Hello everyone! I just finished reading The Case For Miracles by journalist Lee Strobel, a surprising and uplifting book. Here are some facts from the book that stood out to me.
Although the percentage of people who believe that miracles happen tends to decrease as education increases, a 2004 survey found that out of 1,100 doctors, 55% had seen results in patients that they would consider miraculous and 75% believe miracles can happen (a higher percentage than the general US population).
Strobel interviews Michael Shermer, founder and editor of Skeptic magazine, about why he doesn't believe in miracles. His talking points include that miracles aren't well studied and could be a result of misperceptions or biased thinking, and a certain ten-year clinical trial (called STEP) of the effects of intercessory prayer on cardiac bypass patients that failed to show any positive effects (it is interesting to note flaws in this study that are pointed out by professor Candy Gunther Brown, whom Strobel also interviews. The group that the STEP researchers recruited to pray for the patients was a New Age -type group that didn't even believe in prayer. Brown describes two other peer-reviewed studies in which Christians prayed to the Christian God. Patients that received prayer in these studies had less heart failure, fewer episodes of pneumonia, and needed less antibiotic therapy, among other positive effects.)
The chapter "A Tide of Miracles" has stories of modern-day miracles that were documented by physicians and occurred as a result of prayer to the Christian God.
This is one I think you would be interested in, @windar12q. Strobel interviewed a missionary to the Middle East, Tom Doyle. He reveals that by some estimates, 1/4 to 1/3 of Muslims who have become Christians experienced a dream or vision of Jesus before coming to faith. The dreams often follow a similar pattern of Jesus saying He loves them and died for them, and telling them to follow Him (these would not be things a follower of Islam is already inclined to think about; The Qur'an teaches that Jesus did not die on the cross, that He is not the son of God, and that nobody can bear your sins in your place). It happened so often that Christian ministries have placed ads in Egyptian newspapers offering more information about Jesus to people who have had a dream about Him.
One of the most impressive miracles that God has done is creating the universe, and He has done it incredibly precisely. Oxford physicist Roger Penrose calculated that in order for the universe to have the correct state of low entropy (un-randomness that makes life possible) the setting needs to be accurate to 1/(10^(10^125)). This number is impossible to write out as a decimal because it has more 0s than there are particles in the universe!
Not everyone who prays for a miracle gets what they ask for. Strobel interviews Dr. Douglas Groothuis, a Christian apologist, about having faith and hope in the midst of illness in his family. He tells about how he learned to relinquish control to God and put his hope in Jesus's death and resurrection for everything to be restored when Jesus comes again.
I found this to be a very interesting topic. What do you think about miracles?