Terminology Tuesday: God-of-the-Gaps Argument

*A type of argument that invokes God as an explanation for what cannot be explained naturally or scientifically. Critics of this style of argument claim that such a strategy will inevitably make God’s role in the universe appear to diminish as scientific explanation advances. Critics of the intelligent design movement allege that the attempt to argue for an intelligent cause of biological order is a God-of-the-gaps argument, but proponents of intelligent design argue that there is positive empirical evidence for intelligence as the cause of complex systems in nature.

*C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 50.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Can Miracles Be Assessed By Science?

How would one define what a miracle really is? A Dictionary definition of a Miracle is:

1. An effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
2. Such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.
3. A wonder; marvel.

From a Christian definition I have heard it be stated; “They are a direct act of a personal God that cannot be predicted or explained by only natural causes”.

The Scottish Philosopher David Hume explained that “Miracles are “violations” of natural laws, and that natural laws cannot be violated”, thus miracles don’t exist! But he was begging the question.

Natural Law explains how the Natural World operates, however it cannot control what happens in it. Science is prescriptive not descriptive as American Philosopher Paul Copan describes. Actually if the entirety of “things” must conform to prior experience then scientific progress would be impossible. Since science currently states, “the Universe came into existence from nothing” how could that have been predicted by natural law?

If the Universe as science explains came into existence from “nothing” how invalid would Jesus walking on the water be? Is that “crazier” than the Universe explanation by science? Jesus’ very resurrection is a historically well supported event. A documented “Miracle”! Jesus appeared to over 500 people after his resurrection to both believers and unbelievers!

This may not be “scientific” as proven in a lab, however, eyewitness evidence is certainly a heavyweight form of evidence!

God Bless,

Brian Mason