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Miracles [Paperback]

C S Lewis
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 25 2001 Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
An impeccable inquiry into the proposition that supernatural events can happen in this world. C. S. Lewis uses his remarkable logic to build a solid argument for the existence of divine intervention.

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Miracles + The Problem Of Pain + The Screwtape Letters
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"I read Lewis for comfort and pleasure many years ago, and a glance into the books revives my old admiration." -- John Updike

From the Back Cover

"The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares the way for this, or results from this." This is the key statement of Miracles, in which C. S. Lewis shows that a Christian must not only accept but rejoice in miracles as a testimony of the unique personal involvement of God in his creation. Using his characteristic lucidity and wit to develop his argument, Lewis challenges the rationalists, agnostics, and deists on their own grounds and makes out an impressive case for the irrationality of their assumptions.

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In all my life I have met only one person who claims to have seen a ghost. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliantly argued work Dec 13 2003
By A Customer
Miracles, while not a perfect book, is certainly an excellent one, in which C.S. Lewis is at his philosophical best. It's not an easy read, by any means, but grinding through it is worth the effort. Recently, another review (by Widger) has widely misconstrued Lewis' argument in the first few chapters, so I would like to use this space, to help "hinder the hindrances" to a very good book.
Widger makes three inadequate criticisms against Lewis' argument. The second and third basically amount to the same critique, so I'll group them together.
1.)Widger says, "First, although he is right that a logical ground for a belief is not the same kind of cause as 'non-rational causation' and although he is also right that a belief being physically caused would not mean that it was proved, it does not follow that having a physical cause would ipso facto prove falsehood."
2.)Widger claims Lewis is arguing to the supernatural through ignorance, and then elucidates some problems with arguing from ignorance.
1.) Lewis never says that having a physical cause proves falsehood ipso facto. He makes this clear by talking about human thought as the border of two frontiers. He says it can be physically accounted for in the brain, but that the brain itself can never give a fully adequate account of reasoning. Just because the water in a fishbowl always moves when the fish moves, doesn't mean the fish is the water. Or that all the movements of the water can be fully explained by the water itself.
2.) Lewis is not arguing from ignorance; he's arguing from reason. He's saying you could never give a complete account of reason through irrational causation. Saying you could would be like saying you could have a round triangle.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Preliminary Study on Christian Miracles Feb. 19 2003
According to C. S. Lewis, this book is intended as a preliminary to historical inquiry. It does not, therefore, examine the historical evidence for Christian miracles, but is intended to put readers in a position to do so. Lewis states: "It is no use going to the texts until we have some idea about the possibility or probability of the miraculous. Those who assume that miracles cannot happen are merely wasting their time by looking into the texts: we know in advance what results they will find for they have begun by begging the question." In his appeal to the "common reader" and not specifically to theologians, Lewis defines a miracle broadly as "an interference with Nature by supernatural power." This distinction between the natural and supernatural is presupposed and posited up front because Naturalists, according to Lewis, believe that nothing exists except Nature (Nature is considered "the whole show," the "Total System," etc.) which, if true, rules out the possibility of the supernatural. Nature is considered by Lewis, and Supernaturalists in general, as a partial system within reality, not Reality itself. It is a created thing (abstractly speaking), not the self-existent Creator. Lewis argues by analogy and uses human reason and morality as examples of the supernatural that are distinct from Nature. In fact, Lewis argues that humans, as compositions of the natural and supernatural, intervene in Nature by supernatural acts (which he considers self-determined acts not caused by another in some inevitable causal chain). But he admits (see Chapter 6) that such acts are not what many equate with "miracles" since they are both familiar and regular (not to mention humanly caused). Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great discussion of miracles Feb. 16 2003
In this work, the master of Christian apology tackles a difficult subject: miracles. The question is easy enough--do miracles really occur?--but the answer is far more complex and difficult. True to his style, Lewis picks apart the question and analyzes it with the scrutinizing eye of a skeptic who has seen the light and wants to help others see it too.

The scope, of course, goes far beyond miracles. In analyzing the probability of such events, Lewis examines Pantheism vs. Christianity, and the idea of a Nature that is completely independent of any outside interference (even God's). His argument that the laws and 'nature' of Nature are not violated by miracles is convincing, as is his argument that miracles are, in fact, necessary. For Lewis, a miracle wrought by the Creator of mankind is really nothing extraordinary. Some miracles, such as the water being turned into wine, simply skip a step or two. Instead of water nourishing a vine that eventually produces grapes for wine, Christ merely eliminates the intermediary steps. Other miracles, such as Christ's Resurrection, are simply a glance at what's to come, when everyone will be resurrected.

Whether or not you agree with Lewis, his argument is worth considering. Like most of his work, this book is written for believer and skeptic alike, and provides a stimulating analysis of the probability of miracles occurring. This one belongs on the shelf of any Christian thinker, and will prove a stimulating read for students of philosophy as well.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great book ! CS LEWIS is fantastic !if you are a Christian ar an atheist, this is a GREAT book ! Try it out !
Published on Feb. 20 2012 by releu
4.0 out of 5 stars My Two Cents...
Miracles by C.S. Lewis is a very intellectual look at the phenomenon of miracles. In fact, a great deal of the book deals with how you define miracles, what your presuppositions... Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2011 by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars A Solid, Intellectual Work
C.S. Lewis presents a great deal of solid philisophical material here. One suprise for me was that at a couple points, Lewis seems to come across as more presuppositional than... Read more
Published on May 28 2007 by Mark Nenadov
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like C.S. Lewis . . .
. . . like I do, I strongly suggest We All Fall Down, by Brian Caldwell. Like Lewis, Caldwell takes an intellectual aproach to the concept of Christianity. Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
A wonderful explanation of the supernatural... perhaps best read after Mere Christianity... also, the C.S. Read more
Published on Nov. 7 2003 by Julie A Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent plethora of thought
I loved the intellectual craft of this book. It was metally and spiritually refreshing to read, though it took me a while. I strongly recommend it to anyone who loves reason.
Published on Oct. 11 2003 by Bonnie Kirk
3.0 out of 5 stars How it's important to believe that the supernatural is real.
Huh? That is the thought that clouded my reading of Lewis's Miracles more often than not. I readily admit that I am not the most steady reader of philosophy, so most of this book... Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2003 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
5.0 out of 5 stars Last few chapters are a must read!
I'd have given the book three or four stars because I get so bored with the type of dialectical apologetics against Modernism that the first two thirds are full of (Even though... Read more
Published on May 16 2003 by Andrew Madsen
4.0 out of 5 stars The Essence of Miracles
In this book, C.S. Lewis looks at the essence of what miracles are and how they relate to Christianity. Read more
Published on Jan. 17 2003 by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book; and rebuttal to Jonathan Widger's critique
I recently read this for the first time in years. It's funny how easy it is to forget so much about a book read once. Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2003 by Micah Newman
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