Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern Day Experiences of God's Power  -     By: Tim Stafford
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Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern Day Experiences of God's Power

Bethany House / 2012 / Paperback

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Are you sometimes confused by which miracles to believe? Award-winning Christianity Today journalist Stafford takes a careful look at unexplained events in our modern world---some hard to accept and others hard to deny---and places them in historical and biblical context. He then explores questions about what role they might play in your life. 240 pages, softcover from Bethany.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 076420937X
ISBN-13: 9780764209376
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Award-Winning Journalist Takes a Close Lookat Modern-Day Miracles

Miracles give us hope. But while readers are fascinated by stories of miracles, they aren't always sure which ones to believe. Stafford takes a careful look at miraculous events in our modern world--some hard to accept and others hard to deny--then places them in a historical and biblical context. Along the way he explores questions about where and under what circumstances miracles occur today, and what role they should play in the lives of Christians.

Author Bio

Tim Stafford is a lifelong professional writer, with more than twenty published books, two of which have won Gold medallion awards. Tim serves as senior writer for Christianity Today magazine and has published hundreds of articles in that and other publications. He lives with his wife, Popie, in Santa Rosa, California. Visit his website at timstafford.wordpress.com.

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  1. Bob Hayton
    St. Paul, MN
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Readable yet challenging, hopeful and helpful
    January 12, 2013
    Bob Hayton
    St. Paul, MN
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Do you believe in miracles? While Christians universally answer yes, this question brings up a myriad of questions for the Church today. Many Christians are increasingly cautious of affirming miracles because of the damage done publicly by faith healers and outright shenanigans. Popular books abound recounting personal stories of being transported to heaven, seeing Jesus, talking to angels and of course, being healed. Should every such story be believed? And if we refuse to believe are we being cynical and unbelieving in our outlook?

    Beyond this larger question, the average Christian often has to make tricky decisions in real life scenarios. They are confronted with a claim to a miracle in the life of someone they know at work or in their church. They are pressured to come to a Pentecostal revival where they can't help but be skeptical of the outlandish behavior and incredible conclusions made by their friends. Just how are we to think about miracles, when we pray for them on behalf of our family and friends every day? We all know God can heal, and we want his healing touch, but we just aren't sure that we should expect it, or what to do when we think we've really seen it.

    Tim Stafford, a senior writer for Christianity Today steps into this quagmire and offers us some help in a remarkable new book titled, Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern-Day Experiences of God's Power. Tim navigates this thorny problem by recounting a true story that he experienced in his church, a fairly high-brow, staid and conservative Presbyterian assembly, by his telling. A young man experienced a healing from a debilitating pain in his feet that had required crutches and a wheel chair for years. His family were understandably overjoyed at his sudden and dramatic healing experienced at another church several hours away. But they were a little disappointed that their fellow church members didn't share all their enthusiasm.

    Stafford uses this story as a case in point, and interviewed the family as well as other families affected by this story from his church. Tim also draws on his travels to far-flung corners of the globe, where the miraculous may be more common. But rather than basing his conclusions on eye-witness testimony, Stafford also surveys the Old and New Testaments and the early years of church history looking for takeaways that we can apply to this perpetually difficult question. The result is a lucid and eminently readable account of his exploration. And his book is more than a page-turner. He brings sage advice, common sense, and an open spirit to the topic as well as his own honest account of disappointment and growth in this area.

    Stafford's book won't change the mind of the die-hard proponent of an extreme position on this issue. Those who see miracles around every corner will still find them, and those who hesitate to affirm the miraculous anywhere after Rev. 22, will equally be unconvinced. But for the average believer, without an axe to grind, Stafford's treatment will be challenging and uplifting, and ultimately helpful. I was encouraged to trust in our miracle-working God more, and to see the miraculous in the ordinary means of grace that God so faithfully provides.

    Disclaimer: This book was provided by Bethany House. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
  2. Laundry Lady
    Bethlehem, PA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Miracles: A Balanced View on Supernatural Healing
    December 26, 2012
    Laundry Lady
    Bethlehem, PA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I should start this review by saying that I believe in miracles. In fact, I always have. Even when people I loved died after I prayed for them to be healed. Even when the situations I prayed would change remained the same. I still never hesitate to ask God to make a difference in situations ranging from desperate to ordinary. This is part of the charismatic tradition in which I was raised (somewhat different from the Pentecostal tradition the author references throughout the book) and something that is still part of my faith.

    I expected this book to be either written by an ardent Pentecostal promoting the reality of miracles or a cynical cessationist (someone who believes that all supernatural gifts of the spirit such as prophecy, tongues and miracles no longer occur) looking to disprove and explain away miraculous events. I was pleasantly surprised to find it to be neither.

    Instead this is a candid look at miracles by someone who was brought up to believe in them in theory but not in practice. He believes in praying for miracles but isn't part of a church tradition where it is made into much of a production. Stafford discusses the problems but also the freedom of demystifying miracles and healings. When our bodies heal themselves it is a wonderful, amazing event, and yet it is a function we take for granted. But he also acknowledges real experiences where nothing can explain why someone recovered except the supernatural hand of God.

    This book is a great one for both believers in and skeptics of miracles alike because of the balanced few he presents. As a journalist, Stafford investigates but never allows himself to fall prey to cynicism. As someone who believes for and actively prays for miracles and healings I appreciate his suggestions for how to better handle the process. I think this book would also be beneficial to someone who is looking for more information about miracles but has many doubts. It is the most balanced view on the subject I've ever encountered. The author skillfully avoids stereotypes and catch phrases, instead focusing of the experiences of people he has encountered in his years as a journalist, allowing the reader to explore real miracles in the lives of real people. This is a worthwhile read and I highly recommend it.

    I was not compensated for this review but I did receive a free copy of the book to review.
  3. Wildrose
    Seattle, WA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    An interesting read
    October 14, 2012
    Wildrose
    Seattle, WA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    The author, Tim Stafford claims to have written this book from a journalistic view. However to write something from a journalistic view, it has to obtain little to no opinion and be based on facts and observations. Tim Stafford does not hold back on his opinions in this book, and I feel that his opinions cloud things up.

    One statement he makes that I simply can not agree with is to the affect that "a miracle must be instant, complete and permanent". This is a mans description of a miracle. But what is God's description of a miracle?

    I really do believe that believing in miracles comes down to faith. People want miracles so that they will have faith and then be able to believe in God. Unfortunatly things don't always work that way.

    Despite my personal dislike for this book, I do think that there is some decent information in here for the general public. However, understand that the author is not an expert and really just an average person writing his opinion (as am I), so take that with a grain of salt.

    I received a free copy of Miracles in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no other compensation.
  4. Kristin
    USA
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Miracles.
    September 18, 2012
    Kristin
    USA
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    The Bible is full of miracles, and of course, I believe that every single one of them really happened, from the parting of the Red Sea to the many people Jesus healed. I've heard of miracles happening to people during my life, and maybe even witnessed a few in a small way. But I'll admit that I can be skeptical when a story of a miraculous event comes through word of mouth, passed from person to person. I also tend to be skeptical when it comes to huge, flashy healing services where dozens or hundreds of people claim to experience miracles in a short amount of time. {The older I get, the less I'm impressed with flashy and noisy experiences and the more I value quiet and humble and genuine things.}

    So I was intrigued by this book: Miracles, by Tim Stafford. And it turned out to be a really interesting read. The author covers a lot in this book...everything from why people doubt miraculous stories to the history of miracles to what to think when miracles don't happen {or maybe I should say, when miracles don't happen in the timing we want. He says that miracles are a taste of what's to come. Some miracles and healings might not happen on earth, but they'll all be accomplished in heaven}.

    I think he has a great attitude about all of the issues covered. We should keep our eyes open and believe that miracles can happen and do happen. But we should also realize that they shouldn't draw attention to themselves but instead to God and His power. Miracles shouldn't be our complete focus.

    I liked the recap of the miracles in the Old and New Testaments. I had never realized before that most of the ones that are written about in the Old Testament were public miracles...ones that were actually witnessed by thousands of people, not just carried by word of mouth. But in the New Testament, things shift toward miracles being for a smaller audience, usually a handful of people seeing Jesus heal someone. And if you remember, several times he instructed the healed person not to spread the news. I also thought it was interesting when the author pointed out that the majority of miracles written about in the Bible happened in two periods that cover only about 7% of the two thousand years or so total. During the rest of the time, either there weren't an awful lot of miracles or they just weren't recorded.

    I really enjoyed reading Miracles. If this is an issue you've been thinking about lately, you should definitely check it out (whether you're a bit of a skeptic or not, or somewhere in between).

    {I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. I apologize for being a bit late with my review!}
  5. cathy
    Kansas
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    New book on miracles
    August 29, 2012
    cathy
    Kansas
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Miracles by Tim Stafford is advertised as a journalist look at modern-day experiences of God's power. He shares stories that he has of first hand experiences, a young man of his personal acquaintance who was cured of foot pain so bad that he could not walk and is now 4 years later walking normally. He told of acquaintances of his who were stricken with cancer that went to the same church and were not cured of their disease. This book expounds on some of the hypothesis of why they may or may not happen but admits that he truly does not know why sometimes miracles happen and sometimes they do not. He further states that the very idea that the diseases are not always cures indeed makes the ones who are cured a miracle. Miracles do not happen all the time or they would not be miracles. He believes that God works in many ways and miracles are just one of them.

    This book will make you think. It will make the reader look at their own belief or disbelief in miracles and think about what makes it true. Mr. Stafford looks at many religions beliefs in a positive light in regards to miracles even when it differs from his own. I think this is a good book for anyone wanting to investigate miracles. It explores miracles with a lot of wisdom.

    This book was received from Bethany House which is a division of Baker Publishing Group for this review.
Displaying items 1-5 of 7
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