Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Brittany and I had a delightful dinner picnic on the banks of the Seine hosted by her friend Gina, a wonderfully committed Christian who is studying in Paris. We watched the sun set and had a rigorously stimulating conversation (I love these) about the things of God with a Colombian man named Eduardo who now lives and works in Paris. He is a Christian who believes in gifts of healing and of wealth. "I believe in the prosperty gospel," he told me. We discussed these things as Seine boats chugged by loaded with tourists from all over the world. He explained all the miracles he had seen and experienced, everyone of them not a miracle in the biblical sense of the word; a leg straightened, a skin problem instantly cured, a government check that covered three months rent (this is France so far from a miracle for the governement to be throwing away other people's money!). I asked him if he's someone raised from the dead, or blind from birth and everyone, believer and unbeliever alike, knew the man was blind from birth, had he seen these kinds of real miracles? It comes down to two things at least: How do you define what a real miracle is? [God acting supernaturally above natural order he has established in the world], and Are we to insist that sign gifts, miracles, are to be the ordinary, the normative, experience of Christians throughout every period in redemptive history. I don't think he had thought of these things and examples from Scripture that help us answer these and other related questions. About an hour and a half discussion, the Louvre glowing in the fading evening light across the river... charming setting, Paris is.