divine Presence We don t need to be convinced that miracles happen Just look at the sun still shining every morning is enough proof for all of us The global warming is totally another story though and that is NOT a miracle.