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writes, "Either this military officer and scoutmaster is nothing but a liar or miracles occur." You conclude, based on what you read, that miracles occur and are real and that the book provides evidence for the claim. Your dichotomy of the author as either a liar or else miracles occur is flawed. There are many plausible alternatives to a lying author that would not conclude with miracles. For example, the author might be well-intentioned but mistaken about some of his observations. This happens even for military officers. Only the Pope is infallible.;)


I noted that the book on which this is based is classed as fiction. Vol_scouter made the comparison to other books that he claims are classified incorrectly.

If I grant that other books are sometimes misclassified, that hardly supports the original claim made regarding miracles. It merely weakens the classification of this book as fiction, and that has yet to be resolved, vol_scouter merely disagrees with the classification. But it is vol_scouter's claim that the book contains evidence of miracles.


Vol_scouter, my library doesn't have the book. But I did read the review on Amazon. Is it yours?

The review has the sentence, "All of the stories have a powerful message and some are clearly miracles." This reminds me of Father Reginald Foster's statement about the Bible, "these are just stories..."


But I am very interested in this concept of 'miracles'. What constitutes a 'miracle'? How do I know one if I experience it? How do I distinguish it from 'magic'?


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packsaddle writes: What constitutes a 'miracle'? How do I know one if I experience it? How do I distinguish it from 'magic'?


Check this out. I consider this a miracle.


J Mac.



Maybe you have a perfectly good explanation for what happened that night. My explanation - sometimes, God likes to show off.



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I read the book many years ago and there were several difficult to explain happenings but one could construct a plausible though improbable explanation for all except one. Duff was the SM of a troop near Washington, D.C. and they took a trip to the Blue Ridge mountains in North Carolina. Duff said that his eyesight was terrible and that he wore contacts. There were only two adults on the trip - Duff and an ASM. They had two vans full of scouts. Those mountains are notorious for high winds and on Sunday the wind blew grit into his eyes. He was forced to remove his contacts due to the irritation. He was not prepared having no glasses or other contacts. He felt that they must get back. He said a prayer in the van before they started since everything outside of van was fuzzy. After he prayed for the safety of his youth and put the van into gear, his vision cleared so that he was able to see perfectly. He drove back to home, dropping off all the boys without any visual impairment. When he pulled into his own driveway, he could not see to garage his car. He had to be driven to the ophthalmologist the next day for new contacts. I am in medicine and I can not construct a plausible explanation. Either the story is a fabrication or a miracle from God.

The book has very good insights into teenage boys so I am sorry that you cannot find it.

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Both miracles and magic have to be believed to start. But, magic does actually have a valid explanation, though often difficult to comprehend for most of us. Miracles, as Ed notes, defy any logical or known explanation, even with in depth analysis; or they have valid reasons perhaps, but seem supernatural in a particular context or time. But, to believe in miracles, one is likely to also believe in God; both require a level of faith. For me, when I was about 9, I saw a miracle; but I cannot prove it was, and it had logical scientific explanations. But the occurrence, in context, was a "miracle of faith". To me, it proved my grandfather's faith that God would take care of things at the moment. Many will say, especially since it does have meteorological explanations, it was a simple coincidence; but in its context it was more than that.


So, like much discussed or argued, miracles will never be validated or proven false in everyone's eyes. Faith is personal. Blind faith is foolish. Denial of faith as real is egotism.





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Well vol_scouter, that doesn't sound like a miracle to me. If his vision really was that bad, he was incredibly reckless in driving a van down a mountain with other people's children as passengers. Since there were two vans and another driver, if any of them really thought he couldn't see well enough to drive, the obvious solution would be to make two trips with one van instead of needlessly endangering people. So I can only conclude that he and the others figured he really could see well enough to drive, no miracles needed. It's also possible that it was getting dark when he finally reached his own home and like many older people his vision is much worse at night. But anecdotal evidence doesn't cut it. The story as you relate it would imply that everyone was OK with someone nearly blind driving a van down a mountain -- the supposed "miracle" didn't happen until he started driving the van. It seems much more likely to me that he couldn't see well, but he could still see well enough to drive.


It's illegal for me to drive without my glasses, but if I had to, I could. I wouldn't recommend it, and it would help a lot if I was following another van (as presumably Duff was, with the better-sighted driver leading the way).

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