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Eric Metaxas on Miracles

Eric Metaxas, author of Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life, answers frequently asked questions about miracles. Read our Q&A with Eric!


[MUSIC PLAYING] Hey, there. My name is Eric Metaxas. I’m in the Empire State Building at my radio studio on the 47th floor with amazing views. But we’re here right now to talk about my book “Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life.” And I’m doing this for the folks at “Mysterious Ways Magazine.” 

It’s hard not to believe in miracles if you’ve actually experienced one. That’s– that’s one of the best ways, you know. But not everybody has experienced one. But– but I have. 

And even if I hadn’t, I know many people who have. You really can tell the difference– most people can tell the difference between somebody who’s a credible witness and somebody who’s a little flaky, you know, borderline or just forget about it. 

And I think that I’ve heard so many people tell me their detailed stories– I put about 30 of them in the book– they’re– they’re amazing stories. And even if you think 1 of them doesn’t make sense or 3 of them don’t make sense, what do you make of the other 27? So it’s pretty compelling evidence. 

I think a lot of people have this idea that, you know, miracles might have happened in the past. But they don’t happen today. Today we live in a scientific age. And you know– and you think that doesn’t make any sense. Either they’re not happening now and they never happened, or they happened in the past. And they can happen today. The– the universe has not changed. 

I think that people also have this idea that, um, you know, in the past anything was possible. It’s almost like once upon a time, you know. Unicorns were flying around. Anything can happen. 

And you say, no, no, no, no, no. When you’re talking about, for example, you know, from a Christian perspective– when you say Jesus rose from the dead, 2000 years ago, nobody was rising from the dead. It was not considered normal then. It’s not considered normal now. It’s insane. It can’t happen. 

So if it did happen, everybody who experienced it understood this is an outrageous miracle. That’s the point. If it’s something that just happens, because you’re living in a time when people don’t have the ability to tell the difference between a miracle and the– you know, if that’s the case, then let’s forget about it. But if– if a miracle happens, it is a miracle. 

So I think sometimes we bring prejudice– modern prejudice to the topic. And we can’t do that. 

You know, science can disprove fake miracles, which aren’t real miracles. But uh, I would say that everything that we know from science more and more– and this is actually dramatic in the last few decades– confirms the miraculous or confirms the idea that there’s something beyond this world, that this world is not all there is. 

So if you are a materialist secularist, you know, in 1920, you had a lot of evidence for that point of view. But as the decades have gone by, like in the last 80 years I would say, we have gotten more and more evidence from science pointing in the direction that there’s something beyond this world. 

There’s always a danger in being gullible. I think that there are certain people– you will– you will– I wrote my book, because I said you find people on both ends of the spectrum. You find people who say, I think the whole idea of miracles is stupid. I sneer at it. There can’t be anything miraculous. That level of arrogance and I would say irrationality has to be pointed out. 

You have to say you’re not being rational to make that statement that there cannot be a miracle. You’re not using your mind effectively. You’re just an ideologue on the side of secularism. 

Of course, there are people on the other side who– they sort of believe too much. When I say believe too much, they’re not believing in the right things too much. They’re believing in anything. If you’re a person of faith, it’s incumbent on you to use your mind. God gave us minds. 

So this doesn’t mean we believe less. It just means we believe more critically. If you believe in a miracle, that– that doesn’t push– uh, it doesn’t push rationality to the side. On the contrary, the two should go together. 

Sometimes when he doesn’t answer a prayer, which happens to everybody, including me, we get upset. But I think it’s like a kid who asks his parent for something. And the parent says no. 

If you know you’re praying to a God who loves you, then when– when he says no, you could even realize that his no is an expression of his love, even though I can’t understand it right now. So when I say to my daughter, no, you can’t have cotton candy every meal and she gets upset, why did I do that? I did that, because I love her. I don’t want her teeth to rot out. I want her to be healthy. I love her. 

Sometimes it’s impossible for us to understand the no. And it’s upsetting. But I really think once you get to know the God behind the miracles, you begin to understand. You begin– doesn’t make it easy sometimes. But you still have a way in. 


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