Sunday, July 15, 2012

Modern Miracle Reports With Evidence (Part 2)

In the process of studying another case, Keener interviewed three witnesses: a man who was healed as a boy, that man's father (who discussed the healing with multiple doctors), and the family's pastor at the time of the healing. The boy in question had two holes in his heart that spontaneously healed just before scheduled surgery. The boy's lungs, which had also been affected by the condition, had returned to normal as well. Two doctors, the surgeon who had to cancel the surgery and a pulmonologist, told the boy's father that they considered the healing a miracle (430-432).

Keener gives many examples of individuals and organizations that regularly collect miracle claims that meet a high standard. For example:

"For nearly a century, the Pentecostal Evangel regularly reported healing claims, in later years typically certified by eyewitnesses and sometimes physicians, and in recent years published only after three years to be certain the healing remains permanent. In addition to less dramatic cures, these healings include chronic conditions such as blindness, paralysis, and even death." (436)

Keener repeatedly cites doctors who have claimed to have witnessed healing and to have medical documentation for it (e.g., 439, 461-462).

Ben Godwin "was hit by a car, splintering and dislodging from his body three inches of his tibia (a leg bone)." Keener writes, "His Pentecostal mother refused to stop praying, and some three months later X-rays revealed that the entire length of the bone had been restored, shocking the physician." Keener has seen the X-rays. (473)

He writes a lot about healings associated with Lourdes. Here's an example:

"A Belgian peasant on pilgrimage to a statue recalling Lourdes, whose chronically diseased leg needed to be amputated, pleaded for grace to be able to work; his leg was instantly healed, converting his agnostic physician….After careful investigation, a team of twenty-one doctors recognized that among other things, a piece of bone had instantly grown more than an inch" (527 and n. 174 on 527).


"Due to war wounds that doctors were unable to repair adequately (especially a bullet that cut his large axillary nerves, as well as epilepsy perhaps related to his head wound), John Traynor of Liverpool, England, was partly paralyzed; he had not walked or used his right arm since 1915 and could not control his bladder and bowels. Yet in 1922, at Lourdes, he found himself cured and rose up. When aides tried to restrain him, fearing that he might injure himself, he evaded them, running. After seven or eight years of paralysis, running should have been physically impossible…The physicians who had accompanied him from Britain confirmed his state prior to the healing and the change afterward…The Medical Bureau certified his cure as medically inexplicable. The church, which makes the final theological decision, never chose to certify this case as a divine cure, so it is not listed officially, but the medical records remain eloquent testimony to the cure." (527-528)

In an appendix on spirit possession, Keener cites a wide variety of changes that have been reported in possessed individuals, often changes of a paranormal nature. I'll cite an example involving two eyewitnesses interviewed by Keener:

"When visiting a Cameroonian student from our seminary, Paul Mokake, in summer 2006, Yolanda McCain, one of our American students, was shocked to witness a blind man's sight restored during exorcism of what purported to be a spirit partly controlling his nervous system. Paul Mokake, who performed that exorcism, offered other sample accounts." (816)

1 comment:

  1. When I was in highschool a few years ago I had a trigonometry teacher from africa that told us how the witches or sorcerers in his country(I forget what country specifically) could transform into flies and could even teleport. I dont know if he was an eye witness to these things but he was quite serious that it was true. What prompted him telling us was that there was a fly buzzing around him while he was teaching us the trig functions.