When my eldest asked me a couple of years ago, “Mommy, how do you know that God is real?,” my first inclination was to tell him God stories from my own life of how God worked in a way that I know only God could have. My very quick second inclination was to tell him Stephen Clark’s stories. I treasure the amazing stories a beloved professor from Moody Bible Institute told. My sons do, too, often asking for “the plane story” or “the cucumber story.”
Anyone who went through the Linguistics or TESOL or missions program at Moody Bible Institute and sat under professor Steve Clark can probably relate. When my good friend Julie from Moody related her stories of the grip these stories had on her and other former students as well, I realized just how broadly powerful they were. Steve Clark and his wife were missionaries in Papua New Guinea translating the New Testament. God did some pretty amazing miracles that Mr. Clark related in his very humble manner.
These were some of the first taste of modern day miracles that I experienced. So amazing. Seemingly so remote. So rare.
It was like a delicacy I treasured and felt I’d taste so little of in my life as a whole.
But I was so wrong. As many places I’ve been and cultures I’ve seen, I still grew up in a very logical, post-modern, scientifically-driven society. I grew up in the minority world.
In the majority world- well, it’s a different story. Something I’ve only recently begin to realize the depth and riches of.
Like a Mighty Wind
As I was preparing this fall to go down to visit a publisher and talk about some books, I stumbled upon this video by Tim Dudley. Tim’s father Cliff Dudley, founder of New Leaf Press, had heard Mel Tari speak about the revival that took place in Indonesia in the 70’s. He worked with him to write about it in the book Like a Mighty Wind. Curious, I found the book in digital form through my library and read it in a day or two.
I was taken aback by the extent and type of miracles that had taken place in Indonesia. Healing the blind and deaf and other physical ailments seemed- well, so Biblical. They took God at His Word and did similar things to what I’ve read about in Acts. It was surprising, but not too surprising for me.
Then, I read about how they would walk through the forest at night, guided by a pillar of light to the village God wanted them to witness to. In monsoon season, as they traveled, the rain would fall all around them but not on them for miles and miles. They were poisoned by a tribe, but did not die, and even walked on water, essentially. This. Blew. My. Mind.
The Dead Are Raised (But Not Zombies)
I don’t think anything in the book struck me so profoundly as the dead being raised. The first time God prompted one of them to pray over a woman who had just died, his team did not believe it possible. They were not, for lack of faith, able to pray together for her to be raised to life again. After that, when they saw her children or passed her grave, they regretted not obeying God’s leading.
So, the next time, after a man had been dead for 4 days (which is really stinky in a hot jungle), and God asked them to go over near him and pray and sing songs of worship, they obeyed. When I read how the man sat up alive, knowing Jesus had done a miracle for him, my heart leaped. And there were so many other examples of this happening and other amazing stories in Like a Might Wind…Definitely worth the read!
These were verifiable, true stories, complete with eye-witnesses coming right out of recent decades. I knew they were true. My mind was blown, but I still felt so reserved about today. I believe the miracles of the Bible. If you wonder about this, please read my recent post. I believed the happenings of the revival in Indonesia. But that was Indonesia in the 70’s. The miracles gave credibility to the truth of the Gospel being preached, just as they did in Acts. I’ve heard other stories from the majority world like this that I can stamp a date or time on and somehow it seems more distant.
Moving Toward a Shocking Discovery
Flash forward to more recent weeks. As I dove into research for my books, I realized my sources were limited. So, I contacted my dear, incredibly intelligent and articulate friend Megan, who is writing her dissertation right now at seminary. She directed me to wealth of theology teachers that I could study under through their books. On of the ones having the most insightful and transformational impact on my understanding of God’s Word is John Walton, one of the Old Testament authors in IVP’s Bible Background Commentary set. (That set has been very helpful for the last decade in my study of God’s Word). I have been so encouraged and enlightened through his Old Testament Theology for Christians: From Ancient Context to Enduring Belief.
As I turned to the New Testament, I sought out resources from the author of the New Testament component of the Bible Backgrounds Commentary set.. I was not disappointed. I stumbled on an Acts class of his free through biblicaltraining.org, and I read his riveting personal story Impossible Love in 24-hours.
I Wasn’t Prepared for What I Discovered
I wasn’t prepared for Lecture 4 of Keener’s Acts Study.
I was trucking through the study, as I had been other studies, until Lesson 4 hit me like cross between a ton of bricks and a mighty wind. As a footnote in his Acts study, Craig Keener had set out to do a little research into miracles today. His footnote turned into a book over 1,000 pages long. It all boils down to this: across denominations, across the world, eye witnesses to miracles just like those in the Bible are multiplying today. Medical documentation in hand, Craig spends two classes (Lessons 4 and 5 detailing miracles for which we have multiple eye witnesses walking the globe right now.
After 45 minutes of lecture 4, I wept.
I wept in amazement. I wept at my unbelief in the God who had already won my heart and showed me He works miracles so we can know Him and be close to Him. I wept at my lack of prayer.
I was just overwhelmed. If you are from the majority world, this may be no surprise to you. If you happen to be like me, having come from the logical, science-driven minority world, then you likely haven’t heard anything like this. Scientifically-sound, with eye witnesses and medical documentation in hand, these miracles will rock your world.
- Wonder if the miracles of the Bible could have happened
- Wonder if miracles could happen today and/or
- Want to get closer to God
Then, please, get yourself a free login to watch Craig’s course and check out lectures 4 and 5.
- Lecture 4: Themes in Acts and the Credibility of Miracles
- Lecture 5: Miracles and Evangelism in Acts
You can also read his new, very accessible book documenting hundreds of miracles in the world today called Miracles Today.
Best Way to Spend 33 Minutes
I know life is busy. Before you scroll Facebook or hop over to your email, check this out. If you have 33 minutes, you can make it through all of Lesson 4 (on 2x speed). Just:
- Click the link Lecture 4: Themes in Acts and the Credibility of Miracles
- Sign up for your free account
- Click the settings and adjust the speed to 2x (It’s 1hr 6 min. at normal speed)
Want to Know More?
If you’d like to know more, check out:
- Craig Keener’s Book Miracles Today
- Craig Keener’s free study on Acts Lectures 4 and 5
- Craig Keener’s Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts
- Lee Strobel’s The Case for Miracles
- Josh McDowell’s Evidence that Demands a Verdict
- Did the Resurrection Really Happen?
- The God Stories Project
Copyright © 2019 Angela Edmonds. All rights reserved.
Photos from www.LumoProject.com’s story set about the true story of Jesus raising Jairus’s Daughter to life after she was dead.