Do You Believe in…What Miracles?!

I received this book offer for Miracles Are For Real by James L. Garlow and Keith Wall from the American Family Association (AFA) and was interested in the “real” miracles described. The text of the ad says:

Do you believe miracles still happen?

Definitely, you say, because you or a loved one has experienced a miracle–your sister survived a car accident that should have resulted in death. You received a check for the exact amount needed to cover this month’s overdue electric bill, when your bank account was empty.

Or maybe you say, I’m not sure. You’ve heard stories, but you’re skeptical. It seems there are a lot of imposters claiming to perform miracles.

The answer? Absolutely. And while the miraculous stories in this book are evidence of God’s working today, that’s just the beginning. Pastor and teacher Dr. Jim Garlow and writer Keith Wall carefully examine biblical teaching about miracles and provide honest, trustworthy information that will boost your faith. Whether you need a miracle today or you want to understand how to recognize a true miracle, this is your inspiring guide.

Readers are fascinated with miraculous and unexplained events. In their signature style, trusted pastor Jim Garlow and writer Keith Wall tap into that fascination with biblical insights on miracles and accounts of God’s work throughout history. The book clearly separates truth from fiction, fortifying readers’ faith in God’s power in their lives. The encouraging and inspiring stories make this a great impulse buy and gift.

Let’s begin with the supposed miracles. Every serious car accident should end in death BUT they don’t. Why? Because of safety and circumstance. Safety, as in the technology that saves your ass such as airbags and the crash-proof durability of the vehicle and circumstance as in the random nature in which the car could have swerved more to the left or been hit harder or barely missed a tree. The question you have to ask is if your sister’s car accident was a miracle because she survived then how about the other woman who you saw on the news last night that died due to a similar car accident? Did God say, “Hey, eff her!” Or did he watch apathetically as her brains were smashed in. Or was it his master plan that she live a good life and then die horribly so people would come to her funeral and hear the word of god from the false sentiments usually given by the presiding priest or pastor?

Surviving a car accident is not a miracle. Each car accident can be examined for what went wrong and why the person survived. Often people survive but live in pain for the rest of their lives due to the injuries. When God starts growing back arms, legs and replacing organs then come back to me and we’ll discuss miracles again.

So you received a check that covered your exact amount of your overdue electric bill? How come God didn’t provide the money upfront so that you weren’t overdue in the first place? Or was it your negligence? If it was your negligence, why would God reward you for it? It seems to me God should teach you a lesson to balance your bills.

A real miracle concerning electricity would be if the electric company cut off your electricity and you could still miraculously run all your appliances without an electric current.

It seems there are a lot of imposters claiming to perform miracles.

I don’t recall reading about these kinds of miracles in the Bible. The ones I read about were actually supernatural: Sun standing still, waters parting on command, animals talking, people raising from the dead, sight restored with mud, crippled people walking…instances where at the very least the claim was of a real miracle even if it ended up being bogus. Claims of miracles in this book advertisment for James Garlow are coincidence-based and therefore have no merit.

Statistically speaking, there will be people who narrowly escape death in car accidents. Statistically speaking there will be people who will receive money to pay their overdue bills just in the nick of time. I would like to see Garlow explain all the times that this hasn’t happened. Last year, a co-worker of mine died in a motorcycle accident due to a treacherous curve in the road, one that was well known to other drivers who survived it (which the city should do something about) and just recently I didn’t receive a check to help pay an overdue medical bill my wife thought she had paid.

If you want to claim miracles, you’re going to have to do better than this. Otherwise, this book and others like it are for suckers. In other words, AFA and the others who are pitching you what they call an “impulse buy” (real responsible terminology there) are making their own financial miracle happen and, yay, they’re tax exempt.

I know some Christian reader is going to say I’m being unfair; that there is a deeper discussion of miracles in the book. This wasn’t a book review. This was a review of the ad for the book and if the only modern miracles they mention are the lame ones that I critiqued, why would you buy this book? Here’s a better ad:

Do you believe in miracles? Of course you do, because you’re of the Christian faith.

You believe in the miracles of the past that really can be described as supernatural miracles but which you can’t witness (hearsay) and you believe in the mundane and coincidence-based  miracles of modern times. Buy our book and we’ll tell you about both, but what we won’t do is actually give evidence for legitimate miracles happening today–because there aren’t any. The modern media, science and skepticism is everywhere and we have trouble fooling people like we did in the past. Besides, it’s all how you interpret the event and what we as Christians say is a miracle is a miracle and if someone doesn’t receive the miracle they prayed for, well, that’s the mystery of God.

Now, impulsively buy our book so we can have money to pay our bills. As we do not pay taxes, we will not be giving back to help education, road maintenance and whatever else taxes pay for.

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