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Essentially the opposite of this question: What is the biblical basis for expecting miracles after the apostolic age, including modern times?

Some Christians believe that miracles ceased after the apostolic age -- or at least that miracles from God did, since many believe that counterfeit miracles from Satan have continued.

What is the biblical basis for NOT expecting Godly miracles after the apostolic age?

Note 1: By 'miracle' I mean the definition suggested by the 'miracles' tag: Actions of God not explained by normal laws of physics, chemistry, biology, or the natural sciences. If you disagree with this definition and have the sufficient privileges, feel free to edit the tag info for 'miracles'.

Note 2: Notice that I'm not talking about sign gifts. Belief in sign gifts does not follow (necessarily) from belief in miracles. There are many Cessationists who believe in miracles but lack a belief in the continuation of the sign gifts (e.g. see Do Cessationists believe that there are no modern miracles?)


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    In the very nature of miracles they cannot be anticipated or predicted. Therefore, why would they be 'expected' ? In my view the question should be 'What is the biblical view for expecting miracles' as it seems (to me) somewhat illogical to do so, given the very nature of God-given miracles.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 17 at 14:42
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    @NigelJ - sounds like the start of an insightful answer. Feel free to post one ;-)
    – user50422
    Mar 17 at 14:58

1 Answer 1

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Well, I have heard it said like this: "God is not our personal butler" so we should not expect to ever witness miracles as a means of confirming His presence (or anything else, for that matter).

But I will bet that isn't really what you are after. I would say that your definition of miracles is flawed and fails to capture some important miracles that happen daily. The natural sciences are a perfect example.

No natural science can exist without mathematics. Period. Any that claims to exist without math isn't science. But mathematics is one of the few (possibly only) purely rational activities that we can engage in. While we generally think of math as a means of quantifying or counting things, it actually requires much more of us than simply developing a number system and using it to quantify things. If you have ever taken an analysis or an analytic geometry course, you know exactly what I am saying.

It is a fact that every system of mathematics man has ever developed requires certain postulates (axioms) that cannot be proven, but must be accepted as true without definition. Euclidean geometry is typically used as the example for college analysis courses, but it extends to any field of mathematics. Think about all of the wonderous things that science has brought to our lives, despite the fact that the mathematics upon which it relies is based upon things that were postulated from nothing and cannot be proven or properly defined. It took me a while to wrap my mind around that fact. From these unproven postulates, we have developed proofs of complex mathematics like the calculus of variations and advanced combinatorics that allow us to build rockets and computers that work.

Seems pretty miraculous to me. The idea does not just apply to math, but a great number of things we take for granted that would be nothing short of miraculous to a person living in the first century. The fact that it is considered a miracle depends a lot more upon the person observing the event than anything else. IMO, God has created the universe with the complexity to ensure that we will never find the smallest subatomic particle or the largest star. Someday we might travel faster than light, which would be a miracle by currently observable paradigms.

So, your definition should take into account that there are vast areas and countless phenomenon that cannot be explained or are unexplainable by the natural sciences. Are they all miracles? Perhaps. But perhaps we just haven't found the correct math to describe these things. Can we put numbers on love or jealousness or compassion? Are these things any less important to our lives than technology or scientific pursuits?

The fact that science exists in the first place relies upon miracles, so to say that anything can be explained without taking "miracles" into account is an exercise in futility. We can assume that we will someday explain these miracles, but until that happens, we can observe miracles every day.

Now, if you are looking for burning bushes, water walking, and spontaneous resurrection, that would take us back to God not being our personal butler. Furthermore, those things might some day be explainable by science. Does that make them less miraculous? I don't know, but since we can't really define what a miracle is, it is kind of pointless to try and observe them when we don't even know the rules that must be bent to call this or that a miracle.

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    Interesting personal opinions. Unfortunately, there is no biblical basis whatsoever here, which is what I asked for, so -1. Btw, this might be a good read: Is there a standard definition of the word 'miracle' in Christianity?
    – user50422
    Mar 17 at 20:44
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    @SpiritRealmInvestigator I agree that this does not answer the question that was asked, nor does it agree with the site tag definition of 'miracle'.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 18 at 7:43

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