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Discovery Magazine 2/1/2000

Mr. Hume Tries to "Pull a Fast One"

by  Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

David Hume, who lived in Scotland over 200 years ago, did not think much of Christians or their belief in God and miracles. "A miracle," he said, "is a violation of the laws of nature." Mr. Hume reasoned that since the laws of nature can’t be broken, then miracles never happened. Water never turned into wine. No one ever walked on water. And definitely, no one came back to life after being dead for three days.

Mr. Hume, however, has tried to "pull a fast one." First he defined a miracle as something that broke the laws of nature. Then he asked us to believe that miracles can’t happen because the laws of nature can’t be broken. But this argument works only if you accept Mr. Hume’s definition of a miracle—a definition which guarantees that miracles never happen. But is this right? Do miracles really break or violate the laws of nature?

No, they do not. The laws of nature were established by God. And because of that, He "transcends" those laws (which means that He rules over them). How very odd it would be to suggest that God has "violated" the laws of nature (as if He should feel embarrassed or guilty in some way) when He performs a miracle. Because of Who He is (the Creator!), God has authority over the entire creation. This is why miracles are not natural but supernatural occurrences. They are acts of God that "go beyond" what humans "normally" see in nature.

So don’t let Mr. Hume "pull a fast one" on you. If God exists (and He does!), He certainly could perform miracles because He has the power to do so. And He wouldn’t be breaking any laws along the way.

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