Review of “The Case Against Miracles”, Part 5: Craig Keener’s “Miracles” is Nothing More Than Tabloid Evangelism

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This chapter responds to [Craig] Keener’s work in particular because Keener boasts, “I know how to ask necessary questions and am confident that my notes meet the standards traditionally used by many journalists.”

Later, Keener suggests that eyewitness testimony from a personal association is second only to observing the miracle directly.   “I have a closer association with some of the sources [of miracle claims], and I have a good reason to trust the veracity of a number of the informants, in particular those whom I know well.”  

Keener’s assumptions about having asked the right questions (like a journalist) and having received accurate depictions from acquaintances are precisely the same assumptions made by untrained and inexperienced investigators who are liable to making hasty and impulsive judgments.  Journalists may know how to ask questions that expand a news story’s narrative (e.g. detailing the basic who, what, when, where, why, and how of a person’s recollection), but they do not always know how to assess a person’s credibility, suitability, and accuracy like properly trained investigative journalists and law enforcement personnel.

…The purpose of this chapter is to argue that Keener’s “Proposed Explanations” section in Miracles is a bit premature without a thorough investigation.  The biggest weakness of Keener’s journalistic reporting is that he presumes he has been careful enough to warrant such pronouncements.

…Keener explains, “Further research might offer more controlled studies…more follow up interviews with and consulting the medical records of persons claimed by various written sources to be healed; and so forth.”  He continues, “Further investigation may weaken the reliability of a few of my sources and my sources’ sources.”  [Emphasis, Gary’s]

—Darren M. Slade, The Case Against Miracles, pp. 119-120


Gary:  Yes, indeed, Dr. Keener.  Further (and a much more thorough) investigation of the evidence and the credibility of your sources might indeed weaken the reliability of MANY of your sources and your sources’ sources.

Pentecostal Christian theologian and apologist Craig Keener’s Miracles is not research, folks.  Dr. Keener admits he spent not one dime on research.  It is a collection of unverified anecdotal tales.  That’s it.   Dr. Keener’s Miracles is nothing more than tabloid evangelism.  It is a collection of fantastical tall tales printed for the sole purpose of saving souls (and keeping souls).  It should not be taken any more seriously than your favorite grocery store tabloid.

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