The Case for Miracles shows God still works miracles today.
Lee Strobel, award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and best-selling author, now addresses The Case for Miracles. Strobel commissioned a national scientific survey with Barna Research to quiz Americans on their views of the miraculous. Interestingly, this study revealed that 51 percent of adults believed the miracles depicted in the Bible happened as they were described while 67 percent said they believe miracles are possible today.
Strobel’s text is a professional, carefully researched work that explores the case for miracles by opening with a section detailing the case against them. The author interviews Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine; Craig Keener, professor of biblical studies at Asbury Theological Seminary; Candy Gunther Brown, professor of religious studies at Indiana University; and other noted professionals.
Strobel understandably was a tad concerned about seeking to prove what many American Christians seem to struggle to accept: modern miracles. Even though Christians believe in the resurrection of Christ and other biblical accounts of miracles, they resist believing that miracles happen all around them.
“I think a lot of Christians—and their churches—are embarrassed by claims of the supernatural,” he says. “They crave respectability. They don’t want their neighbors to lump them in with televangelists or discredited faithhealers, and so they downplay the miraculous.”
The author is convinced that Christ followers impoverish themselves when they fail to embrace God’s miraculous actions around the world today and asserts the futility of denying that God is still in the miracle-working business, as His book documents many of them.
The Question of Healing
Strobel also realizes that feeling somewhat uncomfortable about asking for healing in a public setting is normal because, according to the Bible, Jesus didn’t heal every person he met. The author understood early on in his writing that he must include a chapter that deals with how Christians should respond when God decides not to heal.
Citing Matthew’s Gospel, Strobel reminds readers that Jesus didn’t do many miracles in Nazareth “because of their lack of faith. The disciples were given authority to heal in Matthew 10, yet seven chapters later they failed to heal an epileptic boy. So we shouldn’t be surprised when everyone isn’t healed. God is sovereign; he gets to decide how He answers our prayers. Our role is to remain faithful, trusting that God has our best interests at heart.”
Dreams and Visions
Readers will appreciate Strobel’s coverage on the current phenomenon of Muslims encountering Jesus in dreams and visions. Strobel reports that it’s estimated that a quarter to a third of Muslims who convert to Christianity experienced a dream or vision of Jesus before praying to accept him as their Savior.
“Half of Muslims around the world can’t read, so the Bible isn’t accessible to them. Nearly nine out of 10 Muslims don’t know a Christian, so who’s going to share the Gospel with them?” he writes. “Out of his love, Jesus has been appearing to them in dreams, and many are coming to faith in Him as a result.”
Strobel’s desire is for Christians to find their faith strengthened as they read the persuasive evidence that God is still actively intervening in his creation and “be struck with awe and wonder” with God. Finally, it’s Strobel’s prayer that as Christ followers read this text, they’ll be better equipped to share their faith more effectively in the increasingly skeptical world.
Pointing People to Christ
Knowing that Christian booksellers are key to helping buyers take the next step in their faith as they encounter those who are asking good questions and desiring to grow, Strobel wants bookstores to pitch this text as one appropriate to Christians as well as seekers.
Strobel’s memory of entering a Christian bookstore before he was Christian is a powerful one. “Christian bookstore folks are heroes to me. I remember the helpfulness, gentle encouragement, and sense of humor that I encountered when I first ventured into a Christian bookstore as an atheist. They pointed me toward resources that helped bring me to Christ, and for that, I am eternally grateful.”