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More People Believe in Miracles

In an article in Bibliotheca Sacra titled “Three Centuries of Objections to Biblical Miracles,” Reverend Mark J. Larson recounts some of the arguments by philosophers. Voltaire, Larson noted, said that a “miracle is the violation of mathematical, divine, immutable, eternal laws.” David Hume called belief in miracles “a superstitious delusion.”

“The intellectual winds of the last three centuries have blown in a direction contrary to belief in miracles,” Larson concluded.

Yet the spiritual winds appear to be blowing in a different direction now.

A 2010 Pew Research Center report found 79 percent of Americans, including 78 percent ages 18 to 29, believe in miracles. In the 2003 National Study of Youth and Religion, 91 percent of those who responded said they definitely or maybe believe in the possibility of divine miracles from God.

Penn State analyzed General Social Survey data from 1991 to 2008. They found the belief in miracles is growing in recent years. Nearly 73 percent of American adults in 1991 believed that miracles definitely or probably existed, compared to 78 percent in 2008. The percentage who “definitely” believed in miracles rose from 45 percent in 1991 to 55 percent in 2008.

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