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Miracles—what are they, why do they happen, and how can they change your life? Well BreakPoint’s Eric Metaxas tackles those questions in his new book. And during this week’s broadcast, John Stonestreet welcomes Eric to discuss it. You’ll be reminded that the very fact we exist is a miracle. And you’ll learn why this topic is important in reaching out to the lost.
BreakPoint cohost Eric Metaxas didn’t set out to write a book about miracles. After his bestselling biographies on Dietrich Bohoeffer and William Wilberforce, as well as his recent “Seven Men,” Eric has become known as something of a popular historian, not a sleuth for the supernatural. But after a conversation with his editor, he says he had a change of mind.
“People are dying to know: Is there something beyond this world?…This is too important to get wrong, and I’m going to prayerfully try to do this.”
In the resulting book, entitled “Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life,” Eric seeks to challenge both Christian and secular readers, and answer one of the biggest questions everyone has: is this all there is?
“Is there something beyond the material world, the natural world, the physical world?” Eric asks. “And if there is, how can we know that? How can we speculate on that?”
It’s a question he believes our investigation of the natural world compels us to ask, but ultimately cannot answer.
“Science can only talk about what’s in this world. But what I discovered and what really blew my mind was that the more science learns…the more science would lead us to believe that there is something beyond the world.”
He points to astronomer Fred Hoyle, the scientist who coined the phrase “Big Bang.” After years of observation, Hoyle famously remarked that the universe itself “looks like a put-up job.”
And Eric says that led him to a realization: although most people think of miracles as Divine suspensions of the laws of nature—God parting the Red Sea, for example—perhaps the greatest miracle was the creation of those laws in the first place. Maybe the fact that we exist at all is more miraculous than the mightiest wonder recorded by human eyewitnesses in Scripture.
“Our existence—the existence of the universe, the existence of life—is itself a crazy miracle, a miracle so astounding that it makes the parting of the Red Sea look like nothing, look like a child’s joke,” says Eric.
He says other authors have made the point before, but this book distills it in light of the failure of naturalistic theories to explain how such a fine-tuned universe, one that looks as if it was designed for life, could have come about by itself.
“The factors contributing to a planet where we would be able to have life are so complex that random forces don’t seem to have been able to produce it. There shouldn’t be life anywhere in the universe…The more science tells us what conditions are necessary for the existence of life, the more science tells us life shouldn’t exist.”
But the miracles don’t end there, and Eric explains, one of the primary focuses of his book is exploring modern miracles—first-hand accounts too credible to dismiss and too numerous to catalogue. He devotes a great deal of time to recounting individual miracles from thirty personal friends and acquaintances. And the accounts are as diverse as the individuals who give them. They include medical miracles, implausible conversions (including Eric’s own), and Divinely-orchestrated escapes from death—one in the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001.
And, of course, Eric devotes a chapter to arguably the central miracle of human history, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this one event, he says, God proved His power over death, His authority over nature, and most importantly the identity of His Son. And it’s a miracle that, as C. S. Lewis pointed out, forces the secular mind into an inescapable trilemma.
Eric says he hopes this book will blaze new territory not just for the Metaxas library, but for Christian nonfiction as a genre. Instead of remaining in the “Christian ghetto,” Eric hopes his newest work will appeal to a broader, secular audience. And having already partnered with a mainstream publisher and secured a deal with Barnes and Noble, it looks like he’s well on the way.
“What we need,” he explains, “are reasonable, respectful, rational books that just try to open up a conversation…it opens the door so that publishers and retailers are more open to this kind of thing. That’s been my life’s mission since I’ve been a believer. I care about carrying what we [Christians] believe into the mainstream.”
And the Christian insistence on miracles, without a doubt, is a feature of the Christian worldview unbelievers can’t ignore.