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 !
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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 left me in the dust, coughing and confused. Nonetheless, reading Lewis unravel and re-knot the arguments for and against the supernatural enhancement of Nature (or Creation, depending on your...
Published on Aug. 12 2003 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book,
This review is from: Miracles (Paperback)Great book ! CS LEWIS is fantastic !if you are a Christian ar an atheist, this is a GREAT book ! Try it out !
4.0 out of 5 stars My Two Cents...,
This review is from: Miracles (Paperback)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 and world views are (which enable or disable you from acknowledging miracles), and a few red herrings. Lewis writes in such a way that even if you don't acknowledge miracles, he begins by discussing why that might be and whether that is a valid place to start.
This is not a light read, but you will learn a great deal from the easy way in which Lewis writes. And while Lewis's writtings are a bit dated, and you won't catch some of his references, the message is timeless.
This is a well written apologetic for miracles.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Solid, Intellectual Work,
This review is from: Miracles (Paperback)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 evidential in his approach to apologetics. That is not to say that he is necessarily like that in all regards, but I did find some strong hints of it in this book.
I'm clearly not as big of a Lewis buff as some other people I've met. In fact, I have some serious reservations about some of what he believes. However, this particular book is the real deal and I highly recommend it to those who feel they are not getting sufficient answers elsewhere.
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliantly argued work,
By A Customer
This review is from: Miracles (Paperback)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."
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. Now a person can always say, "Well, since you haven't seen every shape in the world, you can't really say there is no such a thing as a round triangle," but it's only another testament to reason that we can declare that statement to be foolishness (And if a person can't see that, it's no use arguing with them). Lewis' whole point is that the very thing we mean by reason, cannot arise from what we mean by irrationality. Saying he is only arguing from ignorance is merely ignoring his argument. If you want to see this argument developed further, read the book, not a review of it. It's quite a fascinating bit of thinking.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book,
This review is from: Miracles (Paperback)A wonderful explanation of the supernatural... perhaps best read after Mere Christianity... also, the C.S. Lewis encyclopedia is good as well, especially for the explanation of myth vs. falsehood... Lewis' views on this are very different from the average persons'.
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent plethora of thought,
This review is from: Miracles (Paperback)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.
3.0 out of 5 stars How it's important to believe that the supernatural is real.,
This review is from: Miracles (Paperback)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 left me in the dust, coughing and confused. Nonetheless, reading Lewis unravel and re-knot the arguments for and against the supernatural enhancement of Nature (or Creation, depending on your view of the issue) was a treat. Before reading it though, a word advice, keep in mind Lewis's opening statement that this book is not meant to change minds, just put forth concepts and arguments. Those on either side of the debate fence will no doubt remain on whatever side they were at the book's beginning.
5.0 out of 5 stars Last few chapters are a must read!,
This review is from: Miracles (Paperback)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 Lewis is never really boring). But when he begins to speak about the Resurrection and the New Creation, God's Great Reversal, the book becomes outstanding. The escatological significance of what he says cannot be overstated. And when Lewis says it, he says it with beautiful eloquence that will break your heart. He begins a conversation that we must return to and continue.
The Anglican Bishop Tom (N.T.) Wright said this is the best he has ever seen anyone deal with the Resurrection. He also says, "Space, Time, and Resurrection" by Thomas Torrance is a close second.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Preliminary Study on Christian Miracles,
This review is from: Miracles (Paperback)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). Therefore, he ends Chapter 6 by saying in effect that the rest of the book will concern itself with miracles as special divine interventions. For Lewis, the cardinal difficulty with Naturalism is the existence of human reason and its thoughts which can be either true or false, unlike events in general which are not "about" anything and therefore cannot be true or false. According to Lewis, the Naturalist believes that reason, sentience, and life itself are late comers in an historical, evolutionary process that was not DESIGNED to produce a mental behavior that can find truth (including moral truth). Therefore, Naturalism doesn't adequately explain the existence of reason (and morality). For theism, on the other hand, reason (divine reason) is before Nature and our own concept of Nature depends on reason. Later, in Chapter 13, Lewis argues that theism ratifies faith in the scientific principle of uniformity [which is used by some, like David Hume, to argue against miracles], but disallows making uniformity absolute. But if Naturalism is true, then we have no reason to trust our conviction that Nature is uniform in any sense (general or absolute). In Chapters 14 - 16, Lewis tries to present the central miracles of the Christian Faith in such a way as to exhibit their "fitness" into Nature w/o setting forth any abstract conditions which "fitness" must satisfy because "our sense of fitness is too delicate and elusive". By "fitness" Lewis means their historical probability [i.e., compatibility w/ Nature] which he distinguishes from the "antecedent probability of chances" [i.e., mathematical probability]. In Chapters 7 & 8, Lewis responds to objections that Nature doesn't allow miracles. In Chapter 8 he points out that the laws of Nature don't cause anything because "every law, in the last resort, says 'If you have A, then you will get B.' But first catch your A: the laws won't do it for you." This allows for "supernatural" causation, human or divine. In Chapter 10, Lewis addresses language as it relates to thought and points out that clear thinking is distinct from imagination in general and metaphor in particular which are used both in scripture and common discourse when discussing metaphysical things (like God and his activity). Chapter 11 addresses pantheism [a special type of idealistic naturalism distinct from the atheistic materialism which is Lewis's main focus] and points out some of its problems. Here Lewis states that God is concrete and individual; he is a particular Thing, not an abstract "universal being" [distinct from omnipresence] which would rule out the possibility of creation because "a generality can make nothing".
Although Lewis discusses some relevant issues regarding miracles in general (and New Testament ones in particular) and their compatibility with Nature, he does strangely relegate at least some Old Testament miracles to the realm of myth which is partly due to his unique view that in Christ myth became history. For a critical analysis of Lewis' view, see Norman Geisler's chapter on Lewis titled "Christian Humanism" in his book "Is Man the Measure?" For a more recent systematic analysis of miracles that relies heavily on Lewis, see Geisler's "Miracles and the Modern Mind" (OP) and "In Defense of Miracles," edited by Geivett and Habermas. Also, see Collins's "The God of Miracles" which notably points out that some Christians have negatively reviewed Lewis's book because they think Lewis was operating with a defective understanding of "nature" and divine action [note: pantheists and panentheists would also affirm this]. Collins addresses these other positions within Christianity which differ from the "supernaturalism" of Lewis, Geisler and Collins himself. Also, Lewis doesn't address whether miracles are applicable today and, if so, to what extent. Other books such as "Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?," edited by Wayne Grudem address this issue.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great discussion of miracles,
This review is from: Miracles (Paperback)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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Miracles by C S Lewis (Paperback - Jan. 25 2001)
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