By books collating modern-day miracle reports I concretely mean Lee Strobel's book The Case for Miracles: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for the Supernatural (amazon link) and Craig S. Keener's book Miracles : 2 Volumes: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts (amazon link). I'm copying & pasting the prefaces below:

Lee Strobel's book's preface:

New York Times bestselling author Lee Strobel trains his investigative sights on the hot-button question: is it really credible to believe God intervenes supernaturally in people's lives today?

This provocative book starts with an unlikely interview in which America's foremost skeptic builds a seemingly persuasive case against the miraculous. But then Strobel travels the country to quiz scholars to see whether they can offer solid answers to atheist objections. Along the way, he encounters astounding accounts of healings and other phenomena that simply cannot be explained away by naturalistic causes. The book features the results of exclusive new scientific polling that shows miracle accounts are much more common than people think.

What's more, Strobel delves into the most controversial question of all: what about miracles that don't happen? If God can intervene in the world, why doesn't he do it more often to relieve suffering? Many American Christians are embarrassed by the supernatural, not wanting to look odd or extreme to their neighbors. Yet, The Case for Miracles shows not only that the miraculous is possible, but that God still does intervene in our world in awe-inspiring ways. Here’s a unique book that examines all sides of this issue and comes away with a passionate defense for God's divine action in lives today.​

Craig S. Keener's book's preface:

Most modern prejudice against biblical miracle reports depends on David Hume's argument that uniform human experience precluded miracles. Yet current research shows that human experience is far from uniform. In fact, hundreds of millions of people today claim to have experienced miracles. New Testament scholar Craig Keener argues that it is time to rethink Hume's argument in light of the contemporary evidence available to us. This wide-ranging and meticulously researched two-volume study presents the most thorough current defense of the credibility of the miracle reports in the Gospels and Acts. Drawing on claims from a range of global cultures and taking a multidisciplinary approach to the topic, Keener suggests that many miracle accounts throughout history and from contemporary times are best explained as genuine divine acts, lending credence to the biblical miracle reports.

Do Cessationists reject these books?

UPDATE: Craig S. Keener recently released a new book titled Miracles Today: The Supernatural Work of God in the Modern World. The preface reads:

Do miracles still happen today? This book demonstrates that miraculous works of God, which have been part of the experience of the church around the world since Christianity began, continue into the present. Leading New Testament scholar Craig Keener addresses common questions about miracles and provides compelling reasons to believe in them today, including many accounts that offer evidence of verifiable miracles.

This book gives an accessible and concise overview of one of Keener's most significant research topics. His earlier two-volume work on miracles stands as the definitive word on the topic, but its size and scope are daunting to many readers. This new book summarizes Keener's basic argument but contains substantial new material, including new accounts of the miraculous. It is suitable as a textbook but also accessible to church leaders and laypeople.

Related question: Do Cessationists believe that there are no modern miracles?

  • 1
    Cessationists do not discount modern day miracles. In Revelation, all of the miracles/signs mentioned are demonic. I pointed this out in a previous question and you made no answer. The above is irrelevant to a cessationist stance.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 16:08
  • @NigelJ - I see. You do not reject modern day miracle reports, but you do believe that they all come from a demonic source, correct?
    – user50422
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 16:10
  • 3
    There is an abundance of reports one of the reasons being that people make obscene amounts of money from propagating false reports. It is a massive multi-billion dollar industry. What is also true is that John's visions indicate that exclusively (in the last days) signs (miraculous) are only reported from demonic sources. This is a scriptural fact.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 16:14
  • 1
    @NigelJ I know a man whose detached retina re-attached itself. His ophthalmologist said it was impossible and he had no explanation. The man's faith in Christ was deeply edified. This is impossible for me to credit to the demonic realm. Commented Sep 18, 2021 at 12:05
  • 1
    @NigelJ His other eye is without sight from an accident so, he was blind and now he sees. I have to call it a classic miracle. Commented Sep 18, 2021 at 12:13

2 Answers 2


Apologies for the slightly sarcastic tone of this answer but I suppose the opinion of a Cessationist would lean towards sarcasm. The question in my mind is basically "What do doubters think about collections of stories that people can make?" (I personally never heard of these books).

The simple answer is they are stories that the average doubter has not encountered directly and has therefore no real opinion or necessarily even an interest (or even hold their attention span). It is very similar to UFO stories. They may seem interesting if one happens to hear about one - but a doubter just brushes it off as some unexplained story. Part of the problem is doubters need a certain amount of independent proof to believe in something. Independent proof often requires a discussion with the person making the claim. People often discern a persons story by their body language when asked specific questions, more than what they say anyway.

So I think the answer is basically ambivalence because it would be nice to encounter a true miracle but many feel we haven't. In the same way, many don't believe in UFOs (as in the alien lifeform version) because they always waste their time 'flying around' and don't land and start eating people. When they encounter something directly they might believe something about it. It's not a full rejection. They just have no interest to hear about some light 'hovering' somewhere over the distance against the laws of gravity.

I don't think Cessationist beliefs reject the possibility of miracles because even conversion is a kind of miracle. So it's not about feeling insecure about claims and rejecting them without reason outright. It's more about explaining why there are not a collection of DVDs showing missing limbs being extended before our eyes by a modern Apostle Paul, or why our family members get cancer and die. It's explaining why we observe, what we observe, and still have faith in the miracles of the Bible.

Also it's not about what is possible in the future during some great awakening of Christianity either, if such a thing occurs. It's just about history and what we see around us, while also holding fast to the word of God. Nor is it about judging what others might believe on the issue.

  • 3
    Most of the miraculous that I know of personally or by acquaintance are incidents that are not documented and trumpeted to the general public. For instance, I know a man whose detached retina "miraculously" re-attached and the ophthalmologist had no explanation for what he considered impossible. This man will share his story but he is mostly just humbly grateful to the Lord. I suspect most miracles are similarly under the radar; deeply faith strengthening in small circles. Commented Sep 18, 2021 at 11:58
  • 1
    Technically speaking the Apostle Paul did not have healing prayers answered with missing limbs being extended before the eyes of others. Most, if not all, claims of "miracles of healing" connected to the Apostle Paul could be dismissed by secularists as being examples of either a wrong initial diagnosis or cases in which psychosomatic power of suggestion have occurred.
    – Jess
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 19:06
  • 1
    @Jess - yes but technically, raising the dead and healing people that whole communities knew were blind or cripple their whole life, putting an ear back on cut from a sword, many were nearly impossible to dispute. Remember Jesus was accused working on the sabbath because, they wanted, but could not deny, a healing took place.
    – Mike
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 23:45
  • The big miracles of putting an ear back on and the resuscitation of those who died (Lazarus, etc.) were done by Jesus and not by one of his disciples. The person who was begging at the temple that Peter told to stand up was considered by others as "lame from birth." But a skeptic might say that it was psychosomatic. The lame guy just never learned to walk after having an early injury. Peter helped him get self confidence by looking him in the eye and saying "stand up."
    – Jess
    Commented Sep 23, 2021 at 23:31
  • I don't doubt healing miracles. However, as a continuationist, I don't know why God does not seem to ever heal pattern baldness. You would think that with all the "holy water" being sprinkled on people through out church history, that there might be some cases of that type of healing!
    – Jess
    Commented Sep 23, 2021 at 23:32

No, cessationists do not necessarily reject the credibility of a certain miracle. Cessationism is the view that the miraculous spiritual gifts are no longer in effect, not always accompanied by the view that no miracles continue to occur.

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    – agarza
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 12:58
  • 1
    What is the basis for authenticating when a "miracle" can be attributed to divinity or when anomalies take place that can be more readily explained by natural causality - i.e. good luck?
    – Jess
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 19:09

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