Logical Gal and even MORE precise definintions

17 Jan

I’ve written about how much I like the idea of making distinctions between this and that.  “As opposed to what?”  is one of my favorite questions for better comprehension.

Well, last night, I heard someone explain the difference between the BROAD sense of the word MIRACLE and the NARROW sense.

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In essence  miracle could refer to something supernatural in both senses. Yet there would be real distinctions.  That means we would NOT be committing the fallacy of equivocation (same word, completely different concepts). 

So what are the broad and narrow definitions of miracle?  The broad version describes a miracle as an extraordinary event that seems to defy the laws of nature. (paraphrase of what I heard last night) 

The narrow sense limits the scope of these extraordinary events as specifically those meant to attest to the authenticity of the prophet/person carrying them out.  So Moses was able to change a river into blood to prove that he was sent by God.  Jesus was able to multiply fishes and loaves and raise a man from being 3 days-dead to prove that he was sent by God.

Following on the heals of what I heard last night about broad and narrow versions,  this morning I read about 2 levels of faith in God.  Immediately I saw the connection between narrow and broad.  The devotional recounted  Jesus’ rebuke of his disciples who panicked while he slept in the boat amidst the violent storm.

Luke 8:22-25

22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

So did the disciples NOT believe Jesus? Of course they did.  They had left their professions to join his band of brothers and follow him.  That act certainly indicated a level of commitment and belief.

But as I’m learning, there is FAITH in God and then there is FAITH in God.  Again we can make the distinction between a general or broad sense and a more specific or narrow sense.

These normal rugged men had the faith THAT he was a man sent from God and they might even at times have accepted his words that he WAS God. (John 10:30 – “I and the Father are one” )

But as I read in my devotional this morning, their faith was NOT the (narrow ) kind that expected the Creator God to CARE for his creation because he loved them. It was the more general kind, the kind that doesn’t touch one’s heart so much.   All of a sudden ‘faith in God’ takes on a new sense.  And how I answer the following question affects my presuppositions. Do I believe and trust that God is a loving God whose every action toward me is one motivated by His love for me? 

That is worth chewing on.  To use a word very passé: I like these NUANCED definitions.

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