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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Counterfeit Miracles by Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages.
More Details Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Counterfeit Miracles , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Counterfeit Miracles. Oct 25, Dominic Foo rated it really liked it. This is actually a series of lectures given by B. Warfield, a key figure in conservative American Presbyterianism.
It is a highly informative and thorough study and examination of the phenomenon of miracles from the time of Christ to his immediate present age whereby he refutes that miracles continues to occur today but has effectively ceased with the closure of the Apostolic age. He begins, well, at the beginning, with the New Testament and the apostolic age.
He sets out by first refuting a po This is actually a series of lectures given by B. He sets out by first refuting a popular theory at that time that miracles continued after the death of the apostles until the 4th century when it ceased because the Christian faith was not in need of any miracles, the wheels of the missionary work apparently taken over by imperial endorsement. Warfield refutes this theory by noting that factually this is most certainly false as an examination of the apostolic fathers revealed that miracles far from increasing actually completely ceased with the apostles.
None of the apostolic fathers claimed to have performed any miracles and their record or witness of miracles were extremely scarce, most of them gesturing towards the miracles performed during the apostle's time and none contemporary to themselves. The reports and witnesses to miracles only started to balloon during the time of St Augustine onwards and positively exploded during the medieval age. But even then Warfield notes that Augustine's opinion on miracles went through a slow development, from a hesitant report in the early part of his theological career to a much more certain endorsement later on.
However, Warfield notes that there are some very interesting and disturbing parallels between the miracles reported by the patristic fathers like St Augustine and some of the pagan miracle tales which has already existed before, which doubtlessly points to a convenient co-opting of pagan miracle stories by Christians as the Christian faith became much more widespread which was somewhat uncritically recorded down by St Augustine.
Warfield also notes that this age of the massive proliferation of miracles has its origin not in the Christian faith but simply in democratisation of the faith fusing into the pagan world because of the fact that the heretics, like the donatist, soon claimed to be able to perform miracles too in aid of their theological cause, which miracles St Augustine refuses to accept as authentic.
Thus, it is not the miracles which is the evidence of orthodoxy but orthodoxy which is the evidence of the miracles. But the theological reason Warfield gives for the cessation of miracles was that miracles was a sign to confirm the Apostle's authority and their revelation. Thus, only the apostles could grant the power to perform miracles upon their disciples as a sign and confirmation of the divine revelation to which they have been entrusted and to their apostleship.
However, once the apostles died, divine revelation ceased with them and so did the need to perform signs and wonders to confirm their apostolic office and divine revelation.
This is why after the apostolic age, performance of miracles virtually disappeared and reports of them dramatically dropped, that is, until the later patristic age. He moves on to discuss the many miracles in Catholicism, stigmata, Virgin's milk, relics, etc, paying careful attention to the details of their reports, the witnesses, etc, peppering his examination with dry humour and sly comments.
One of his most interesting observations is the fact that in only very few cases does a saint actually claim to perform miracles or that reports and witnesses of miracles occurred while a saint was still living. He also could not help poking fun at the outrage of the Jesuit and Catholic authorities at the "unauthorised" miracles surrounding the dead body of a Jansenist cleric, no doubt once more proving the dictum that it is the saint that makes a miracle and not the miracle a saint.
He also discusses the miraculous events surrounding a group of 19th century charismatics, the Irvingist, complete with prophesies, speaking in tongues, healings, etc, but which movement has more or less died when the prophesies have failed to come to pass. He provides quite a detailed account of the movement along with a thorough critique, containing lots of original quotes and extensive citation of eye-witness statements, etc.
Finally he moves on to faith-healings and mind-cures of the Christian scientists. It is in this section that he examines more closely what does a "miracle" mean whereby he distinguishes what occurs "immediately" without passage of time or use of means, and healings which occur upon prayer and use of God given means of medicine and doctors which he accepts. It is quite an interesting read with an attention historical detail and first-person accounts and academic referencing to various experts, theological, historical and medical, which is truly impressive.
But I guess the most important thing which this book has taught me is the true rational behind the cessation of miracles and sign and wonders, that miracles intricately and indissolubly tied to divine revelation and apostolic authority as their proper signs, and that naturally once the apostles died and divine revelation has ceased, so would the miracles which were the signs and confirmation of their message.
Of course, I should have already have known this when Calvin in his introduction to his Institutes, refuted his Catholic's opponent's claim to orthodoxy by citing the many miracles which has occurred among them by pointing that his doctrine too was confirmed by many miracles and signs and wonders, the miracles and signs and wonders of the Apostles, which Calvin of course does claim to teach faithfully.
Overall, although the language is a bit ponderous and careful, but a readable work and not dull at all, especially when in the course of prodding through these difficult matters, one would be occasionally treated to some snide humour and wit. Ever since reading my first B.
B Warfield book, I was captivated. This book was no different; I had to reread most of the chapters just because so much information. Great Read! Feb 23, Jordan Hill rated it really liked it. I took my time with this book, as I found myself rereading many points in this collection of lectures. Having grown up with a charismatic background, I enjoyed the depth of detail in this book.
Take your time to enjoy this one. Aug 09, Logan rated it it was amazing. I have the highest admiration for Warfield. Every time I read him I am impressed with his scholarship, his grasp of the field he is currently looking at, and the clarity with which he presents himself. This book is no different. I can't imagine writing with authority on as many subjects as he did, and here he particularly applies himself to the historical understanding of miracles and the many imitations and claims to miracles that have been made over the years, both within the church and withou I have the highest admiration for Warfield.
I can't imagine writing with authority on as many subjects as he did, and here he particularly applies himself to the historical understanding of miracles and the many imitations and claims to miracles that have been made over the years, both within the church and without. The last section on the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy of the Christian Science movement was especially interesting to me, though it was all informative. I always learn something from Warfield. Apr 10, Hamish Osborne rated it really liked it.
Warfield is a fascinating writer. This book is good for those who are rather sceptical about the miracles that have been propounded in history. Very dense and hard to scratch the surface if youre not willing to sit at the feet of Warfield and dig deep and think hard about what he is saying. Having said that, I didn't agree with everything he wrote in this thesis, but if you have the time it is a worthwhile read.
Feb 18, Victor Chininin rated it it was ok. A good critique of Roman Catholic miracles, faith healing, mind curing, and other modern "miracles. The examples he used, he is right, are not miracles. But I feel uneasy about using that as support for the cessation of the gifts and miracles in our day and age. May 30, Douglas Wilson rated it liked it Shelves: theology.
Brian rated it it was amazing Mar 16, David Johnston rated it it was amazing Aug 04, Mitchell Elliott rated it liked it Jul 20, Chris Sicks rated it it was amazing Mar 31, Douglas Adu-Boahen rated it it was amazing Mar 13, James Tessin rated it it was amazing May 05, Tom rated it really liked it Jun 23, Ray Cannata rated it really liked it Apr 05, Banji rated it really liked it Feb 26, Peter Nossal rated it did not like it Dec 26, Nancy Almodovar rated it it was amazing Jan 30, Andre rated it it was amazing May 03, Frank Gantz rated it it was amazing Jul 13, James Seow rated it it was amazing Apr 12, StevevetS rated it it was amazing Oct 07, Don Bryant rated it liked it Oct 14,
Counterfeit Miracles (Warfield)
Summary: A series of lectures on counterfeit miracles given in to The book is divided up into six chapters: the cessation of the charismata, patristic and mediaeval marvels, Roman Catholic miracles, Irvingite gifts cf. Once the apostolic message was written the the miracles ceased. Warfield then delves into history to show that this position is supported by the data.
Please use the Banner of Truth UK site. More than sixty years after his death B. In his years at Princeton, , he was unquestionably the best-known opponent of the rationalism and antisupernaturalism which threatened the life of the Church in the 20th Century; for him a non-miraculous Christianity was no Christianity at all. But with his breadth of vision Warfield also saw the danger of false claims to the possession of miraculous gifts- claims which have repeatedly been made both by the Church of Rome and by groups within Protestantism. Submit your testimonial.
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